During the 2002-03 season, Boston celebrated back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1993. Head Coach Jim O’Brien, a former assistant at the University of Kentucky, started three Kentucky players – Antoine Walker, Tony Delk and Walter McCarty – who each averaged at least 12 points per game in the six-game Eastern Conference First Round win over the Indiana Pacers. Paul Pierce starred with 40 points in Game 1 and 37 points in Game 4. Unfortunately for Celtics fans, the New Jersey Nets stood in the way in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and again eliminated Boston from the playoffs, this time in four straight. Still, Pierce averaged 29 points in the series while Walker showed some individual promise by averaging a double-double.
( C ) NBA/Celtics