Let's count the ways Danny Ainge can blow up the Celtics. No matter what hard-nosed plan the GM may create, nothing could match the grit the face of the Celtics displayed at the end.
In the end they collapsed into a field of rubble, like New Hampshire's greatest, oldest familiar site.
The Celtics tossed the Knicks their slippers and wished they never walked a happy mile in them, in their best Eliza Doolittle imitation.
Everything was done at the end, but it ended up too little.
They lacked the weapons the season's start promised. We fans thought it would be Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce who'd be absent in the final roll call. Instead, it was Rajon Rondo and Jarod Sullinger who were taken away, tumbling off the mountain when we least expected it.
Yes, it was finals week in every college and university in New England, and the Knicks schooled the Celtics. The cramming was over, and the grades have been posted on the door of the course's professor.
Grades should never publically humiliate students. But to lose a regional icon is even worse. Therefore, names of failing students are hidden by a coded number. Not so for the Celtics, their failure is public knowledge.
Gordon of Khartoum could only hold off the inevitable for a few months. The Celtics staved off the Grim Reaper for the same length of time, but the loss of Rondo was too much to overcome.
It seems like kismet that on the tenth anniversary of the catastrophe that ended one New England monument and cultural icon was the occasional for another.
Ten years ago this week the Old Man in the Mountain collapsed, disappearing into the mists of history. Now the Old Men of the Celtics have fallen off the mountain, changing the game face forever after in New England.