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It's a team game, unless you can take a pot shot at a great player

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Marc Berman is taking my 'there's no formula, you're a title team if you're a title team' philosophy a bit too far in the opposite direction: you'll only go to the finals if you've been to the finals before:

The notion that the Kevin Garnett trade makes the Celtics the favorites to win the East - as many have said - is laughable. This is a squad that didn't win 25 games last season.

The three Boston stars - Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce - have a combined zero appearances in The NBA Finals.

Garnett is a great player, but he has been to the conference finals once. Pierce and Allen have been on plenty of losing teams in their careers.

Cleveland, Detroit, the Nets and Miami? They all have as good a chance as the Celtics to make The Finals.

Um, what about Chicago? I was about to say maybe it was because they're so relatively 'inexperienced'. But Ben Wallace has been to the finals. Maybe they need more of that championship experience: too bad Devean George is no longer a free agent.

To ease the pain of following that twisted logic, here's the latest Carnival of the NBA at GiveMeTheRock.