The loss of Rajon Rondo was supposed to spell doom for the Boston Celtics – instead, it has liberated players who, until now, were largely out of sync and searching for some sort of turning point, some sort of click.
So, what to make of Rondo’s injury and the impact on our Celtics? Clearly, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Jeff Green are the beneficiaries of this post-Rondo world. Our Celtics are streaking, having won every game since Rondo went down.
So, are the Celtics better off without Rondo?
With this particular group of Celtics, at this particular point in time – the answer is yes. The spacing is better. The ball movement is better. Before the injury, everything seemed to run through Rondo – and that seemed like a the right strategy to employ. Now? Well, this Celtics team is built on balance, and on players who do multiple things well (but not any one thing great). Rondo’s injury has opened up more opportunities for more players. Lee, Terry and Green are able to better showcase their strengths, and are actually feeding off of each other in a way that wasn’t possible before the Rondo injury.
So, with that said, I flash forward to next season.
Should the Celtics consider trading Rondo?
Blasphemy? Well, it would be tough to part with the only superstar that we have who is in the prime of his career. But, you would have to think that a Rondo trade could command a couple of young, promising players in return, and maybe even a pick or two.
Would the Celtics be better off with Rondo as a Seattle Supersonic? With Rondo and another fringe player or two, could Danny Ainge pull a trade for DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans?
Don’t know, but you get the point.
Rondo will be coming off a major injury. He’s our most valuable trade chip. The Celtics are proving that they can win without him.
So, as painful as it might be – and trust me, I’m a Rondo fan to the core – the Celtics may actually have found a pathway back to the NBA’s elite.