Without Allen -No KG?Thanks to Kevin McHale, the Boston Celtics have gone from a laughing stock to one of the favorites to reach the NBA finals. When the Celtics acquired Ray Allen at the NBA draft, all the NBA insiders questioned the acquisition. Well if the Celtics didn’t acquire Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett would not be a Boston Celtic. Garnett said during his press conference yesterday that when the Celtics acquired Ray Allen, he made up his mind that a Paul Pierce – Ray Allen – Kevin Garnett combo would give him the best chance to reach the NBA finals.

Team to beat: What’s going to make the trio of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett such a force this season is all three play different styles. The balance of power in the JV league they call the Eastern Conference has shaken. In my opinion Detroit is the best team in the East and I’m not ready to put Boston at the top just yet but if they add a couple role players they will be the team to beat.

Rumors: According to the Boston Herald, the Celtics are looking at four point guards and five big men as they try to find the right players to support their talented trio. Eddie House, Troy Hudson, Brevin Knight and Charlie Bell are reportedly on the point guard list. Bell is a restricted free agent, which makes his situation a little different (Milwaukee can match any offer he gets). Hudson had his contract bought out by the Timberwolves yesterday, making him a free agent. The Celtics main target appears to be Brevin Knight. As for big men, Doc Rivers said the Celts are “very interested” in Dikembe Mutombo as a backup center, while P.J. Brown, Michael Ruffin, Calvin Booth and Scot Pollard are also under consideration. — Source Boston Herald

What now for Kobe Bryant: Courtesy of the LA Times, “Adding Kevin Garnett to Ray Allen and Paul Pierce is a coup for the Celtics, but it also figures to increase the likelihood that Kobe Bryant will step up his efforts to force his way out of Los Angeles, according to a source.”
With the options to appease him dwindling, the next step for Bryant will be to threaten a training camp holdout and follow through on it by failing to show up when the Lakers open camp Oct. 8 in Hawaii. — Source Newsday & LA Times