Was this it? Was this the way the Big Three era would come to a close for the Boston Celtics?
Ray Allen took his bow this past offseason. It was only a matter of time before the oft-injured Paul Pierce and the aging Kevin Garnett followed suit.
After the Celtics lost four straight games and eight of 10, one had to wonder if it was the beginning of the end of the latest resurgence in the franchise’s storied history.
It certainly was not supposed to be this way.
Prior to the season, the thought of the Celtics missing the playoffs was almost laughable. Boston was included in nearly every preseason top five. If there was a team that was going to dethrone the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference, it was going to be the Celtics.
Yet their postseason chances were fading a little bit more with every minute Jason Collins registered on the court.
How did they get there?
You could start with the team’s lousy perimeter defense. Or maybe it was Boston's deficiencies on the glass. Some would even suggest it was the absence of a true center.
Whatever the case, Boston’s ship was sinking, and sinking fast.
Fast forward to Friday night.
By the way the Celtics thumped the Indiana Pacers, 94-75, you could not tell that they were a team three games under .500. For a night, they looked deserving of all the preseason hype that surrounded them.
Boston shot well, defended impeccably and even came away with a 49-47 edge in rebounds. It was an all-around excellent performance by the team.
It also implied that these Celtics are not ready to raise the white flag anytime soon.
In fact, their best might still be yet to come.
Here are five reasons Boston will turn its season around.