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The ever-tinkering Boston Celtics and the rocky road back to NBA Finals contention

THE BALL SWUNG from Jayson Tatum to Dennis Schroder to Al Horford to Marcus Smart, pinging around the perimeter in search of the best possible shot.

It was Nov. 19, and the Boston Celtics -- already leading by 14 points with just over five minutes to go against LeBron James and the visiting Los Angeles Lakers -- were about to put the finishing touches on an impressive win over their forever rivals.

Smart drove baseline, sucked in two defenders, jumped and fired a pass back to a wide-open Tatum in the left corner directly in front of the Lakers bench.