Boston missed the playoffs for the second straight year in 2006. Even worse, they were stuck with the 5th overall pick in the 2007 Draft, missing a chance at a potential franchise savior. That’s just the way the ball bounces. Sometimes that’s a good thing. The Celtics responded by trading for Ray Allen on draft night and a month later would add former MVP and perennial All Star, Kevin Garnett. Paired with Celtic mainstay, Paul Pierce, Boston had another Big Three resolved to return the city to championship glory. And that they did.
Their 66 wins in 2008 became the biggest single season turnaround in NBA history, besting their previous total by 42 games. Kevin Garnett would be named Defensive Player of the Year, spearheading on of the stingier units in recent memory. Pierce & Allen remained their All Star selves and Rajon Rondo emerged as one of the league’s most promising young guards. After a grueling playoff run, capped off with a revival of the Laker vs. Celtic rivalry, Boston had gone from worst to first and proven that anything was indeed possible.