by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

Earlier this season, the Boston Celtics were seen by most as dead men walking, an aging, depressing team to watch, that seemed destined for an ugly end. And that was indeed nearly the case, before the Celtics somehow pulled themselves together, and forcefully interjected themselves back into the championship hunt with an impressive post All-Star break surge.

Despite his naked willingness to shake up the roster, Celtics GM Danny Ainge has gotten credit for keeping it intact, as the team looks to make a deep Playoff run.

According to a Yahoo! Sports report, however, this Boston squad was on the verge on being broken up, before a Trade Deadline Day deal fell through:

As the NBA trade deadline lurched into its final hour a month ago, league sources say the call Ray Allen long feared had come: Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers was on the line, telling him he had been traded. Allen had been sent to the Memphis Grizzlies for a package including O.J. Mayo and a draft pick, and the Celtics’ Big Three had come to a most brusque ending. For 20 minutes or so, Allen had to process the information. They traded me to Memphis? And yet, as the disappointment dissolved to anger, Rivers returned with a messenger’s nightmare: Never mind. The deal fell apart. Take a deep breath and let’s go back to work again.

Before the Big Three could make it past the trade deadline, Allen-to-the-Grizzlies had to fall apart and discussions on a deal that would have sent Paul Pierce to the New Jersey Nets for an expiring Mehmet Okur contract and a lottery pick never reached completion, league sources said. Celtics general manager Danny Ainge loves the talent in the 2012 NBA draft, but he still gets one more run, one more chance with this group in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Ray Allen, currently nursing an ankle injury, has reportedly gotten over the shock and anger of being almost traded, and has grudgingly accepted his new sixth man role.

The Boston Celtics’ Big Four of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen are poised to go into postseason battle for what is very likely the last time together. They must make the most of what was nearly ripped apart just a month ago.