As the Celtics were going into the tunnel last night as time expired, Danny Ainge reached out and grabbed James Posey. It was literally one of the only times I’ve seen Danny this entire playoffs. Yes, he won Executive of the Year, but the much maligned Ainge still hasn’t received the credit he should from both C’s and league-wide fans.
It hasn’t only been the big moves to acquire KG and Ray – the Celtics wouldn’t be here today if Ainge hadn’t very strategically put the right pieces around them. Right now the James Posey, Eddie House, and PJ Brown signings couldn’t look better (Sam who?). The Leon Powe second round steal is making everyone forget about Ryan Gomes and the heat that Ainge took for choosing Rajon Rondo over Marcus Williams has completely vanished (don’t pretend like it didn’t happen) and has every Celtics fan forgetting the name “Sebastian Telfair.” Throw in a productive Big Baby and the drafting and the development of a serviceable center in Kendrick Perkins and the Celtics architecture looks extremely solid.
Last night represented the complete Ainge 2008 resume, with Posey, House, PJ, and Powe all playing extremely meaningful minutes and having huge roles in the victory. If the Celtics do in fact take the trophy, a whole lot of focus is going to be on the draft day deal for Ray and the blockbuster for KG, but it’s Ainge’s moves to put the rest of the pieces together that have put the Celtics on that next, championship, level.