Judge David Johnson calls himself the Big Ticket when he plays pick-up basketball. No one else seems amused.
Our review of Boston Celtics: 2007-2008 NBA Champions, published November 15th, 2008, is also available.
"Anything is possib-l-l-l-l-l-l-le!"
I am a loyal Knicks fan. And, as such, I have been in a near-constant state of dismay for the last, oh, eight years. Early playoff exits, franchise-record-setting futility, sexual harassment cases, "Fire Isiah!" chants, Jerome James, Steve Francis, James Dolan's obliviousness, New York Post editorials decrying he sad state of a once-proud franchise—man it's been a lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ng time since the days of John Starks, Charles Oakley and Anthony Mason. I only bring this up because, since transplanting to New England nine years ago, I've finally been able to get a taste of what it's like to root for a winner—at least by proxy.
The Red Sox, the Patriots and, now, moist recently, the Celtics have all delivered the hardware to oft-suffering Northeast faithful. And as fun as it was to watch the former teams win their big ones, this last championship run by the Celtics was probably my favorite.
Basketball's my bag and watching a club that has fully subscribed to the team-first approach and employing fundamentals like defense and rebounding to win it all is a joy. Plus any team that can make a poseur like Sasha Vujajic throw a toddler-fit on the bench in front of the world is all right in my book.
If you've followed any of the NBA at all in the last year or so (and I fully grant that most of you will for good reason say no) then you're no doubt familiar with the dramatic turn-around of the Boston Celtics, chronicled on this disc. Last year, they sported the second-worst record in franchise history, had a disgruntled superstar in Paul Pierce and struck out in the draft by landing only the fifth pick. Then GM Danny Ainge made a pair of dazzling moves, which brought perennial All-Star Ray Allen and former MVO Kevin Garnett to Boston and the revitalized team, now a defense-focused juggernaut rolled through the 2007-2008 regular season, had a couple of close calls against the Hawks and Cavs, smacked down the powerhouse Pistons and proceeded to embarrass the heavily-favored Lakers in six games, punctuating their post-season romp with a near-40 point blowout against Kobe and the gang.
This story is told well in the hour-plus documentary, hitting all the major personnel moves, the coaching strategies and the player mentalities and supplementing it with interviews, candid behind-the-scenes B-roll and game footage. It's a solid documentary that dwells on the important moments—the surprising, character-testing Hawks series, Paul Pierce and Lebron James's epic Game 7 scoring duel, the amazing Game 4 comeback against the Lakers and, of course, the Game 6 clincher blowout.
A decent array of bonus features accompany the main program—the fourth quarters of Game 7 against Cleveland and Game 6 at Detroit, "I Am a Celtic" feature on the franchise, some recycled segments of Kevin Garnett's 1997 All-Star appearance and a Paul Pierce feature from 2002, Robert Parish talking about the "Big Three" he was a part of and the new "Big Three," a fairly moving conversation between Bill Russell and KG, another KG interview, a spot on Danny Ainge's wheeling and dealing and a Ray Allen PSA from NBA Cares.
One big downer: The main program receives a fake (non-anamorphic) widescreen transfer.
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