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Paul Pierce.

Paul Pierce believes current Celtics shouldn't be compared to his successful 2008 team

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The Boston Celtics haven't won a championship since 2008 but they have high hopes that 10 years on from that achievement, this year's group can emulate that team.

For the majority of the season, the C's have been the top team in the Eastern Conference and have displayed that they can compete for the title in June.

They are determined to end the Cleveland Cavaliers' dominance in the east and make it to the finals this year.

With the Celtics last lifting the Larry O'Brien trophy a decade ago, it has inevitably led to comparisons between this year's roster and the championship winners of 2008.

Several members of that team reconvened at TD Garden on Sunday to celebrate the jersey retirement of Paul Pierce - the Finals MVP in 2008.

In the eyes of Pierce, this current Celtics team can't be compared to the successful '08 crop.

"I really don't see any comparisons," Pierce said, per ESPN's Chris Forsberg. "We were all old, wily veterans who had been All-Stars for years. [This year's team is] a bunch of young, up-and-coming players. They'll have their time, but they shouldn't be compared to us. ...

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"They've got a ways to go. They've got to figure out who they're gonna be."

The big three of Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen were veteran All-Stars in the prime of their careers when they came together before the 2007-08 season.

They had an instant chemistry both on and off the court and it saw them become a unique and destructive unit which led to a ring.

This year's team is still relatively young and will take some time before they reach those same heights and members of the current Celtics team are realistic enough to admit that too.

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"Winning that championship has cemented [the 2007-08 team] in Celtics history," Al Horford said. "[This season's team is] at a point right now where we're really trying to become a more consistent group and grow as we go. We feel like there's a lot of potential."

President Danny Ainge has done a terrific job of building another team capable of competing for a championship after the big three of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen all departed.

It took several years of rebuilding but they are finally among the elite teams in the league again.

Ainge, however, believes it's still too early to think about hanging another banner.

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"The 2008 team immediately they felt like they were the favorites to win the championship," Ainge said. "Whereas I felt like this [year's] team was really excited, and we still are very excited. But we're still not there yet. We got a lot of work to do."

The Celtics' current form would certainly show that as they've hit a slump in recent weeks heading into the All-Star break.

They're currently on a three-game losing streak and have also lost nine of its last 15 games overall.

The break has come at a good time for Boston but their immediate focus must be to get back on track on the court now instead of focusing too far ahead.

Topics:
NBA
Boston Celtics
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference

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