|Posted by paul on December 23, 2012 at 7:25 AM|
With the Celtics now seeming to be hopelessly mired in mediocrity at best, and possibly about to go into free fall to the basement of the league, thoughts go to questions of blame. This is natural and appropriate. Understanding the past is essential to planning the future. It's also natural and appropriate that Rondo should be on the hot seat. He was given the keys to the car and he drove it off into a ditch. Rondo, in turn, is trying to squirm out from under the pressure by passing the blame off to Bradley, or rather, to Bradley's absence. Of course, it's true that Bradley not being here has been key. But come on, Rondo. Our offense has not been as powerful as we expected, and our defense has been a lost cause. On occasion, Rondo has stepped up, but mostly he's been a big part of the reason that opponents not only have no problem getting into their offense, but cruise the lane at will. As Redsarmy points out, Rondo is no cyborg, and he can't be a superman at both ends all the time, especially since a 6' 1" guard has to play an energy-based game at all times, but then again, Rondo hasn't dominated on the offensive end either.
But let's not get totally lost in blaming Rondo. He's still our best player, and he's still potentially the best player in the league, already a once-in-a-generation player in some ways, and potentially in a lot of ways. This is the man KG basically predicted would win MVP in his career, and rightly so, if you ask me. Unfortunately, much of the media are locked into an oppositional relationship with Rondo, and they've been picking at him all the way. It's got to wear on the guy. The most spectacularly unfair part of this happened when Rondo was working on The Streak. It's incredible to think that Rondo was almost universally excoriated for his streak. Really, this was just incredible, and nauseating to watch. To post double digit assists game after game was an amazing accomplishment, yet Bob Ryan led the way amongst talking heads disparaging it. We were told that it was a made up thing, that assists are fake stats, and that Rondo was being crazily selfish. Looking back, it's truly hard to believe that such a chorus of boobirds was taken seriously, but they were. Well, are we better off now that The Streak is a distant memory? Are we a better team now? Of course not. Unfortunately, I think Rondo became even more confused than he already was about his role on the team, because of all the crazy pressure over The Streak, and what should have been a foundation stone for his season turned into shifting sands. We know that Rondo likes to latch onto certain statistics as a kind of goal and benchmark. The Streak was a good one, and it was something we should all have been very proud of. Now Rondo seems preoccupied with his shooting percentage. That's one we don't want him to focus on, because it keeps him from attacking the basket and shooting as much as we need him to do, as the focal point of our offense, as the key to our engine.
What makes the relentless hounding of Rondo by the media even more shameful is the free pass they have continued to hand Ainge. These stooges - and yes, that's what I think most of them are - blame our weak interior game on Rondo! It's truly, monumentally incredible, isn't it? They know very well why we are weak on the interior. They know it's because Ainge traded our legitimate center away, for reasons still unknown (though not hard to guess). Ainge even doubled down on the hideous gamble he took, on the verge of the playoffs, in 2010, by essentially tying our success or failure this season to Jeff Green. Yet not even this can inspire any media to point a finger of blame where it clearly belongs. Yes, clearly. You couldn't have a more stark case of blame. Sure Rondo should play tougher D, but the plain fact, visible to everyone, is that we have been weak on the interior ever since we traded Perkins. Since then we have relied on Jermaine O'neil, Kevin Garnett, Chris Wilcox and Jerod Sullinger. I have hopes for Sully, if he keeps working on becoming stronger and developing his game, but none of those are legitimate centers. Yeah, Jermaine was at one time, sort of, though not really. KG has been the closest we've been able to get to having a legitimate center since The Trade, and he just isn't.
As for Green, he has started to play better, but he's been far from being a guy you pin the hopes of a championship team on.
Jason Collins started the last two games. What does that say? But don't expect the media stooges to turn a new leaf. They'll hound Rondo until he's gone. The guy can't win. The Streak was one of the most exciting statistical achievements we've ever seen, ever, in Celtics Green, yet the boobirds hounded Rondo for it. They aren't crazy. They are shills, if you ask me. It's all about protecting the Celtics management and ownership for the blame THEY richly deserve.
It would be nice to see Ainge make up for The Trade by somehow bringing us a quality Big without trading Rondo or Bradley. I just don't see how that can happen, though. How are we going to trade a bunch of mediocre players for one quality player? Maybe it could happen if a case of the right guy in the right situation can be found. Would the Lakers want to reunite Brandon Bass and Dwight Howard? Bass might be a good fit there, because he likes those elbow Js, and he could give Howard room around the basket, and we know Nash can get him the ball where he needs it. Let's hope that Danny works some magic.
I myself have put blame on Rondo, because I think he has find a way to lead this team. He has driven the car into a ditch. But I still think he has a world of potential, and I know it hasn't been easy for him so far. Danny too has potential to make great moves, but I wonder if he ever will as long as everyone gives him a pass for the mistake that cost us an interior game for chunks of three years now.