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Boston Celtics returning to championship form

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, Modified: December 5, 2009 at 1:12 am •  Published: December 5, 2009

do remember the playoffs. It was a tough playoffs.”

That’s how NBA title contenders think. You’re judged by what you do in May and June, not the regular season.

The Eastern Conference should provide some post-season drama.

Orlando is just as good with Vince Carter instead of Hedo Turkoglu. Cleveland is starting to play like a team that won’t surrender the No. 1 seed in the East. The Atlanta Hawks might even be pesky. But it appears the East will be a three-team race.

"Last year, I said it all year, and no one wanted to hear it. But as good as our record was, we were never that good,” Rivers said. "I didn’t think we had the right mindset the entire year last year. We had too many things going on.

"Two years ago, we had a one-agenda team — that was to win the title. I think this team has that same thought process. There’s not other stuff going on. This team is focused on winning. That doesn’t mean we’re playing well, yet. But we are focused on one thing, which gives you a chance to be a good team.”

Box score from Friday's game