Celtics Beagle Editorial, October, 2002
I've received a few requests to change predictions--downward.  It saddened me to see the initial enthusiasm for the Celtics wither under what could be charitably described as rotten roster moves in the offseason, which are the fault entirely of soon-to-be-former owner Gaston.  This was compounded by a couple of rough preseason games that unfortunately showed where the Celtics needed more work.

The thing is, that I think people are backsliding to the bad old days of Rick Pitino.  They're nervous, and with good reason.  Face it, last season, when we had the players we miss now, the Celtics had a few stinkeroonies during the course of the year.  Last Seaosn, we were 1-1 with Minnesota, and both games were decided by a three point margin.  The Nets killed us in two preaseason efforts this year.  No different from the last May, when they took us 4 games to 2 after we went 3-1 against them during the regular season.

Last season we lost one of our games against Miami by 23 points. We lost TWO games to the Chicago Bulls.  We were 1-3 against the Hornets and Philly.  0-2 against Sacramento.  Things like that can really kill your season.  But the Celtics also beat LA--TWICE.  The Celtics went to Philly and showed the Truth was better than the Answer.  They went to Detroit and showed Mr. "Defensive Player of the Year" and his buddies how they do things in the North End.

All that after every expert--including the father in law of the Celtics' Head Coach--predicted the C's would make an early exit from the playoffs.  That is, among those few who gave Boston any chance of getting THAT far.

I remember Antoine Walker expressing his gratitude for Coach O'Brien showing up at a family funeral.  After that, he said, "He knows I've got his back."  Speaking for myself, fans are the ones that support the team, even when things are rough.  They play for us, and we root for them.  I don't hear Jim O'Brien bitching that Kenny Anderson and Rodney Rogers are gone.  He's given his wholehearted support to the guys who are there.  And he's expressed confidence in their ability to do what needs doing.  No, it's not what he would have preferred.  But it's what he has, and he's going to dig in and try to make it work.

I miss Kenny and Rodney too.  But you know what?  I think, that if they put their backs to the wall and come out fighting like last year, they can go the distance.

That's why, with nothing personal against those who might be more realistic in their assessment of the Boston Celtics, I don't like downward predicitons.  I'm too big a fan, maybe too much silliness, maybe I'm just not willing to see the truth in the face of The Truth.  But I refuse to give in to nervousness.

60 wins and Banner #17.  That's my prediction.

'Cause I got their backs.