2013 NBA Playoffs Previews and Predictions: (2) New York Knicks vs. (7) Boston Celtics

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Jan. 7, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics power forward Kevin Garnett (5) dribbles around New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Boston won 102-96. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The ACL injury Rajon Rondo sustained cast a cloud over what many were looking at as possibly the last run of this Celtics squad. The C’s had just seen Ray Allen bolt for South Beach, dismantling one-third of their original Big Three (before Rondo made it a Big Four). Jeff Green had slid in to replace Kendrick Perkins as a rotation player, and while he offers a lot more offensively, Perk had been Boston’s 5-man and solid anchor for four seasons. KG was not happy.

The Celtics really were looking to make one last run, and no one is entirely sure what Danny Ainge will do after this season. There’d been speculation of Rajon Rondo trades, and even Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are subject to being dealt. KG stated he and Pierce were a package deal, but Ainge can’t sell Celtics fans on the hopes of just retaining great talent that wanes into retirement.

They need to focus on their future, and this potential series against the Knicks could be nothing more than a prelude into their new phase of franchise development: from a 2008 title team to a 2014 lottery team.

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Tags: Boston Celtics Carmelo Anthony J.R. Smith Kevin Garnett Nba Playoffs New York Knicks Paul Pierce Popular Rajon Rondo