It's winning time for Boston says ex-Celtic Scalabrine
Philip Matel on Aug 23, 2018 05:27 PM
It's virtually championship or bust for the Boston Celtics, says ex-Celtic Brian Scalabrine.
With the departure of LeBron James to the Western Conference, and his clout in the East gone, now is the time for the Boston Celtics to grab the opportunity and win next year's NBA championship, says ex-Celtic and current analyst Brian Scalabrine.
A member of the 2008 NBA champion team Celtics, Scalabrine and former All-Star Tim Hardaway, Sr. are here in the country to grace the NBA 3X Philippines event on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena Music Hall.
Scalabrine, who also played for the New Jersey Nets and the Chicago Bulls, mentioned that it's virtually championship or bust for the Eastern Conference runners-up, as the team was six minutes away from their 22nd NBA Finals apperance, even without All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving, who both suffered season-ending injuries.
"We only care one thing in Boston. That is putting Banner 18 up there. Even if they go to the Finals and lose to the Warriors, it's still a disappointing year. It's just where these guys are at now. So, we want, the fans, the media, everyone, go ahead, bring the expectations up. This team right now, the personnel that they have, the coach, the assets that they have, they should be looking at putting [up] a banner," the ex-pro said in an interview at the NBA Philippines office in Taguig.
The man affectionately known by basketball fans as the 'White Mamba' pointed out the versatility of the lineup of the Celtics, as the team is comprised mostly of what head coach Brad Stevens designates as 'wings', swingmen that can handle the ball, shoot, and switch on defense.
He added that the return of Hayward and Irving could do wonders for youngsters Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, who both made their mark in the playoffs last season.
Even if the Celtics would have won Game 7 of the 2018 East Finals in Boston, they would still likely not have had a chance against the dynastic Golden State Warriors, who swept James and the Cavs in four games. What he assures though, is that the team would not have been swept.
With All-Star DeMarcus Cousins now in the Warriors' fold, Scalabrine -- who was with the Warriors as an assistant under then-coach Mark Jackson in the 2013-14 season, warns that Golden State's biggest opponent are not other teams -- but themseves.
"[The] Warriors are on a whole new level now. I would love to have this interview in February or March, because the biggest thing the Warriors have to fight is complacency. And it's hard. Day in and day out, it's hard to stay on top."
He clarified though that the two-time defending champs can easily steal control of any game in the blink of an eye.
With the 3X Finals slated this weekend, Scalabrine even verbally committed to joining ABS-CBN Sports' 3X3 squad along with Anton Roxas, and vowed to entertain the crowd in the Celebrity Game.
"So, yes, I am excited to seeing the style of play, I'm exciting to seeing these young kids, but the end of the day, the White Mamba wants to put on a show at the Celebrity Game! I'm trying to leave a lasting impression when I come here. Not to be on the sideline, but to be in the game."
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