SALT LAKE CITY - The number 24 has become a figure that is simply too bizarre for most Celtics to digest.
Or to wrap their minds around.
At 24-3, they have as many wins as they did all of last season.
For a newcomer like Glen Davis, the concept is inconceivable.
``They only had that many last year?'' said the Celtics rookie.
For Doc Rivers, though, the number is further proof of just how horrible the 2006-07 Celtics actually were.
This is not the kind of confirmation a coach likes to hear.
``That means that we were really bad last year,'' Rivers said. ``To me that's a reminder of how bad we were, and that's all. That is amazing, though.''
Paul Pierce looked at the more encouraging side of that number.
``It shows how far we've come to this point,'' he said. ``But there's still a long way to go.''
No longer feels like home
Thursday's game started out on a heartwarming note for Ray Allen, with his old Seattle team honoring him in a pregame ceremony that included a reading of the many charities he headed and contributed to as a Sonic.
The floor was a different story. He finished with 10 points, shot only 4-for-13, and never really left the launching pad against his former teammates.
``This stirred up a lot of memories, because I've had a lot of big games in this building,'' he said. ``But everything I got was tough.
``There were a couple of open looks, but Damien (Wilkins) did a great job of staying up in my body. They know what I do and they tried to take it away from me.''
Rivers wasn't worried.
``Oh, this is maybe what you get one in 40 games from him,'' he said. ``They did a good job defending him.''