|Posted by shawn cassidy on March 7, 2013 at 4:20 PM|
On why the Celtics have played so well (13-4) without Rajon Rondo: "Well I thought we were playing better right before he went out. I actually made that statement. What's funny is we were in the middle of a losing streak and I went out to the media and said, 'I know this sounds crazy, but I think we're about to turn the corner.' Avery was just coming back and we forget Avery missed the first 30 games of our season; Jeff Green missed all of last year, so he was starting to come into shape; Jason Terry's a new player on our team. We just had a lot of moving parts and we were just starting to get it together.
"So, I thought we were about to trend and then we lose Rondo and [Jared] Sullinger, which hurt us as well. But our team kept going. We clearly miss a lot of things without Rondo, especially end-of-the-game situations being one of them. We have to be more creative. But our guys have hung in there and we have two pretty good players. Kevin Garnett's not bad and neither is Paul Pierce. And having those two guys to kind of hold the fort together has been huge for us."
The Celtics duo of KG, and Pierce feel the heat from the fire, and as Paul said this morning in his Rondology post.
Rondology Role player
Even though it's true that the Celtics were in an upswing before Rondo went down, which wasn't, however, reflected in their record, it seemed clear that they instantly became a different, and much better, team without Rondo. Recently, though, a fairly compelling argument has been made that reflects better on Rondo. The claim is that, over the past five years, the Celtics always knew how good they could be, that they could beat anyone. They played down to teams because, on some level, they felt that they had nothing to prove. The moment Rondo went down, that changed for the first time in five years. With Rondo, they knew that they could beat anyone. Without Rondo, they might have believed it, but they didn't know it.
KG and Doc may have hinted at this. KG said that while Rondo was there, he did all the cooking, and the rest of the team got used to that. Now they all had to cook. Doc mentioned that they played without urgency, until Rondo went down.
Rondo was the mom to the lazy kids on summer vacation. Now since mom has a new job. The kids need to help make dinner, or clean around the house. The Celtics have rallied behind each other, and it's all on two future hall of fame guys getting others going, and it's their last crack at a title, because who knows what may happen next season. What if KG wakes up one morning, and says enough with this game. What if Paul Pierce loses another step? They don't have time to wait for next season when Rondo comes back. So they need to muster up everything they have around these young guys. It's all on them. But as for Doc's comments. This team was right there, and I believe this team would be right here with Rondo.