Take that in for a minute. It has been 16 years since the Celtics cracked the half-century mark. I was a sophmore at UConn when it happened. That, my friends, is an eternity ago.
The team that year went 51-31 and was led by the troika of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. Bird was wracked by injuries that year, his last in the NBA as a player. He played in only 45 games that year but still averaged over 20 points and nine rebounds per game while shooting over 92% from the charity stripe. McHale played off the bench and chipped in 14 points per game. The rest of the squad was a rotation that included, among others, John "Bags" Bagley, Kevin Gamble, Reggie Lewis, Rick Fox, Brian Shaw and "Easy" Eddie Pinckney.
Yes, it was an eternity ago. The Celtics would go on to sweep the Pacers in the first round before dropping a seven-game series to Cleveland in the semis. Then Bird retired, Alaa Abdelnaby and Xavier McDaniel came in and that was that.
16 years later, the Celtics look ready to surpass the record of that 91-92 team. At 50-12 they should easily pass 51 wins and make a solid run at 60+, putting them in the rarefied air of those dominant 80s Celtic teams.
I cannot say again how stupid I was to oppose the trade for KG as long as I did. He was the spark plug this team needed. Add the deadly shooting of Ray Allen, the established greatness of Paul Pierce and the inspired play of Rondo and Perkins...well, the NBA is finally relevant in Boston again. The pain of the Carr and Pitino Eras has been (mostly) erased from our collective memory.