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Pierce's knee is the key to the series

Originally Published: June 5, 2008
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

BOSTON -- After days of bar-raising buildup that pumped out all that purple and green and pretty much emptied the league's film vault, Game 1 of the NBA Finals finally arrived Thursday night, nagged by one pesky problem.

One stubborn question, really.

That question: Does this historic reunion of basketball's fiercest rivals, after more than two decades of waiting, have any chance of actually living up to its billing?

Our answer: It depends now on Paul Pierce's right leg.

If ...

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