This was supposed to be the year Father Time finally caught up with the Boston Celtics.
This was supposed to be the year they finally realized they're too old and too slow and too fragile to compete with the NBA's rising stars.
This was supposed to be the year the Celtics finally relinquished their hold on the Atlantic Division and stepped to the side, giving the Knicks or Sixers -- younger teams with brighter futures -- a shot at glory.
That's what everyone said.
But everyone was wrong. And on Wednesday night, paced by Paul Pierce's 29 points and 14 assists, Boston wrapped up an improbable Atlantic Division championship and the No. 4 seed in the East with a 102-98 win over the Orlando Magic.
There was no celebration to speak of, of course. That's not the Celtics' style. When you win five straight division titles -- and when you play for a franchise that once won 10 championships in 11 years and dominated an entire era of professional basketball -- you learn how to put success ...