Updated: May 1, 2010, 11:07 PM ET

Jamison, Cavs Ready For Celtics

Last Hurrah For Big Three?

By Peter May
Special to ESPNBoston.com

When the Boston Celtics take the floor for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers, they will be doing so (A) as consensus underdogs for the first time in three years and (B) without home-court advantage for the first time in three years.

Which raises the question: Will this also be the last time we see the new Big Three together?

Regardless of what happens in the series, the times they are a-changin' in Celtic Nation. Ray Allen will become a free agent. Doc Rivers may decide he's had enough. Paul Pierce could become a free agent if he opts out of his current deal. Tony Allen, Nate Robinson and Marquis Daniels also will be free agents, along with Brian Scalabrine, Michael Finley and Shelden Williams. Daniels and Robinson were supposed to be key reserves, but Rivers clearly has lost faith in both of them, and their futures in Boston look dim.

The only players with firm commitments for 2010-11 are Kevin Garnett, Kendrick Perkins, Rajon Rondo, Glen Davis and, ahem, Rasheed Wallace.

Everyone's attention now is on what Rick Pitino used to call "the precious present," so talk of a potential diaspora is a bit premature. But it's going to happen. Regardless of what happens in this series, or in future series should the Celtics unexpectedly advance, there will be a new look at TD Garden next season. How new is the big unknown. The Cavaliers and LeBron James are prohibitive favorites not only to win Game 1 on Saturday (7½-point favorites) but also to flush the Celtics in the series. The 10 esteemed gents who make predictions for ESPN have all picked Cleveland to advance, with only two thinking the series will go the full seven games.

Click here to read the rest at ESPN Boston


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