It was used Friday night, but not in the way Celtics fans had hoped.
The 2012-13 Boston Celtics are history.
The Knicks finally put the C's down, holding off a last-ditch comeback to win 88-80 and advance to the second round.
For Boston, it’s the start of a summer – a much longer summer than anticipated when Danny Ainge assembled this roster – that will have more than it’s fair share of interesting moves.
In what has become an annual tradition, the future of Kevin Garnett in the NBA is uncertain. Garnett can still play in the NBA, but the work required to get him ready on a nightly basis might finally be too much. Plus, he’ll most likely only return if Paul Pierce is back.
“Well one of the big reason I came here was because of Paul,” Garnett said after Friday’s loss. “Obviously you know you want to be in a situation where it’s better, want to make sure I can always help the team, want to be in position to where I’m giving something. I demand a lot out of myself, both physically and from a skill level. Ill be honest, or ill be lying to you if I said Paul didn’t play in to that.”
So why might Pierce not be back? Ainge can elect to use a buyout on him and save the team millions of dollars. But will that cause Garnett to retire or leave for another team? And would Boston be better starting from scratch at this point anyways?
"Who knows what the future (will be)," said Pierce. "I've been here 15 years and I've seen a lot of things change each and every year. So I'm sure there's going to be a lot of changes here and we'll see what happens."
As of now, the only people who have a clue are Ainge and his assistants. Not even Doc Rivers knows what’s up Ainge’s sleeves yet, and that’s exactly how Rivers wanted it during the season.
“Danny has already worked on stuff; he knows never to show me,” Rivers said. “I don’t want to hear it, I don’t want to see it, I don’t want to know anything. We’ll figure it all out, and we’ll see.”
Just what we'll see might be a completely different team.