The Celtic Threebound

Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were aging, singular NBA stars, sans title. But united at once awful Boston, the trio has led the team back to the top

John Huet for TIME

Allen, Pierce and Garnett are making their case for a selfless Celtics title run

We've seen this act in sports before. A group of sterling individual talents thrust together on the same team, expectations raised to the rafters. A title? Slam dunk. On paper, they look unbeatable. The '99 Houston Rockets, for example, had Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen. The New York Yankees--every year their lineup looks like a world beater.

Too many times, these quick fixes fail; the inflated egos can't fit into the same arena. Those Rockets lost in the first round of the playoffs. The Yankees haven't won a World Series in seven years. So how do you explain the...

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