The Boston Celtics sit one win away from reaching their third NBA finals since the “Big 3″ was formed in 2008. Whether they finish the Heat off in game 6 or 7, or heck, even if they choke and end up losing those two games, the Boston Celtics have produced a “Season Without Reason” that all fans are proud of and can appreciate.
The lock-out shortened season was nothing less than a circus. September came and went and there was no new CBA. October came and went with nothing agreed upon the NBA and the players union. November slowly ticked by, but by the end of the month a deal was in place to start the season on December 25th, 2011.
The veterans of the Celtics were shocked a season was upon them. They believed there was no chance a season would exist after the union decertified.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce came into a shortened training camp out of shape. During physicals at training camp, Jeff Green, who the Celtics acquired in the Perkins trade with OKC, was diagnosed with a season-ending heart issue that required surgery. Pierce ended up injuring his heel and sat out a few games at the beginning of the season. Rajon Rondo hurt hist wrist and missed a few weeks. Half way through the season, Jermaine O’Neal aggravated his wrist he hurt the previous year and had season-ending surgery. Chris Wilcox, who underwent regular heart exams, was diagnosed with the same heart condition as Jeff Green and underwent season-ending surgery. Ray Allen developed bone spurs in his ankle and missed time. Avery Bradley came out of no where to overtake Allen’s starting spot, but suffered from multiple shoulder separations throughout the season and underwent playoff-ending surgery during the Philadelphia series.
Through all the hurdles thrown the Celtics way during the lock-out shortened season, they shockingly overcame each and everyone of them surprising fans, but “experts” even more.
The Celtics were reported as “over-the-hill” upon entering the All-Star break two games under .500 (15-17). No one gave the team a chance.
They were deemed “too old” to compete with the elite competition. They weren’t going to make the play-offs. People were talking about the Celtics crashing so hard they would be in line for a lottery pick to kick start the rebuilding process.