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A TRIBUTE
Jack McCallum
June 25, 2008
THAT OLD GREEN MAGIC IS BACK IN BOSTON
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June 25, 2008

A Tribute

THAT OLD GREEN MAGIC IS BACK IN BOSTON

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The Big Three took Rivers's words to heart, as did Rondo and the fifth starter, center Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics got out of the gate fast, which didn't stop the doubters. Yeah, well, wait till they take a trip to the West Coast, everyone said; and then they won four in a row out there, including an eye-opening 110-91 win over the Lakers on Dec. 30. Then in mid-March they swept the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets and the Dallas Mavericks, certifying themselves as a championship-caliber team with their Texas Three-Step. Boston finished the season at 66-16, the best franchise record since the last championship year (1986), earning home court advantage throughout the postseason.

Still, the doubts remained. They needed seven games to dispose of the Atlanta Hawks in the first round and another full complement to show LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers the playoff exit? Surely the experienced Detroit Pistons will take care of them. O.K., Detroit went down in six, but certainly Kobe Bryant and the offensive-minded Lakers will....

In the end, though, no one could stop the Celtics on the road to their 17th title. The journey was short but sweet and began, as so many journeys do, from a wellspring of disappointment. Hey, nobody in this town cares much for Ping-Pong anyway.

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