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Doc Rivers laughs off talk Celtics are better w/o Rondo

Chuck - Red's Army January 31, 2013 Celtics News, Doc Rivers, Rajon Rondo 61 Comments

Via WEEI:

The Celtics are now 2-0 since losing Rajon Rondo for the season with an ACL tear in his right knee. A vocal minority have speculated that perhaps this team might be better off without the services of the All-Star point guard, a notion the coach dismissed quickly on Thursday.

“That’s silly,” Rivers said. “The bottom line is that you’d rather have him. But we do have other guys that can do different things. Having Courtney Lee and Avery [Bradley] gives you size at the guard spot. They are more physical guards so in that way that helps. Everybody does different things and that’s basically who we are now.”

Rivers was asked if other players might view the loss of Rondo as a chance for a greater opportunity to contribute to the team for the rest of this season.

“I don’t know, I just think more minutes helps anybody,” Rivers said. “We lost six games in a row and I thought it was time to start playing better. We did play well against Chicago, we just didn’t win a game. We played well against Atlanta and then lost the game. I thought we were starting to play better anyway, and that was with Rondo.”

I gave WEEI’s Dennis and Callahan about 4 minutes of my time before a twitch in my central nervous system forced me to change the station. Some of the crap I heard:

  • Rondo demands the ball
  • Rondo strives for triple-doubles and the team suffers because of it
  • Rondo forces his flashy style into the game

I’ve been one of Rondo’s harsher critics, but these are all lies. What point guard doesn’t demand the ball? That’s their freakin’ job.

Rondo’s triple-doubles are NEVER forced. The guy averages a double-double, so how exactly is he hurting the team by rebounding? Laughable.

His tip-off trickery is harmless. The walk-the-dog routine saves time on the clock. His signature fake-behind-the-back-pass remains extremely effective. Not to mention, he rarely, if ever, turns the ball over when doing it.

If the Celtics start playing better basketball without Rajon Rondo, it’s because the injury sent a jolt to every member of that team and not because he’s detrimental to the team.

In other news, Jared Sullinger did not practice today and he’s 50-50 for Friday’s game vs Orlando.

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  • eddysamson

    Any idea why ‘Glen Davis breaks foot’ is the 4th most searched term on Yahoo today?

    When did that many people start caring about him? Not knocking him, just honestly surprised.

  • http://jackhowland.com Jack

    I’m sure it’s been touched on, but hasn’t Rondo been phoning it in on defense? It seems there were innumerable times when some guard would drive right down the key unmolested. Maybe Rondo had something to do with that, effectively defusing the ability of the whole team to defend effectively. With him gone and this Pitbull thing going, the whole team looks reenergized. I say all that as a big Rondo fan. Maybe it seemed like he was just waiting for the playoffs, but not pacing himself like a Pierce or KG.

  • Danno

    The go-to emotional knee-jerk response to Rondo’s premature ending to his season seems to have a consensus of “THEY ARE NOT BETTER WITHOUT HIM DAMMIT!!!” even though everyone seems to then follow that by rationalizing that without him the rest of the team is playing with the expectation level that most anticipated from training camp.

    While I completely get it, its’ “normal” to react like this. He’s the triple-double dropping All-Star who has been the focus of the team this season. THIS IS A BIG DEAL for many fans.

    However, I would respectfully submit the following names who suffered similar situations in pro sports in this City, and let you decide whether their respective teams were truly better with them, or better off wihtout them:

    Drew Bledsoe. What can you say? He was the #1 pick in the draft. The most talked about Quarterback of his era. Movie Star. Superhero to some people. He’d already led them to the Superbowl once (and lost because they had no D.)

    But he Patriots were absolutely better off without him.

    #2 – Nomar Garciaparra. Again – what can you say? he was the face of teh Franchise for a few great years. The NExt Ted Williams some said. The best Shortstop ever to lace em up in a Sox uniform. Surely he would help them bring him their first World Series in 86 years.

