The reaction has been almost unanimous… at least from everything I've seen and read out there: Without Kevin Garnett, the Celtics have no chance of repeating as NBA chance. Goodbye Banner 18 is a headline that pretty much sums up everyone's reaction.
I understand it. I know why people might say that. I just don't believe it.
You say goodbye Banner 18… I say hello to it.
Quite honestly, I've had enough of the doomsday, "woe-is-us" sentiment that exists all too much on the Celtics internets today. Accuse me of being the eternal optimist if you will. I see this as a hurdle, not a death sentence.
I know goddam well what KG means to this team. I also know goddam well that the Celtics, more than any other recent champion, are built on a TEAM concept. They are more than just one player. They run on more than KG's intensity. They have a defensive system that is built to run whether KG is in or out of the game. It runs on rotations and help. KG makes those rotations better and the help easier… but he doesn't make it happen by himself. They have an offensive system that doesn't rely on any one player to score. KG make scoring easier and the passing better… but he doesn't run the offense by himself.
Glen Davis and Leon Powe will be asked to step up and maybe do things they haven't done before. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will have to shoulder a little more of the load. Rajon Rondo will have to be at his best every night. The second unit is going to have to out play every other team's second unit.
Is it a tall order? Maybe. Can you see those things happening? Absolutely.
Don't get sucked into all the hype over Cleveland and Los Angeles. They are great teams, but they are not immortal. They have their flaws. And they're not the Champ. That 2008 banner hangs in Boston. And the Celtics… and we fans… aren't just going to hand it over, are we?
Hell no we're not. We're going to play our role too. We're going to make up for KG's intensity by making that building impossible for the other team. We'll be loud without the Garden jumbotron. When our team is down, we won't sit on our hands…. we'll get up and cheer louder.
Everyone is writing the Celtics off… which means we're going to be proving a lot of people wrong. I'm not sitting here and pulling the same crap Lakers fans pulled last year with the "if we only had Bynum." We're better than that. We're Celtics fans!
So follow Red's Army… follow Red's Army to freedom Banner 18.
Herald: Ubuntu must rule again | Celtics lose Ticket | Ainge suffers heart attack | Doc steady in rough C's | Scal keeps his head up | Davis, Powe eager to fill big shoes | Looking back at the Bulls | KG's new role: cheerleader | Globe: C's lose Garnett | Bob Ryan: Forget repeat, C's are already winners | Reaction to KG varies | Time for subs to rise up | Silence was not the ticket | Harsh reminder of fleeting excellence | First round playoff schedule | Souza: Word of KG's condition not greatly exaggerated | Garnett will miss postseason | Pierce: We're still capable of winning a championship