The 2008 Boston Celtics were a team built for success. Former coach Doc Rivers says that his ’08 Celtics would beat his ’19 Clippers. Does Doc Rivers see similarities with the two teams?
The Boston Celtics have been through a number of rebuilds and retooling teams since winning an NBA championship in 2008. As all of Celtics Nation remembers – to give Paul Pierce a hand – Danny Ainge put together trade packages that brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
The Celtics had the draft rights to Kentucky’s flashy and tricky point guard, Rajon Rondo. Danny Ainge had his eyes on Rondo for a long time, so when the opportunity came, Ainge didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
Doc Rivers knew by throwing a flashy and tricky point guard into the starting line-up, alongside a veteran in Kendrick Perkins, he would have the blueprint to a championship team. The ‘08 Celtics finished the regular season with a record of 66-16, finishing 1st in the Atlantic Division.
Each player on the team provided something unique to the team. Paul Pierce was the fan favorite who could do it all. Ray Allen was the shooter. Kevin Garnett was the leader and controlled the defense. Kendrick Perkins handled the mess of bodies down low under the basket. Rajon Rondo controlled the floor in almost a Bob Cousy type of way.
From the starters all the way through the bench, each player on the ’08 Celtics was intricately picked and that’s why it was able to work so well for the C’s. Now fast forward 11 years to 2019, the only member of the ‘08 championship team that is left is Danny Ainge.
Doc Rivers became the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers in 2013. He has led the Clippers to the post season in 5 of the 6 years he has been the head coach. Doing so with not the greatest set of talent (in comparison to the rest of the NBA), Rivers has come out successful.
This season is going to be a lot different for Doc Rivers and the Clippers. The Los Angeles Clippers were able to sign both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Leonard is coming off a championship season with the Toronto Raptors and is a 2x Finals MVP. Paul George is coming off one of his best season, in which he averaged 28ppg last season.
Doc Rivers, one of the more humble coaches in the league, said in a recent interview that his ’08 Celtics team would beat his ’19 Clippers team:
“I think so, and it’s because of the mental toughness of that group. That was a very skilled, very deep team, and the depth made them so special. When you think of the Celtics, you think of ‘The Big Three’ [Paul Pierce, Garnett, and Allen], but that doesn’t include [Rajon] Rondo or Perk [Kendrick Perkins], who were both phenomenal players. Or Eddie House, Tony Allen, James Posey, PJ Brown, Glen Davis, or Leon Powe. That was a deep basketball team. Team’s aren’t as deep now.”
Doc Rivers is a fan favorite for the Boston Celtics. He brought a championship to the city and the fans. It is great to know that the ’08 championship Celtics are still thought about 11 years later. Maybe he sees similarities between the two teams. We’ll have to wait for the season to see how his team comes together.
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