The Boston Celtics might be aging, but they are the best team in the NBA. The Celtics proved that today by going to the Staples center and beat the Lakers by 13. The Celtics dominated the Lakers in the second half to win the game. The main factors in the victory were assists and rebounding. Which is ironic, becasue rebounding is how the Lakers beat Boston in last year's NBA finals. Rajon Rondo finished with 16 assists, 15 in the second half. The Lakers whole team only had 10. The Celtics did a great job of spreading the wealth around, unlike LA who had Kobe score 41 with 0 assists and a couple more players with a little above 10 points, Boston had 6 players in double figures. Boston had three players score over 15 points and Rondo and Kevin Garnett both cashed in double-doubles.
I know it is only the end of January and I know the Lakers beat the Celtics in the last NBA finals. The Celtics will be able to get there revenge during this years NBA finals when they play the Lakers again. It is going to be fun to watch the Lakers and Celtics fight it out for the third time in four years. It is one of the best professional rivalries in sports and I am lucky to have the rivalry continued in my generation.
Let me preface my argument by saying, a healthy Celtics team is the best team in the NBA. Although I think that is an obvious factor. The Celtics are better than any team in the Eastern Conference. The Heat are not consistent enough to be better than the Celtics. They are not nearly as physical as Boston and do not have the bodies down low with as much size and talent as the Celtics. The Chicago Bulls are definitely improved from a year ago, but I think they rely on Derrick Rose too much to be considered better the Boston. The Orlando Magic have Stan Van Gundy as a coach, who is the most annoying coach in the NBA, and Dwight Howard, who is becoming the most annoying player in the NBA. Orlando is a good team, but I think the Celtics are experienced enough and are slightly better overall.
The Western Conference used to have a plethora of solid teams to choose from, but the balance of power has slighty shifted towards the East after this mega free agent season. The Los Angeles Lakers are having a "down" regular season. (Sort of like when Albert Pujols has a "down" season when he hits .312 with 42 home runs and 118 runs batted in, and doesnt win the MVP. I would LOVE to have a "down" year.) The Lakers will be the Lakers and will be good when they need to be. Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant are to great not win the Western Conference. This being Phil's last year, so he says, it is too hard to bet against the Lakers in the West. The Oklahoma City Thunder are the second best team in the West. They challenged the Lakers in the playoffs last year in the first round and have improved greatly since last season. Even though they added no one big in the off-season, they grew a year in experience which has proven to be all that they needed. I think they are going to be a real contender in the playoffs this season, but are still not ready to take down the Lakers. The Spurs and Mavericks fall under the same category to me. They are good teams every year, but are always too old and just not quite good enough to do anything. The Spurs do have the most wins in the NBA, but all of their losses this year, except for one, have come against teams that are going to be in the playoffs. I know that should make them look good. But, to me, it makes me unsure if they are really good enough to beat the teams that are the best.
When it comes down to it, The Celtics have proven they are the best team in the NBA, when healthy. They only are going to get better as Kendrick Perkins slowly makes his way back into the swing of things. They have the recipe to be the best team in the NBA and win another NBA title. Rajon Rondo is the best assisting point guard in the league, averaging 12.5 assists a game. The Big Three are a fantastic core that offer experience, leadership, scoring, and defense. They have the kind of bench that will win them some big games down the stretch with players like, Shaq, Big Baby, Marquis Daniels, and Nate Robinson. To me, the most over looked component Boston has is Doc Rivers. He is a fantastic coach and motivator. He preaches hard work, defense, and togetherness. Doc is what keeps everything together for Boston and He is on of the biggest reasons why the Celtics are the best team in the NBA and on the road towards another possible raised banner.