TORONTO — Outside of the Boston Red Sox clubhouse, few would have envisioned them being where they are now.
With all the changes, all the new faces, they find themselves one win away from an eighth World Series championship.
It's the kind of feel-good story that has captivated many, including Boston Celtics forward Jeff Green.
"We're a young team, young coach, fresh faces, like the Red Sox for the past couple of years," Green said. "They're my inspiration."
After finishing no better than third in the American League East the previous three seasons, the Red Sox finished this season with a 97-65 record which tied their World Series opponent, the St. Louis Cardinals, for the best record in Major League Baseball.
It's too soon and far too optimistic to believe that the Celtics can make a similar run this season, or even next year.
But as the Red Sox have proven with their play this season, anything is possible.
"Nobody would think that they would be at the point they are now, with the guys who just came out of nowhere . . . they're getting the job done," Green said. "Now they have a great chance to win the World Series. I think we're in a similar position where we have guys that not a lot of people know."
But with any great team, there's that one player who makes it all come together.
For the Red Sox in this World Series, that has been David Ortiz.
For the Celtics?
"(Rajon) Rondo would be our Ortiz and we just follow his lead," Green said.
Rondo's torn right ACL injury is improving, but it remains uncertain as to when he will be back in the lineup for the Celtics.
In the meantime, the Celtics will lean heavily on Green who is arguably the team's most talented player. He understands that the expectations on him to produce consistently are at a level he has never faced before.
Jared Sullinger, who will not play (team suspension) in the Celtics' opener at Toronto, is among those who sees the need for Green to be a more dominant player.
"Like I said, as long as this guy (Green) takes all the shots we'll be fine," quipped Sullinger.
That's not going to happen, obviously. But Green being looked upon to score more is an absolute for the Celtics to have any shot at shocking the masses this season.
He says he's focused on being at least a 20 points per game scorer this season.
To do that, he has to listen to the words of teammates like Sullinger.
"'You gotta take more shots.' I've never been told that," Green said. "It's a learning experience first and foremost. In this position where I have to take X-amount of shots, where I have to focus on scoring. All my career has been being a defensive player, just running the floor. I always had three, four things I had to focus on the most. Now it's scoring, trying to get teammates involved, running the floor, defense, playing multiple positions, guarding multiple positions ..."
It all adds up to a pretty dizzying experience.
"It's a lot going on upstairs (he points to his head), but it'll be fun," Green said.
But it will also be challenging, especially with two of his biggest motivators - Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett - now in Brooklyn.
"Of course it's different," Green said of not having Pierce and Garnett around. "But like I said, there comes a time where you have to move on. I have to do that in order to get better. I have to take on the challenge of being 'that guy.' Of course I'll have my ups and downs, but I'll have more ups than downs. I can guarantee you that."