Say what you want about the Super Team, but Ray Allen ain’t scurred. (Boston Herald)
“We look forward to playing (Miami),” he said. “We feel like we’re the better team – the team to beat in the East. We definitely look forward to that matchup.”
Allen, however, agreed with the parallels that have been drawn between the construction of Miami and how the Celtics came together in the summer of 2007.
“That’s what happened here, and so much is being pointed to what we did here,” he said. “But the question is whether they’re ready to sacrifice – make the ultimate sacrifice. It’s not about numbers. It’s not about accolades. When we did this in `07 that’s what we all knew and what we all said. It didn’t matter. The question that was posed to us was who was going to take the last shot. We all said the guy who’s open. When you go through it you get so used to it. That first year I wouldn’t say was frustrating – it was an adjustment we all had to make.’’
That ultimate sacrifice Ray is talking about? It’s about far more than simply foregoing a little money. It’s about killing yourself every night to get stops. It’s about passing down open shots for even more open ones. It’s about taking a team trip to Rome and coining phrases like “Ubuntu.” It’s about Eddie House sprinting down loose balls he doesn’t have a prayer of grabbing. It’s about James Posey giving massive, homo-erotic man-hugs to the starters each and every night. And then? After all that? Sometimes you still need Paul Pierce to outduel the number one and number two scorers on the face of the planet.
The ’08 Celtics gelled faster than any NBA team has ever gelled. They made sacrifices like no one could believe. They had only one goal in mind. They pieced together one of the greatest defenses basketball has ever seen. And they STILL went seven games with their first two playoff opponents.
So maybe Ray’s right. Maybe the Celtics are still the favorites in the East. And if they aren’t?
Well, they aren’t as far behind as some folks would lead you to believe.