Boston Celtics fans have been donning their “Brad Stevens For President” T-Shirts for a few years now. Ignoring for a moment the fact that any functioning adult would be a better choice than the clown currently seated in the White House, the New Englanders may have a point. It’s just four years since this photo of the sad looking trio of Keith Bogans, Marshon Brooks and Kris Humphries signalled the end of the Doc Rivers era and the start of a Danny Ainge led rebuilding job that looks to be bearing fruit quicker than anybody expected.
Showing you don’t have to alienate sections of your fan base and anger the rest of the league in order to retool, a’ la Philadelphia. Boston have remained competitive and look poised to be a contender for the foreseeable future. After Gordon Hayward went down on opening night and the team started out 0-2, not even Tommy Heinsohn would have been positive enough to predict the C’s would rip off twelve straight wins and have the leagues best record. Barring a shock loss in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, Boston will welcome the Champion Warriors into town on Thursday as the leagues top dogs. Stevens has managed to outfox the dubs a couple of times over the past two seasons and took them into double overtime in another loss. Purists can look forward to Kerr & Stevens going head to head for title of “Wizard Of The After Time Out Inbounds Play”.
The Rockets have been similarly steam rolling all in their path out West and welcome Toronto before a weekend visit to play Memphis for what seems like the 10th time already this season. With Chris Paul’s return imminent, the chemistry doctors will be keeping an eye on Houstons body language for any sign of him upsetting the apple cart.
Monday night sees the suddenly entertaining Knicks hosting the hit and miss Cavs with Lebron already throwing Phil Jackson motivated hand grenades in the direction of rookie Frank Ntilikina. James usually likes to put on a show at MSG and the Knicks are one of the slowest teams in the league pace wise, which should bode well for the Cavs flakey transition defence. The temptation to back Cleveland is high and we’ll be doing just that at -5.
Again we aim to be your guide to viewing the NBA in the UK. Strap in for another week kids.