Ray Allen is gone but like Kurtis Blow once said, those are the breaks. You don’t want to lose a player like Allen, especially to a rival stacked like the Miami Heat. But hey, shit happens. Danny Ainge understands this, and Doc Rivers gets it, too. And guess what? Contingency plans were in place. It wasn’t like we didn’t see this coming. It’s no secret that Rajon Rondo was a grind on Allen’s gears, that Allen felt completely dissed by Ainge’s attempts to trade him, and that Allen never fully subjugated that ego of his like he wanted it to appear. I’m sure Allen got along famously with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but I’m not so sure that he was happy with his role coming off the bench for Avery Bradley. Can’t say that I blame him, to some degree.
But you know what? We should be just fine without Allen; in fact, we may even be better without him. Think about it: This is the Rajon Rondo Era, and Sir Rondo is firmly entrenched as the alpha-male leader of a Celtics team that still thinks it can compete for an NBA Championship. He’s also the third amigo in Boston’s reconfigured Big Three, created a Def Squad nucleus around which players such as Jason Terry and Jeff Green will orbit.
So yeah, I think we’re still in good hands. Ainge drafted well – Jared Sullinger is an NBA-ready player – and he handled free agency about as well as he possibly could have, given the salary cap constraints pushing down on the team. Doc is still coaching this crew – seriously, is there a better coach in the league today? The man worked miracles with players like Greg Stiemsma and Ryan Hollins playing major roles.
I can’t wait for the season to start. The Truth was hampered by injuries and the lockout blues last season, but that won’t be the case this time around. Pierce has been working hard, man, and I think the rumors of his demise are very premature. KG was reborn as a center. He’s the defensive heart and soul of this team, and the team feeds off of his intensity. Just look at what he was able to do last season, especially during the playoffs when he raised the level of his game. Yeah, there’s always the chance that the Big Ticket will run out of gas or that the wheels will fall off, but I just don’t see that happening. And Rondo? Transcendant. Unique. Sublime. Virtuoso. There’s not another point guard like him, and what he does for this team cannot be overstated.
And with the influx of new players stepping into the mix, our Celtics have a real shot at contending for a title this season. How special would that be? Knocking off Miami, with Allen on the wrong side of the tracks, and then possibly knocking off the loaded Lakers or the young and hungry Thunder.