Could this be the final run?
With a roster full of veterans, the 2010-11 season may be the last, best chance for this core group of Celtics to bring banner No. 18 to Boston.
A look at the roster shows that, if all goes as planned, the C's certainly have what it takes to make a run, with a group of players that know how to win.
After all, all five starters remain from their title team of 2008, and the group from a season ago that was within five minutes of hoisting the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy last season.
Add to that one of the greatest winners of his generation — Shaquille O'Neal — and it is a squad that isn't afraid of a fight.
But, for ever positive, there is a lingering question for this team.
Are the trio of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett young and spry enough to carry the load? Is Rajon Rondo an All-Star, or a superstar? Will Kendrick Perkins heal quickly, and will Delonte West and Nate Robinson be stable enough to be counted upon?
Only time will tell.
Age/season: 35/15th season
2009-10: 16.3 points, 2.6 assists in 80 games
Best-case scenario: His NBA-record eight 3-pointers in a Finals game show he can still be deadly. He stays youthful, finding shots and defending when called upon, with the security of a new contract.
Worst-case scenario: His horrific 0-for-15 run in the three games following the record-setter show he's grown into a streaky player. His 3-point percentage a year ago was the worst of his career.
2009-10 (Texas): 11.6 points, 1.3 steals in 32 games
Best-case scenario: A dogged defender who provides youth to an old team. Maybe spends some time in the Developmental League before helping down the stretch.