GameDay Boston

The Celtics need Rajon Rondo more than you think

Just going off of popular opinion, one would be coerced to think that the Boston Celtics are a better team without their All Star Poing Guard. Judging by a 7 game win streak, it would seem to be a very plausible and logical statement. Since his absence the ball movement has increased with most of the guys getting touches, the tempo has increased with guys like Lee and Green running the break and Paul Pierce seems to be rejuvinized playing like an All Star. Everything seems to coming into place but this just doesn’t seem to be a formula that the Celtics can succeed in the playoffs with.

Now every statistic available this year tells that the Celtics are indeed better off without their ball dominating, assist padding point guard. They agree with the notion that he was a detriment to the Celtics’ progression as a cohesive, functioning offensive machine. I’ve seen countless Boston Sports writers try to reason that it’s Rondo’s fault that the Celtics weren’t able to come out of the gate. They say he’s a liability because his lack of a jumper even though he’s shooting a career high on long twos (48%).These “experts” care to forget that Rondo is one of the two major reasons Boston even made it past the 2nd round last year let alone go toe to toe with the defending champs. These are the same guys who Rondo probably pissed off at one time with a one word answer during a pre or post game interview. Not to be completely pessimistic but it will be extremely difficult for this team to make an extended playoff run, although they will scare whoever they draw in the 1st round.

Conventional wisdom would leave the average, casual fan to believe that the Celtics don’t need Rondo. I mean the stats this year say that the Celtics are much better without him. But in reality the validity of those stats are very misleading. This is the first year in the Big 3 era that the Celtics statiscally have been worse with Rondo on the court. Rajon Rondo’s lowest +/- (per 100 possesions) during that 6 year span was +1.3. So are we really going to assume that 38 games worth of data is more telling then 359 games worth of data? No, we aren’t because we’re smarter than that. We’re smart enough to realize that just because a veteran team with a veteran coach makes adjustments it doesn’t mean they’re better without arguably their best player.

Another small thing to note is the Celtics half court offense is starting to grind to a halt in late in the 4th quarter. In games vs the Raptors,Clippers, Nuggets and even against the Bobcats they come to complete halt and are unable to generate any offense. Maybe it’s because well I don’t know they’re without one of the best offensive minds who has a complete mastery of the offensive playbook?

I love what the Celtics are doing lately. It’s really fun to watch a team band together and watch them perform at such a high level but before you start babbling about how Rondo was the problem actually sit down and think about it.


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