After the 85-86 season, the last year Boston won the championship, the Celtics have been anything but dominant.From the 1986-87 season to the 2006-07 season, the Celtics record was 837-853.They made the playoffs 11 times during those years only advancing to 3 Eastern Conference Finals (87,88,02).They won 5 division championships with the most recent being 2005.In the off-season of the 2003-2004 the now publicly owned team hires ex-Celtic player Danny Ainge as Executive Director of Basketball Operations.Since then Ainge as tried the "youth movement" which wasn't very successful.Many of the players selected have been traded away with the exception of a few.But as we have found out this season, those trades have finally paid dividends.
After suffering their worse season since 98-99, Danny Ainge and the Celtics organization finally said enough is enough.Paul Pierce the only Celtics player left on the team from before Danny Ainge took over, reportedly told the team "either get me a premier player to play with,or i want to be traded."I guess Ainge listened, and listened real well.The first big move was the acquisition of SG Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics. The Celtics in my opinion, didn't give up much to get the seven time All-Star and the rights to rookie Glen Davis F/C from LSU trading PG Delonte West,SG Wally Szczerbiak, and the rights to their First Rd Draft Pick Jeff Green F from Georgetown.Celtics fans were optimistic about the trade but as they learned during the summer, that wasn't the last trade they would make.After many rumors of Garnett being traded to Boston, the rumors were then turned into reality.Boston shipped Al Jefferson the most successful of the youth movement players, Ryan Gomes,Gerald Green ,Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, their first rd pick and Cash for Garnett.Minnesota also received a first rd draft pick back from the Celtics that the had traded 2 years before for Szczerbiak and Ricky Davis.Now Pierce had the premier players he wanted around him.Shortly after, Boston signed free agents James Posey and Eddie House.
So here we are 58 games in to the season and the Celtics have the best record in the NBA (46-12).Although Pierce,Garnett, and Allen's statistics decline a little, they continue to flourish as a team.Two year PG Rajon Rondo who was drafted by the Suns in 2006 came to Boston with a draft day trade.He is starting to show signs of being a great PG with the help of the players around him.The person that may have benefited the most by the Garnett trade is C Kendrick Perkins.As the season has progressed, Perkins has become a very solid Center when he stays out of foul trouble. Garnett opens the floor up allowing Perkins to get more rebounds and score more points.He's not a tremendously talented player, but he has grown in leaps and bounds since he has first started for the Celtics.The team recently signed veterans PJ Brown and Sam Cassell to make their bench deeper than it is.Rookie Glen "Big baby" Davis has been a real big surprise using his larger body to do such a great job on the boards.He won't wow you with his statistical line but its the little things he does right that stands out the most.With the "Big 3",Rondo,Perking and a solid bench, the Celtics look to restore their greatness and get the Celtic back where it once was before.