Who are the Boston Celtics?
That was the million dollar question throughout the first half of the 2012-13 season.
The Celtics began training camp in Europe as a team eager to take on the NBA. As games progressed, though, they became a club struggling to find consistency night in and night out. It was during an unforeseen stretch of three season-ending injuries that they really began to form an identity on the court.
The C's enter the All-Star break 28-24 (seventh in the Eastern Conference). They are 8-1 since losing Rajon Rondo and have hit their stride rallying together in the face of adversity.
So who is this team that is turning their season around? The Celtics dubbed their own nicknames to describe their squad in the first half.
Courtney Lee: "'Young Riders,' we just ride it out. 'Remember the Titans.' I'm just going to throw out a lot of nicknames. 'The Glory Roaders,' just facing obstacles, adversity. Players going down, we're still rallying and pushing forward. 'Sunset Parkers.' We're 'Above the Rimmers.' All of them. Quote me on all of them."
Jason Collins: "'The men from 300.' One goes down, another one has to keep going. We're like spartan warriors. You follow your general and you fight to the bitter end. In the movie the general is Leonidas, here it's Doc (Rivers). Doc's the general and we all keep fighting."
Jeff Green: "'The Celtics.' (That name means) we're a storied franchise that never gives up, that plays until the end."
Brandon Bass: "'The Spartans.' We're warriors. When someone goes down, somebody else steps up. We're never losing any type of confidence in what we can do as a team, even with one of our best players going down. You saw that from the coach, that he didn't lose a bit of confidence in us as a unit. We're a group that's definitely tough minded."
Fab Melo: "'The 300s.' We've battled a lot. We've been through tough times, playing through injuries. But we're still battling and finishing strong."