If one team is a role model for young teams looking to develop through heart, hustle and effort then the Celtics are the best role models around. They came together as separate pieces in 2007 and immediately won a championship because they came together as a team. The Celtics are the definition of a team. The looks on their faces, and the tears in their eyes told the whole story when their leaders, their big 4 exited game 7 against Miami. They knew, and we know, their dynasty is over.
Paul Pierce is still under contract, Rajon Rondo is still under contract but Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett are free agents this summer. Both of them have stated that ideally, they would like to retire as Celtics. Which raises the question, do they retire or risk going to another team for the last few years of their careers. They both have something left. Kevin Garnett played some of the best basketball he’s ever played throughout these playoffs. Some even said that was a result of the motivation of possible retirement if the season failed. Ray Allen has still been dealing with injuries and looks like he’s winding down, but he’s an invaluable three point shooter and floor spreader. If they want to retire as members of the Celtics then I think they have to retire this summer. The Celtics are not going to resign them because they are now heading into a rebuilding phase, and can’t waiste money on veterans. They can still be a big part to any team who would sign them, but if they want to be a Celtic for life and knowing the heart of Garnett and Allen they probably will be, they won’t sign with any other team. Maybe having the opportunity to retire together will be more appealing for the duo.
Another question that may want to be raised is Avery Bradley didn’t play against the Heat. He is one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA and could’ve posed as a great defensive threat against Wade and Chalmers. I wonder if he had been healthy could the Celtics have been able to finish the series off. With his addition they get another three point shooter, another amazing defender, increased energy and increased depth. Ray Allen could’ve come off the bench, where he has proven more effective against the second unit of the Heat. If he had been healthy with the existing Celtic team they could’ve reached the Finals. In that case, maybe KG and Ray Allen should be resigned for another year or two. Then again they struggled through the regular season and barely got past the 76’ers, so I may just be looking on the bright-side and trying to create a world where the Celtic core can stick together for longer.
Even though the rebuilding period is ahead of them, they have some nice young pieces to possibly begin the next dynasty. Jeff Green will be healthy next year, Avery Bradley is a great player. Brandon Bass has proved consistent, Mikael Pietrus is a solid shooter, Keyon Dooling is an amazing on ball defender. They have some pieces to carry them forward, along with Pierce and Rondo. Not all is lost.
If i’m right about the retirement of Allen and Garnett then the Celtics have a tough job to do. Especially Danny Ainge who now has to put together a whole new roster for the future. They can start with the 21st and 22nd picks in the draft. One of which they could trade for a big man this summer considering Garnett retires. It’s really sad to see this team break-up but it was inevitable and like the great Dr Seuss once said, don’t cry cause it’s over, smile because it happened.