Now, he’s put down the Celtics hopes of contending for a title.
Asked to compare these Celtics to the 2008 champs, Lakers forward Pau Gasol said: “Three years older and three years later.”
Gasol’s math might be a little off, but he’s clearly hesitant about labeling the Celtics as a legitimate title contender. “They have to prove it themselves,” Gasol said. “It’s going to be tough. They got Orlando. They got Atlanta. They’ve struggled against Atlanta this year and got swept there. They got Cleveland, of course. You can make your own conclusions there.”
Three years older and three years later, Pau? Less than two years after the Celtics smoked the Lakers by 39 points to win the NBA championship, time in Pau’s world apparently travels pretty quickly.
Boston has started to look good since returning from a needed All-Star break, and boasts a three-game winning streak, all on the road. The C’s aren’t the favorites, but are certainly one of a handful of teams with the talent and experience to challenge for a ring.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are another of those teams. Already the NBA’s best team, record-wise at least, the Cavs picked up Antawn Jamison to fortify their frontcourt and add another scorer to their lineup.
But the Celtics don’t seem too worried.
“We worry about Celtics around here,” Kevin Garnett told the Boston Herald. “We worry about what’s going on in Boston. We don’t have time to be keeping up with what everybody else is doing. As a matter of fact, I haven’t even had a conversation with one guy on our team about that. I don’t even think that’s come up in here. Teams are going to do what they’re going to do, and that’s out of our control. Our control is what we do in this locker room.”
Paul Pierce echoed Garnett’s thoughts, while saying that the Cavs didn’t need Jamison to be elite.
“I mean, the Cavs were a bigger challenge with LeBron. Regardless of if Jamison is there, they still have the best record (in the NBA). They just added more depth, added another All-Star. So they should be the favorite the way everybody looks at it.
“But we’re not worried about them right now. There will come a time we’re worried about them. Right now we’re focused on us.”
Maybe Pau Gasol should just focus on his guys too. You know, so he can reflect on his team’s loss to the Celtics two nights ago.
The Celtics may be getting old fast, but it’s Kobe Bryant who’s now missing a bunch of games due to injury.