Well, after 149 long days, the NBA lockout finally appears to be coming to an end, with the owners and players reaching a tentative agreement in New York this past weekend.
If all goes as planned and the agreement is agreed to by all parties in the coming week or so, training camp and free agency will begin on December 9 and a 66-game regular season will begin on December 25, with the Boston Celtics playing on Christmas Day against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
With a new season of basketball comes a whole host of new issues, especially for the aging Boston Celtics. The Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen will all return for what could very well be the once-and-for-all final chance for this current group of players to bring the 18th Championship banner to TD Garden.
They'll have a supporting cast yet to be fully completed, but we won't know much more until free agency begins on December 9.
Even with such little to go on, we're already getting a better idea of the hurdles facing the Celtics this season. We'll run down their biggest issues heading into their 2011-12 campaign here.