These (current) Boston Celtics probably won't win another championship. But they might. You can't say it's likely. But you can't say it's unlikely. They're not favorites and they're not underdogs. If they win the next championship it won't be surprising. But if they don't, I guess it would be less surprising. No one will pick them to win it, but they can win it if everything goes right. But their most important players are old, so everything probably won't go right.
Boston has the most to lose from a prolonged lockout, and the most to gain from a shortened season. Maybe. If the whole season is lost, they're at a huge disadvantage. This lineup isn't getting any younger. They still have a shot at a championship. But that window will probably close after next season - maybe it can be propped open until the end of the season after that. But if next season is held when the season after is supposed to be, they're facing that closing window that will be all but shut. But a shortened season could be an advantage, depending on how the NBA structures it. If it's like the '99 season it may not be so advantageous. In '99 they crammed in 50 (or so) games where 50 (or so) games normally wouldn't fit. Four games in five or six days and back-to-back-to-backs aren't good for old legs. But if the shortened season is more reasonably spaced, it could be great for Boston. For the last few seasons they have been almost unbeatable before the all-star game. If the whole season was as long as half a season and there is less time for burn outs, break downs, and injuries, the Celtics would be in great shape for a title run. But, again, it depends on when the season would start and how many games would be played. So along with us fans, the lower-paid players, and Cam's penis, the Celtics probably have the most at stake during this disgusting lockout.
Also, the Perkins-Green trade was terrible. Jeff Green isn't very good. Perkins, based on his playoff performance, doesn't seem very good either. But, he said it himself, he was playing at around 50%. But I think Perkins - a true, defensive, tough, imposing center - at 50% is better than what Green gave them and what he ever will give them. True centers are hard to come by. When you find them, you have to keep them. And the trade messed up their chemistry. I don't know how to prove that, and it shouldn't be an excuse - it's kind of pathetic how much it messed them up - but it's hard to deny that it had an effect. And now they're in a position where the trade gave them something they already had - wing players - and left them in a position where they have a huge hole. With Shaq and Perkins gone and Jermaine O'Neal's death five years ago, that hole is in the middle. I don't know what they're going to do to fill that hole, or if they already have (I can't remember, and this pathetic lockout is preventing me from looking it up on NBA.com) but it's their biggest problem and they brought it on themselves. How that hole is filled will determine the size of their championship window. It was open last year.
There is one positive thing to say about the trade. Ainge said he did it with an eye for the future (I still don't know why he wasn't thinking of the present when they had a shot at a championship, but I'm trying to be positive). That is actually good news. The specifics of the trade wasn't good news - Jeff Green isn't going to be the future of the franchise - but that attitude is good news. When the big three were put together they were already fairly old players. As a fan who became attached to the team in the Walter McCarty - Kenny Anderson years, I thought the setup was great. Boston would be in a position to have a few winning seasons. But I figured that would be it - once those guys passed their prime it would be back to the lottery. So Ainge deserves some credit, not only for putting together the championship team and this winning lineup, but for having a plan to perpetuate that success. So even if I don't agree with his latest move, he does deserve the benefit of the doubt. Maybe seeing a GM thinking for the future shouldn't be something I'm so excited about, but as a Raptors fan, I'm not used to it.