The Boston Celtics had a tremendous, 100-98, double overtime victory against the Miami Heat in Ray Allen’s return to Boston. Even more impressive is that the Celtics earned the win without All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo failed to complete the pregame warmups then went to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a torn ACL during the game.
Rondo did return to support his teammates courtside before the game concluded. For members of the Celtics and their fans, the news was devastating. The Celtics were just a mere 20-23 with Rondo in the lineup and although they rallied to beat the defending champions on this day, analysts and skeptics are already asking if the Celtics will be trading some of its roster and look towards the future.
With the Celtics just 2.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers for the eighth and final playoff spot, most would share the critics sentiment and see what the trade value for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett or any of the other roster members is.
However, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is not ready to throw the towel in just yet. Surprisingly, the Boston is 22-13 in games without Rondo in the last four seasons. With Avery Bradley back from injury, he most likely will be back in the role of point guard, which he was forced to play last season when Rondo was injured. Bradley also gives the Celtics a great on-ball defender.
Despite the disappointing news of Rondo’s injury, Rivers remained upbeat at the post game press conference. “We’ll find someone that’s already in our locker room who will step up,” Rivers said. “You can write the obituary, but I’m not. We’re going nowhere.”
Those are pretty optimistic words considering the circumstances but if any coaching staff in the NBA can figure out how to best utilize the talent on its roster, it is the Celtics. Rivers constantly is being heralded as one of the league’s top coaches and now he gets yet another way to validate that belief.
That is if Danny Ainge and the Celtics ownership keeps the team together.
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