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Celtics all-time Elite-8, one game, today's NBA - who ya got?

 It's Fantasy Time in Boston. Pick an Elite Eight, all-time Celtics players to win one game in the current NBA landscape. 

We are talking only eight players, so versatility plays a major role. My selections are also based on size, quickness, athleticism, scoring, rebounding, defense, rim protection, passing skills, ball handling, intensity and desire. Not asking much - right? I looked for Season MVP and Finals MVP Awards. Feel free to disagree (courteously please). There are no right or wrong answers here.

Bill Russell: 5X MVP

Bill checks all of the above boxes, with the exception of "scoring". He always had more rebounds than points, and he was a 5X MVP. Any questions? 

Dave Cowens: 1X MVP

As Russell's substitute, Dave wasn't quite the rebounder or rim protector that Bill was, but Big Red was a better scorer, and was quicker and more-athletic than most younger fans would know. His fire and intensity are rarely matched in Celtics history. 

Larry Bird: 3X MVP, 2X Finals MVP

You may ask how a not-very-quick, not-particularly-athletic white guy would be so effective in today's game. My answer is that, not only does Larry check the rest of the boxes, he does it in bold, dark ink. He was that good, and would be today.

Dennis Johnson: 1X Finals MVP

If you didn't get to see Dennis in Seattle or Phoenix, you may not realize just how remarkably-athletic he was. In Boston, he adapted his game to the BIG 3 and shared the backcourt with known gunner, Danny Ainge. I would want this guy on my team anytime. Just ask Bird about him.

John Havlicek: 1X Finals MVP

"Jarrin' John" was one of the top 2-way players in NBA history. He starred with the Celtics over two decades. He did whatever was necessary to win games. Russ loved him. So did most Celtics fans. Averaged big minutes over his career for a reason. 

Kevin Garnett: 1X MVP

Kevin is not on my list simply because his number-5 is being retired today. He literally changed the Celtics culture in a positive way when he was brought to Boston by Danny Ainge. All this guy ever wanted was to win. Without him, there would not have been Banner #17 hanging in The Garden. "Mister Intensity".

JoJo White: 1X Finals MVP

Are you surprised by this? My followers may notice that I have included the BIG-3 from the 70's, Hondo, Big Red and JoJo. If you were one of the many empty seats in the Old Garden or didn't choose to watch JoJo on TV, let me tell you, this man was very, very good and a clutch performer.

Jayson Tatum: To be determined

This is not my simple nod to the modern NBA, but JT is for real. He has achieved superstar status and is currently ranked number-6 in the NBA MVP Ladder. He scores from everywhere - rebounds with authority - defends at a high level - has learned to move without the ball and to get it to his comrades. Leaving Paul Pierce and Kevin McHale (and some others) out of the running was tough, but I truly believe Jayson belongs here to pair with former Celtics legends.

There it is! What Elite Eight have you got? 


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