Now that Vince Carter’s awake

Are the 2010 Celtics better than the 2008 championship team?  They might be, despite the wear and tear on The Big Three (as undetectable as wear and tear may be on Ray Allen).  These days, there’s as much reason to talk about the other Allen, forward Tony.

Rajon Rondo‘s certainly a lot better than the guy that Delonte West didn’t bother to guard in the 2008 Cavs-Celtics series.  Rasheed Wallace is a better big man off the bench than P.J. Brown or Leon Powe. Of course.  Glen “Big Baby” Davis is a wrecking ball off the bench, and a couple of years removed from 2008 when he looked raw and uncomfortable on the court, like he didn’t know the plays. Big Baby has improved each season since the title.  Michael Finley?  Nice guy to have around as a 9th man. 

Factor in a finally healthy Tony Brown having a breakout playoff run, and the supporting cast in Boston circa 2010 is hands down better than the guys who helped the Big Three win it all in 2008. And they’ve all been tested by the rigors of a couple of injury plagued seasons.

Still, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce can be good for 47 combined points on any given night or day, as they were in Sunday in Orlando.  When that happens the C’s are near impossible to beat, Game 1 and home court advantage to Boston, 92-88.

Somebody might want to wake Vince Carter up before the East Finals are over.

“I think it was a wake-up call that we really needed. Now it’s what are we going to do about it? How do we respond?” — Carter after Game 1.

Count me as one who never thought the Magic could win it all with VC at shooting guard.  They won’t, not this year anyway.

Thanks go to the NBA blog Both Teams Played Hard  for the photo.

And if you get a chance, do take a look at Dwyer’s Behind the Box Score entry on Celtics-Magic Game 1.

12 thoughts on “Now that Vince Carter’s awake

  1. J.D. Mo. Post author

    One thing, strategically, is that I would rather have Posey, House or Scalabrine at the 3-point line than Sheed. Every time he shoots one I find myself yelling No at the toob and then shaking my head when they go in.

    I’m hoping the Suns make a series of it, too. The Lakers are due for a test of some sort in these playoffs.

  2. Kevin

    I stand corrected, I just remember key plays throughout the season and playoffs. Perkins is also more of a factor.
    Hopefully, the Suns will give us a series to watch.

  3. J.D. Mo. Post author

    “Rejuvinated” to his first year form? Big Baby was darned near a liability on the 2008 team, and looked lost and confused at times, coming full circle to the initial post above. He’s vastly improved after a rough start to this season.
    Davis and T.Allen are the point here. They hardly resemble the players they were two years ago when they were further down the bench, not even in the nine-man rotation (Big Baby was the 10th man). Allen hardly played at all in 2008, garbage time mostly.

    Time for a new post, isn’t it?

  4. Kevin

    Big Baby has been rejunenated to regain his first year form. But Rasheed avoids the paint like it’s wet. Tony Allen was a key in 08 as well. P.J. amd Powe gave the team depth and made timely contributions.
    I don’t know about the NY Times, but I used to argue with the Chicago Sun Times after every Bucks/Bulls game.
    Ersan should be a small forward. He is quick enough and would make us a bigger team. Drew Gooden could start with him if they can sign him.

  5. J.D. Mo. Post author

    You know, the NY Times today said the Celtics starters were a better unit now than they were in 2008 but that the bench was “not as reliable.” I’m not one to argue with the NY Times but I just might have to go ahead and do it this time. Did they miss Tony Allen’s game Four against the Cavs?
    They did mention that the improvement of Big Baby can’t be underestimated, or words to that effect. But they did not mention Rasheed, who’s proven time and time again that there is method to his madness. I hold that there is some chance that the use of the word “reliable” may be Times barb aimed at Sheed’s inconsistencies, which could very well cost Boston the title this season. They could have substituted reliable for “more volatile” and there would have been no question who they were talking about.
    But then there wouldn’t be anything to argue with the NY Times about!

  6. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Ersan has that uncanny ability to be the guy who the opposition hates — in the wrong place at the wrong time, winning 50-50 plays that win games. He’s there with the extra effort, the rebounding and the D almost every night (I’ve seen him have some down times but not many). Posey was a hardworking player, don’t get me wrong, and he’s got two rings, but he’s not as long or as tall as Ersan — you would never dream of asking Posey to guard a center. Ersan has had to guard centers (not one of Skiles’ better ideas) and gets to a lot of boards that Posey wouldn’t even be near due to position.
    Should Ersan stay closer to the basket? I think so — he’ll be major scoring threat when he gets stronger and develops a better postup game. He’s got potential to be at least a minor star.

  7. Kevin

    Atlanta swept the regular season from Boston, I think KG missed one game, but were destroyed by Orlando the first three games of the regular season series. Boston is playing the D, but I think the top two seeds should be able to adjust for that and be able to make a shot or two at the same time. Taking nothing away from Boston, they are playing when it counts.
    Not sure the Bucks are better than the Hawks. As much as Bogut was missed, Horford gives him fits. They’re close.

  8. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Falling flat or getting beat by a better team? The Celtics are the best team of these playoffs, and are executing nearly flawlessly. It’s a pleasure to watch. No knock on Cleveland or Orlando – they’re getting beat by a great team playing about as well as it can play.

    The Bucks? They’re already better than Atlanta but still not ready for the big boys. That’s the next step – Dwight and KG/Pierce/Sheed aren’t going anywhere.

    (Posey’s no PF, btw. He mostly playing out on the wing shooting three’s while KG/Perkins/Brown/Powe/Davis manned the paint and did the dirty work. Sure, he goes listed at 6’8″ but Posey’s one guy who he plays smaller and smaller every year.)

  9. Kevin

    Posey backed up KG, so his role was bigger in Miami. That Robinson for House trade didn’t make sense for either team. But I just don’t understand teams like Cleveland, Orlando and Atlanta suddenly going flat. Man, if only we were healthy!

  10. J.D. Mo. Post author

    Posey’s impact was always overrated, as though he was somehow repeating what he did in 2006 for Miami without actually doing it. It was one of those sports media things where the rhetoric about him was continually repeated in the face of the evidence on the court. He hit a couple of shots in the Cleveland series, that much I at least remember. In any case, Posey wouldn’t play ahead of Tony Allen.

    I’m with you on Eddie House, another former Buck in the Celtics guard stable (for about 3 weeks in 2004 – funny, even Stephon Marbury was a Buck for a minute). He wasn’t all that quick, but he was strong, rugged, good-shooting, smart and had a good handle. If Ray was having a bad shooting night there was always a good chance that House would make up the difference from the outside.

    Maybe Nate Robinson or Finley can be just as effective, but Eddie House was more reliable and steady-rollin than Nate, no question about it.

  11. Kevin

    Don’t forget James Posey and Eddie House in 08. Anyway, it’s ironic that this Boston team is who many fans wanted Milwaukee to play in the first round instead of Atlanta. If it wasn’t for Bogut’s injury, it could have happened and who knows if we would be seeing Boston now.

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