Everybody knows it.
The fans know, the media knows it and even the team knows it. The Celtics are aging, and the coach wants time out of the game. This is the last run for the big three.
Regardless what happens these next two games, it's unlikely all the individuals involved will return. Paul Pierce and Ray Allen both have options, and Doc Rivers has a Bill Cowher like situation. With nagging injuries, Kevin Garnett might not have much left in the tank.
This team was assembled just three years ago, after drawing number five in the NBA lottery. Once a Kevin Garnett deal fell through, Ray Allen was brought to Beantown and Garnett followed. 2008 had no challenge, crushing everybody in the path to an NBA title. In 2009, Kevin Garnett's knee couldn't hold up. Coming in, The Celtics were too old, and after a historic 25-4 start the Celtics, collapsed. A .500 record and a number four seed symbolized what many thought was a first round exit.
After defeating the Heat, they said the Celtics beat a one man team. No way would the Celtics, a old team needed to be put out of their misery, take out the almighty Cavaliers. LeBron was not to be stopped on his mission to get his first ring. Shaq and Mo were the king's supporting cast who claimed to win a ring for the king... that promise fell through after three straight losses.
Surely superman and company, looking as strong as ever would advance to the NBA Finals, but that was a mission the Celtics ended once again.
Now, a team that was supposed to be bounced in the first round, is one win away from a 18th NBA Championship, and this group's last.