Road to Celtics 17th championshipPosted by Inside Hoops
Ticker reports: Their odyssey to a league-record 17th crown began long before being stuck on the tarmac on their charter jet late Sunday night in Los Angeles. It began after they finished the 2006-07 season with just 24 wins. It continued when they failed to land one of the top two picks in the draft and had to settle for the fifth pick last summer. But their fortunes started to turn when director of basketball operations Danny Ainge traded that pick, along with Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak to Seattle for Ray Allen. Then, Ainge pulled off the blockbuster deal with former teammate and current Minnesota Timberwolves basketball chief Kevin McHale. Ainge acquired Kevin Garnett and had a new “Big Three” in place. The team didn’t disappoint. That’s not to say there weren’t scares along the way. Seven-game series with the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers had fans and experts questioning the 66-win season. But the Celtics finally won a road game against the Detroit Pistons and eliminated them in six games in the Eastern Conference finals.