Ray Allen and the Celtics Set to Raise Number 17

Perhaps it's fitting that the Boston Celtics will open the 2008-09 season against Le Bron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It provides the perfect backdrop when you consider the current face of the NBA was just over a year old when the other big three won their last title 22 years ago. Let's remember, It took a full seven games for the green to dispose of the Cavs in the eastern conference semifinals last spring on their way to banner number 17.

On Tuesday night at the TD Bank North Garden, all of those memories will come flashing back. The new big three of Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett will all play a part in raising the latest symbol of Celtic pride. It will be a maiden voyage in this building considering the previous 16 banners were hoisted to the rafters at the old address on Causeway Street. Somehow, we can all picture Red Auerbach using the occasion to light yet another victory cigar.  

Several former legends will line the perimeter of the parquet as they share memories with the new age of champions. But just like the old days, when the ball goes up just after eight o'clock, each player wearing green should put history in its proper place, and keep number "18" firmly in his sights.

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