First off, I’d just like to wish the best to Rajon Rondo as he heals from the torn ACL that he has suffered. He’ll be out for the rest of the season and a little of next season as well. The big question to ask now, is what is going to happen to the Celtics?
With this current roster, I repeat this current roster minus Rondo I don’t think they will do as poorly as some say. They are 2-3 this season without Rondo, on a 20-23 season. He is obviously the best player on the team and runs their offense and gets people involved and in good position to score. He is averaging 13 and 11 on the season. The reason I don’t think they will play as poorly as people think is because if you look at the structure of the Eastern Conference right now the Celtics are in the 8th seed and two games ahead of the Philadelphia 76’ers who they are pretty much equal to in terms of talent, with the 76’ers being more youthful and athletic. If the 76’ers get Bynum back however they will obviously hit a spurt of success and take the Celtics but I think even without Rondo and the backcourt depth and experience that the Celtics have they can step up and at least have a chance to keep the 8th seed. I’m not saying they’ll be able to but I think it’s definitely possible because after Philadelphia the rest of the East are lottery teams. The Celtics are playing 39 games for the rest of the season, 22 of those games are against teams below .500. Philadelphia plays 39 more games and only 15 of those games are against teams below .500. The Celtics have an easier schedule the rest of the way than Philly however of course if Bynum comes back after the All-Star Break like he is projected to then the 76’ers instantly become the better team. However, if Boston does toughen it out and beat Philly for the 8th seed than they are going to have to face the Miami Heat in the playoffs where unfortunately they will most likely lose quickly. The Celtics need Rondo to help them orchestrate the offense and get people open, and the Heats are notorious for cruising through the regular season and turning up the Heat (pun) in the playoffs. The playoffs are a half-court game, and the Celtics can’t win a 7 game series in the half-court without Rondo at the point.
Another thing that you have to think about is how Danny Ainge is going to handle this situation in terms of roster changes. He kept the big three together to try and go for another run, that obviously isn’t working out. They need to rebuild, but when are they going to. I think that now that Rondo is out and the Celtics’ ceiling of success is probably only the 8th seed they might as well break this team apart now and hope for a lottery pick in this years draft. That starts with letting Pierce and Garnett go to contenders who need the extra veteran experience and scoring. I think it’s nice that Pierce and Garnett both want to retire as Celtics but Danny Ainge has to make the tough decision of whether to honor the guys who made this team successful or do what’s best for the future of the franchise and let them go and start a new future with the Celtics. During Garnett’s 18 year career this is the 3rd lowest scoring average that he’s put up and the second lowest average of rebounds he’s ever put up at 14 and 7. Paul Pierce has played 15 years in the NBA and this season he is averaging the 4th lowest scoring average of 18.8 points a game. I think to get rid of those two guys and their salaries will open up a whole new direction for the team to go in. I think they can keep Jason Terry, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Courtney Lee, Leonardo Barbosa, and Avery Bradley but I think they could benefit from getting rid of Pierce and Garnett and bringing in some young guys and maybe a few draft picks. Anyway, that’s the decision that the front office has to make because this team now has no chance at being a serious playoff team without Rondo. I think it may be time to part ways with the hall of famers, or maybe Pierce and Garnett see this as an opportunity to retire. Who knows?