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Going 5-on-5: Is Rondo’s Injury The End of an Era in Celtics Basketball?

The fine folks over at ESPN.com asked Brendan Jackson and myself to join up with other parts of the TrueHoop Network to tackle a variety of questions on the C’s and their future after the season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo. Some good questions and takes in here from everyone, and as you can see I went against the grain on a few of them, so curious to hear people’s feedback on that as well as on the national take on a few writers from afar. A sampling of the answers:

1. Fact or Fiction: This is the end of an era in Celtics basketball.

Danny Chau, Hardwood Paroxysm: Fact. They’re a team loosely held together by the erratic genius of Rajon Rondo. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have been evading twilight for years, and won’t be able to will themselves out of this impossible situation. A lot can happen in the year it’s expected to take to recover from an ACL tear, but whatever happens likely won’t be what we’ve grown accustomed to in Boston.

Brendan Jackson, Celtics Hub: Fact. It’s highly unlikely that the Celtics can compete for a championship without Rondo. That gives Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett little incentive to keep the band together. It’s hard to imagine either starting over with a new club at this point in their careers, so the possibility of either retiring at the end of the season shouldn’t be dismissed.

Danny Nowell, Portland Roundball Soc.: Fiction. Yes, this is a setback, but the team was mediocre before the Rondo injury. The era was already dwindling to a close after the Ray Allen trade and this season’s lacking effort, so it’s hard to call this a definitive turning point.

Brian Robb, Celtics Hub: Fiction. While Rajon Rondo is the most talented player on the Celtics right now, this era in Celtics basketball is predicated on tough defense, Garnett and Pierce much more so than Rondo. As long as this team plays defense like they did Sunday against the Heat with KG on the floor, this era isn’t over officially.

Justin Verrier, ESPN.com: Fiction, but only because, to me, this era ends when each member of the Big Three is no longer in Boston. Rondo has been the driving force of these Celtics for some time, but he was only a supporting player when the franchise changed course and reassumed its position among the NBA’s elite. Besides, he’s not going anywhere, especially now that he’s damaged goods.

To check out the full post, head on over to ESPN.com for additional thoughts on whether the team should trade KG, Rondo and whether Boston will make the postseason with their current roster.

  • janos

    this not matter
    nothing is matters
    everything is ruin

    is ruin

    • yeah

      Have faith, janos! The Celtics can still win it all without him!

      • janos

        i am hope you right
        even win brady, garnet ;other guys is not the same

  • Trevor

    As much as I hate to say it, I think this is the end of an era. Pierce and KG want to contend for a title, and are not going to stick around another year just to chase an 8th seed. After this season, they don't have a reason to return. Next season will be a completely new chapter for our franchise.

    Through the good and the bad though, I will always be a die-hard C's fan.

  • KillerGymRat

    It kills me to lose Rondo. Despite his lazy D he remains one of my favorite players, But….I'm going to say there are silver linings here, and once the denial fades (I still can't believe he's done for a year) these are the possitives I can see:

    1) Rondo will NOT be traded. Danny is plotting and it was quite possible Rondo was on the block.

    2) Teams often step up their play when stars go down. Look at Chicago.

    3) The supporting cast is now forced to play more minutes and will be given a chance to grow. Doc has been giving Rondo huge minutes (deservedly so) but guys like Barbosa and Terry have not been able to get comfortable as a result. Now they will have big minutes and it could really help us come playoff time.

    And YES, this team can make the playoffs…and defensive minded teams who can execute in a half court always have a shot in the playoffs.

    4) PP will be more of a facilitator. It's actually a better fit for Pierce to be more of a point-forward at this stage of his career as he opens up so much for other players and takes the pressure off of him to score as much. With Rondo out he can handle the ball more to facilitate, and hopefully won't be given so many iso plays.

    5) Green with have to step up and score. If ever there was a time for Green to earn his contract it's now. I've been down on him most of the season, but what he did against LeBron and his all-around play showed he really can contribute. Now he has to prove that wasn't a fluke.

    6) The pressure is off. Admit it or not this team was crumbling under the pressure that it had to be giant killers and was designed to beat Miami and win the title. That pressure is gone now. Everybody expects the C's to fold their hand and walk away from the table. I hope Danny doesn't. And I expect them to continue to respond the way they did against the Heat. This team loves to be the underdog. Now we are BIG underdogs.

  • ghoulbuns

    I agree with gymnrat on all points. Im actually excited to see where we go now…keep it together Danny!

  • Jared

    Who is this Danny Nowel guy and why does he think the Celtics traded Ray Allen?

  • elroz

    The team this year has a lot of players..they are not thin in the back court or up front…unlike last year. Of course last year they got more out of fewer players than this year. But with 4 quality guards, they can have a more fluid, decentralized offense.

    Also, they can use 2013 pick, Bass, Wilcox, and 1-2 guards (Barbosa, Lee, Terry) to get a point guard and a big man if they need…that's 4-5 pieces they can use now if they need a point guard and a big man.

    But their four guard can all run plays together.

  • james patrick

    God these guys are idiots. Trade KG after he showed his heart bleeds Green?! Trade our Captain after all his loyalty? I'd rather LOSE with them on the team then pick up draft picks for the future. And held on too long you say, LET'S SEE….

    2008 – Champions
    2009 – KG gets hurt (We won 19 in a row just before that btw)
    2010 – Game 6, Perk gets hurt, Game 7, 4 minutes away with a 12 point lead from winning 18)
    2011 – Rondo gets hurt (After Wade tries to tear it off). ALSO, Perk dealt destroying chemistry.
    2012 – One quarter away from getting back to the finals and most likely beating a under experienced OKC)
    2013 – Rondo tears ACL…

    I'm sorry, but held on too long? Please, we could have won at least 4 in a row.

    • http://twitter.com/TrevBales @TrevBales

      I love this recap. Very true that we could have won several titles, back to back to back to back.

  • W2.

    Fiction. Rondo is an imperfect leader. We no longer have a glut of guards. Doc will be forced to play everybody and the pressure is off. We are not a championship caliber team per say…..though PP mortality is overrated….the Truth ain't do yer. Nor is Terry. Seventh seed and knocking out the Knicks would make my year.

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