|Posted by Yenu on October 30, 2013 at 9:55 AM|
Now one thing youll get about me through my writings covering the celtics is im a pretty optimistic person. But im going to explain why you should also always be sireen while down with the green. Lets start with the obvious, the Celtics have been put in a better situation to win with the new additions of the team and getting rid of the remaining big 3 and Doc Rivers.
Rajon Rondo can easily be considered the MVP of the Celtics the last couple of years, but ill take it a step further and say he carried the big 3 and Doc Rivers. Since his breakout season in 2008-09, when he averaged a triple double throughout the post season (while KG was injured) with 17 points 10 assists 10 rebounds and 2 steals hes proven his self proclaimed status as the leagues best point guard. With unprecedented stats being put up in the hugest of stages and against the greatest of competition, Rondo has proven to be the main catalyst in a five year run as atlantic division champs. Even being the MVP in a 2010 finals that was one game away from a second ring in three years, thank Kendrick Perkins knee, or foot or whatever it was.
Besides being the teams best player a top competitor in the league, and bonafied superstar, Rondo still had friction with coach Doc Rivers and the big 3. Supposed fights and arguements with Doc Rivers were rumored about and were further solidified with their conspicuous disdain for for one another in media reports.
Doc Rivers’s “intense dislike” for Rajon Rondo is the primary reason the coach wants to leave the Boston Celtics, according to Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com.
The feud between Rivers and his point guard led to an incident during a team meeting in the locker room in which Rondo cursed at Rivers, who responded by trying to fight Rondo before the “fracas” was broken up, a source close to the team told Sheridan.
The report does not specify when the fight occurred.
Reports on Friday said Rivers is no longer pursuing the Los Angeles Clippers’ head coaching position after the teams discussed a trade. The Celtics will resolve the situation on Monday, according to the same report.
Rivers and Rondo have clashed in the past. Their rocky relationship was the reason behind the Celtics putting Rondo on the trading block in each of the past two seasons.
But, Doc Rivers wasnt even the first person exited for the new rondo era, due to friction with the all star. The first was Ray Allen. When the leagues greatest shooter lost his starting job to premier defender avery bradley in 2012, he averaged career lows in points and minutes and chose to leave for half the money to play for conference rivals, the Heat. But one could say, his production lessened due to his weak relationship with Rondo.
He said the friction with Rondo began in 2009 when Rivers and Celtics president Danny Ainge proposed a trade that would have sent Allen and Rondo to Phoenix for Amare Stoudemire, Leandro Barbosa and the 14th overall pick in the 2010 draft.
Allen said that, at the time, Ainge and Rivers “didn’t get along” with Rondo.
“So, I called him and I told him, ‘hey they’re supposedly trading us to Phoenix because you and Danny and Doc don’t get along,’” Allen said. “‘So, whatever you can do.’ So, for some reason, I guess he thought that I was … that I had something against him, or there were some issues. And I had no issues with him. I won with him.”
Either way the team went on to the 2013 season optimistic after yet another heroic effort from number nine in the playoffs.
To everyones surprise arguably the leagues toughest point guard got injured and the team was exposed for what they were without their captain. But, it wasnt the first time the team had been exposed without rondo, in the 2011 playoffs after sweeping the newly assembled Carmelo-Amare Knicks, Rondo suffered a right elbow injury due to a dirty play by Heat guard Dwayne Wade. Though he attempted to play, he was often seen leaving the right arm limp and being forced to play left handed in everyway. Despite his warrior effort, he was often sidelined and deemed useless, consequently Celtics couldnt score and lost in five games and were exposed. The same team with a healthy rondo almost beat the heat in the conference finals after a horribly officiated series, that definitely benefited the Heat. But those playoffs werent just an exclamation for Rondo but celticnation also got to see Brandon Bass come into his own, with Jeff Van Gundy calling him "the best shooting big man" in that postseason. He went on to earn an extension and a starting role on the team. While KG did not record one 20-10 game in the playoffs, Bass had two 28-15 efforts in two wins against the Heat alone. That is when it seemed most evident to me, that Pierce and Garnett were no longer capable of being primary options on an NBA team. Despite Rondo and KGs reported playful repore, Pierce was often seen arguing in games with Rondo and would bring the ball up and require it in his hands for alot of key moments in games. That would obviously frusrtate rondo and it wouldve frustrated any capable point guard, let alone arguably, the best.
The evidence would pile up while rondo was out though, the defense dropped to 12th in the league from 2nd last year and alot of that was due to the tired old legs of the two hall of fame veterans and their attempt to defend premier players throughout the league. They started 7th in the east with rondo and they were the same without him, though he is known for playing better the second half of the year and the postseason, we'll never know. But, while he was out in the 2013 season another star emerged and accounted for alot of their sustained success, explosive forward Jeff Green. As a starter, Jeff Green averaged 20 and 8 shooting 50%, thats Lebron status. And his eye test didnt fail either, at times showing the precise repetoir of a kevin durant and at others the raw athletic domination of a Lebron James. With the pinnacle of his season being against James in an NBAtvs top 10 game of the year when he recorded a career high 43 points in Boston on national tv. Even though the emeregence of Jeff Green made them a better team, they still entered the playoffs as a 7th seed.
The 2013 postseason for KG and Pierce was a continuation of the last two years, they were defensive liabilities as starters going against the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler and KG had his numbers drop from 19 ppg and 10 rpg a year ago to 12.7 ppg and 13.7 rpg. With Jeff Green being the main source of their overall lack of offense, despite almost pulling off a record breaking comeback after being down 0-3, they lost a series in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the KG Pierce era. Thats right, with no Rondo to save them, the great duo and coach were reduced to a first round exit, exposed yet again.
The offseason for the Celtics was an active one. With the departure of Rivers, the acquiring of a new coach and the trading of the big 3, movements were made with eyes on the future of the franchise and the league screamed, TANKJOB. But, this wasnt just contract dumps for either team. We got rid of three aging veterans who underperformed and got back a spry 13 year veteran in Gerald Wallace and double double averaging Kris Humphries entering his prime. Not to mention Marshon Brooks, a talented scorer who averaged a point per possession on isolation plays, which tied him in that category with the great Carmelo Anthony. A big problem both KG and Pierce had was late in games defending with their hands and not being able to rebound for their positions (conditioning). Acquiring the young talent we did, fixes our issues with effort late in games, despite resting veterans through the regular season and losing games because of it.
Now whether or not, Danny Ainge the teams GM, saw all these factors and assessed the veterans in this same fashion, we wont ever know. But, if you backtrack to the ray allen departure and then the doc rivers release and finally the dismantling of the big 3, the road has been paved out for rondo to lead this team to its 18th title as the lone and outright king of the green hill. With the young talent who have carried the load the past couple years like Green, Bradley and Bass, the group along with their leader Rondo have been given the keys to the storied franchise with no old guys weighing them down.
I expect the Celtics to go 6-10 without Rondo, but after he gets back, i wouldnt be surprised to see a coulple winning streaks and battling for a 6-8th spot in the Eastern conference playoffs. One step to an eighteenth championship. God Bless