It happened a little later than I expected, but the Boston Celtics are playing mediocre basketball as they just aren’t contenders without Rajon Rondo. Sunday night’s game versus the Portland Trail Blazers was a microcosm of just how desperate the Celtics are for their fearless leader to come back.
Boston had Portland on the ropes last night, but the Blazers, who are 18-9 at home, pulled out another win. Doc Rivers was not happy postgame as the timely turnovers and missed opportunities can be summarized what the Celtics coach called a “my bad” game.
With Rondo in the lineup the Celtics would’ve won this game as they held the opponent to just 92 points and were in position to pull away late. However, in the fourth game of a five game roadtrip you can’t expect an aging Celtics team to win these types of games against a streaky and talented Trail Blazer club. This roadtrip has been one to forget as they are 1-3 and have to take on the Utah Jazz on Monday Night right after Sunday Night’s disappointing outcome in the Rose Garden.
After winning seven straight after Rondo went down on January 27th the Celtics have dropped four of their last six and are fighting to stay in the playoffs as the eighth seed. The emotional charge that surrounded the injury was expected, however Rondo is the catalyst for this team and it shows every night they take the floor without him.
To think that a team would not miss 13.7 points and 11.1 assists a night is foolish and the NBA will start to take notice just how important he is as the Celtics continue to slide.