What a year 2013 has turned out to be thus far; in the last week alone, our Celtics have lost their most dynamic player and one of their most productive young interior players. And for a team struggling to find it’s groove, Doc River’s crew has responded to the adversity by playing some of its best basketball of the season.
Call it addition by subtraction.
The loss of Rajon Rondo was significant – when you lose a player of that caliber you know its going to hurt – but, in a strange way, his absence has in some way helped spur the backcourt-by-committee to a new level of efficiency. Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa are suddenly bring a balanced attack on the perimeter, and somehow it’s working.
And now, with the loss of Jared Sullinger, the Celtics are again forced to regroup. And, tonight against the Orlando Magic, Boston’s interior seemed to do just fine. Led by Jeff Green’s 17 points, the Celtics opened up a big lead, gave most of it back, and then raced out to a 23-point advantage to win going away, 97-84.
Who would have thought it possible?
The question now becomes: Can these Celtics keep it up?
Danny Ainge stresses that he’s not interested in adding a point guard at the moment. And he’s yet to pull a deal to bring in a big man via trade (although the C’s will likely add frontcourt help one way or another.) Will he stand pat with the hand he’s holding? Will he pull something dramatic out at the last moment?
Hard to tell, but with each win it gets harder for Ainge to want to tamper with success.