For the Boston Celtics, today defines the term “bittersweet” a little too perfectly. The Celtics rallied as a team today in a double overtime 100-98 win over the Miami Heat to snap a six game losing streak. They also learned that they will be without their All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo for at least the remainder of the season.
Rondo had an MRI today in Boston and was confirmed with an ACL tear in his right knee. Apparently he had played the last three minutes of the previous game in Atlanta on it and didn’t show true signs of a tear. After 36 hours and a whole lot of rumors the news is confirmed that the Celtics will be without their point guard stud for the remainder of the season. However, all is not lost, and here are a few reasons why…
The Celtics will now move into a “point guard by committee” strategy, most likely seeing Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa as the fill in ball handlers. Jason Terry and Avery Bradley will see more time off the ball but perhaps get some minutes in running the floor as well. The back-court combo of Lee and Bradley has proved itself to be a dynamic defensive duo without giving up too much offense and it would be hard to think of a better full court press in the league with those two hounding the opposing team’s guards. Plus, Rondo was not having himself the best year defensively so in searching desperately for any good news at all, there may perhaps be some on that front. It’s a tough way to solve the dilemma of a crowded back court, but shortening the rotation can sometimes prove itself to be very beneficial. The Celtics have plenty of dirt to fill a good sized hole.
This will also mean more minutes for Barbosa and Terry as well, hoping to gain some offensive prowess in that area as they both average more than 15 ppg when they are given the time and when the opportunities for more attempted shots present themselves. It’s never an easy task to be without your team’s centerpiece and leader, but the Celtics have shown the ability to rally around tough times such as this and today was a perfect example of doing so.
It’s a true challenge to find any optimism when the centerpiece of your offense goes down, but the Celtics pulling out a big win over Miami today just may be the start of finding a new way to make this team work.