The Celtics never recovered after the resignation of Head Coach Jim O’Brien in January 2004, and Boston limped into the playoffs under interim Coach John Carroll by winning just 14 of 36 games at the season’s end. Facing the top-seeded Indiana Pacers, a team headed by Pacers President Larry Bird, the Celtics suffered a four-game sweep in the Eastern Conference First Round. Paul Pierce led all scorers in the series with 20.8 points per game while Chucky Atkins, Mark Blount and Ricky Davis all averaged double figures. Said Pierce after the final contest, “I have a really bad taste in my mouth. That is not really a fun feeling to out there and not even get a win….I have to be optimistic. I still have four more years with this franchise, so I definitely want to be part of the turnaround.” Fortunately for Pierce and Celtics fans, The Truth would become crucial in the 2008 NBA World Championship campaign.
( C ) NBA/Celtics