Repeat performance for the Celtics

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers is picking his team to repeat as NBA champions and raise their 18th championship banner.

But the west is loaded. The Lakers should be the favorite, but don’t count out the Spurs, Jazz, Hornets, and Rockets (if Yao and T-Mac stay healthy.)

Not since Shaq and Kobe were together has there been so much chat about the NBA champions repeating. In a league where dynasties were once ordinary, the last six champs have been incapable of holding on to their titles. But if any team has the power at repeating as NBA champions, it’s definitely the Celtics.

Boston’s 2008-2009 circle will be very similar to last year’s squad with the exception of James Posey who signed with the Hornets in the off season.

The team’s major core is back this season as the “Big Three” of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen will once again try to gel with role players and get another trophy. They’ve done it once; they know how to do it again.

In a poll of the NBA’s general managers conducted by NBA.com, 46 percent of those responding picked the Los Angeles Lakers to win the championship this season. Just 19 percent picked the Celtics to repeat.

Rivers must not worry about that survey. The Celtics just have to be a better team than they were last year to win…and Doc has a bunch of guys willing to do that.