The Celtics may not be the oldest team in the league (the Lakers hold that title), but they definitely aren’t young. (Boston Globe)
Let the jokes begin.
Instead of a bench, the Celtics will have a couch. No, make that easy chairs and hassocks. All team meals will be Early Bird Specials. A typical player anecdote begins, “So I said to Dr. Naismith . . .’’
The 2010-11 Boston Celtics won’t be a basketball team. They will be a walking hoop museum. Among them, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Jermaine O’Neal have a combined total of 71 years of service, good for 5,655 regular-season and playoff games and 200,371 minutes. They have combined for 51 All-Star Game appearances. They have 10 All-NBA third-team selections, eight second-team selections, and 12 first-team selections. If honors and plaques were all that mattered, we could book the parade right now, Miami Heat or no Miami Heat.
It goes without saying, of course, that they also lead the league in O’Neals.
That’s a whole heap of miles the Celtics have got on those wheels. Luckily, the Celtics have improved the depth of their bench by retaining Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels, and adding Von Wafer, Jermaine O’Neal, and Shaq O’Neal. Perhaps Larry Hughes will join the fold.
Neither Jermaine O’Neal, nor Shaquille O’Neal, who both have knee troubles, will have to play more than 25 minutes per game. Last season, Kevin Garnett played the lowest mpg of his career since his rookie year, and that’s sure to stay put or go lower with an increased role for Glen Davis. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen’s minutes will probably go down with a healthy Marquis Daniels and an invigorated Von Wafer coming off the bench.
Hopefully, the depth of this team will keep those old wheels greased and the motor running late into June.