No, I do not mean literally blowing up the Boston Celtics team. I do not think that explosives are necessary at all in Beantown. Though some of their fans may feel that way after losing their All-Star point guard in Rajon Rondo. The former Kentucky Wildcat will be sidelined the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Rondo may not have been a part of the original ‘Big Three,’ but he was the glue that held that lineup together. He operated as the team’s floor general making sure each player got his looks at the basket all while playing with an unheard of level of intensity in the NBA. His appearance has been compared to the looks of an extraterrestrial and that speaks volumes to his talent–they are out of this world. (Sorry for the corny pun, but I could not resist.) Regardless of his resemblance to E.T. the Celtics are nowhere near a contender without their best player.
Rondo was averaging over thirteen points per game to go along with an astounding 11.1 assists on a team that was already missing its long-time sharpshooter Ray Allen who now lives in South Beach with the Heat. On a team which ranks in the bottom third of the league that only makes things worse on the offensive side of the ball. His backup, Leandro Barbosa, averages under five points and barely one assist per game. Not the type of production you want on an already stagnant offense.
Along with the crushing blow to their offense there is the issue of the unavoidable aging stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. Pierce is averaging a full three points below his career points per game. Not to mention he is getting paid $16.8 million this season. That money could be put towards an up and coming talent or even toward accumulating draft picks. He has been a Celtic for fourteen seasons and he has a championship, I think it is safe to say Boston was loyal to him. Garnett is an almost identical situation. The Celtics are paying Garnett $11.5 million and his scoring output is four points below his career average. After seventeen years in the league, it is safe to say that he is on the decline. For a team that is barely floating around .500 in the Eastern Conference, it is time to clean out some space if you want to compete with the top teams like Miami and New York.
Sure, it may be difficult to pawn off an aging star with a hefty contract, but there is always a buyer for the right price. If I am Boston I am targeting teams that are on the verge of becoming a contender but are missing a piece or two. They may be willing to pick up a veteran for some young guys who have potential but the time for that team to win is now. The deal between Toronto and Memphis involving Rudy Gay would have been perfect in my opinion. They were struggling for some time to get a third team into the trade and get the deal. Boston could have slid in there offering up Pierce and may have been able to steal one a quality guard or even a draft pick and a couple of players. Just food for thought.
Pierce and Garnett were superstars in their day. However, they cannot win in Boston anymore. Ray Allen had the right idea to try and win another ring. My advice to both of them and the Celtics is to get out while you still can. To ‘The Truth’ and Garnett, this may be the last chance you have at winning another championship in the league. To Boston, Doc Rivers is a great coach of young talent (look at Rondo). He has an aging Celtics club hanging around a .500 record. Give him some good young players and let him turn things around.
Is Rondo the best point guard in the NBA? Do the Celtics have one more run in them? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the MTAF Podcast too. It’s on iTunes!