Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Hello, Vineyard sports fans. It’s been a tough fall, watching the Patriots flounder like a fish out of water. The Tom Brady era is over. The Mac Jones era is imploding.
If you’re looking for a new team, may I introduce you to the Boston Celtics?
The boys in green this year are good. Really good. As of our deadline, they are at the top of the standings closing out the first month of the season. And there’s a good reason why: The team is at the pinnacle of a franchise they’ve been building for the past five or six years. Their two cornerstones — the forward tandem of Jaylen Brown and Jason Tatum — are coming into the peaks of their young careers, and the executives have built a solid core of role players to support them.
The results are a team that likes to get out and run, a team that likes to shoot a lot of three-pointers (the new NBA, thanks to analytics and Steph Curry), and a team that is chock-full of some guys that can straight-up hoop … and occasionally throw down some vicious slam dunks. Not to mention they play a solid defense, one of the best in the league.
And this Celtics team has something to prove. The haters have been saying for years that Tatum and Brown can’t win together because their games are too similar, and while they’ve driven deep into the playoffs the past several years, they haven’t been able to pull out with the big trophy.
Last year, their season came crashing down in an exciting semifinals. Down three games in a best-of-seven series, they stormed back, winning three in a row and almost pulling off the 2004 Red Sox impossible. But they fell in a disappointing game seven.
This year, the expectations are even higher, with some added big guns in Jrue Holiday and the 7-foot, 2-inch Kristaps Porzingis. And they’ve been embracing it so far. Their only weakness I see is depth. They traded some of their bench players to bolster their starting five, and that’s left some younger players yet to prove themselves coming off the bench.
There are also bragging rights on the line. As Celtics fans likely know, Boston is tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for most NBA titles of all time. Each team has 17. The rivalry is one of the best in sports, going back decades to the Chamberlain and Bill Russell days in the 1960s. And getting that one-title edge is worth something.
The best thing about watching a sports team is that the script hasn’t been written. No one knows who will win it, and anything can happen. That said, the Celtics have a good chance to put up banner 18. And it’ll be fun TV watching them try to pull it off.