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MacMullan: C's still team to beat

3/1/2011

ESPN.com Illustration

As the dust settles from the shocking Kendrick Perkins trade, one thing remains clear: The Boston Celtics are still the team to beat. From Jackie MacMullan:

BOSTON -- After consummating the most jarring, controversial and gut-wrenching trade in the NBA on Thursday, the Boston Celtics took one game to mourn the loss of their "brother" Kendrick Perkins before turning their attention back to the task at hand -- raising Banner 18.

But did Celtics boss Danny Ainge's decision to gamble on a roster overhaul rather than a cosmetic touch-up torpedo Boston's chances of winning a championship?

Don't count on it. Lost in the hand-wringing over the Celtics' shocking move is that, when the game is hanging in the balance, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo are still available. The core of the team is intact, even after five players have moved on.

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