    But injuries hobbled him, and they traded him for what most people considered lesser parts. The same year that damned curse was finally broken. Coincidence? Not it my book.

    #3 – Nathan Horton. Top line scorer. The guy who puts the puck in the net. Equal parts Neely and Esposito. “I don’t know how they’re ever gonna beat Vancouver without Horty!!! oh well it was a great year…” was the sports radio chime.

    First Cup since the year I was born.

    Again – coincidence? Nope.

    Team sports are bigger than one Man. Ask Paul Pierce. Ask Kevin Garnett. Ask Lebron James.

    My only other comment here, given the renewed energy level that was clearly apparent last night and in the Miami game, and the Knicks game a few weeks ago and 14 games last season everyone seems to have forgotten about – Maybe, just maybe, Ray Allen wasn’t wrong. Maybe it wasn’t Ray who was the bad guy. Maybe Ray was telling us something in his leaving that Doc and Danny and Paul and Kevin, etc. simply have yet to admit to themselves, let alone publicly.

    Time will tell. But if the past often dictates the future, I have a feeling all this defense of Rondo’s necessity will be gone for all but the die-hard Rondo homers, once this season ends. I could be completely wrong. But I do have history on my side.

    • Aaron

      I’m not a Bruins fan, so I can’t comment about Horton. I’m not a Pats fan either, but I am a Bills fan — so I can assure you that Bledsoe, when traded to Buffalo, was nothing more than an above-average QB quickly on the decline.

      While his defense has left a bit to be desired, in no way can you say that Rondo’s skills are on the decline.

      Also, the Rondo and Nomar situations aren’t even remotely alike. Not only was Nomar frail, his skills had greatly deteriorated. On top of that, he become a clubhouse cancer, constantly sulking in the dugout.

      Regardless of the “spare parts” the Sox recouped by trading him, getting rid of Nomar was addition by subtraction.

      Getting rid of an in-his-prime Rondo simply can’t be compared to two aging, declining players that once were.

      • Danno

        Actually I’d say Rondo and Nomar are more directly comparable than any of the others. You want to talk about Clubhouse Cancer? Ask Ray Allen what he really thinks of Rondo. Or just read any one of the dozens of local and national sports media articles talking about Rondo’s problems with behavior and its’ effect on the team.

        If this is Rondo’s “prime” than we’ve been duped. He has to play 45 minutes a night to put up numbers that actual “Superstars” put up in 30 minutes or less. He plays NO defense, at all. None. Worse than Ricky Davis. and he’s a constant suspension or Tech threat because he acts like a spoiled baby almost all of the time.

        • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

          “He has to play 45 minutes a night to put up numbers that actual “Superstars” put up in 30 minutes or less.”

          — Rondo is 15th in the league in minutes played. Kevin Durant, Luol Deng, Nic Batum, Kobe Bryant, Joakim Noah, LeBron James, Damian Lillard, Jrue Holiday, James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, Joe Johnson, Carmelo Anthony, Steph Curry, and David Lee all play more minutes per game.

          SOOO…. the truth is, actual superstars need more minutes to put up the numbers Rondo does.

          I get it, you hate Rondo, but don’t lie. It makes you look bad when you get roasted like this.

          • LA Flake

            We get it, John. You’re a Rondo fanboy. But numbers don’t lie. Rondo-led team = Sub .500 team in the Leastern Conference no less.

          • Danno

            If Luol Deng, Nic Batum, Damian Lillard, Steph Curry and David Lee are now considered “Superstars”, then the term Superstars is vastly overrated.

            I don’t hate Rondo. But I do believe he is vastly overrated, and this team will be a much better one without him.

            No one doubted the talent, or the greatness in individual play that Allen Iverson displayed during most of his career. Didn’t do his teams much good though, did it?. And that’s the point – people seem to care less about Teams than they do about individual superstar players. Suddenly now you’re a “Homer” if you root for your home/regional team, even when they play a team that has some ESPN Sportscenter Dunk of the Night regular on it. It’s ridiculous. The whoel sports world has been taken over by supposedly “impartial” Sports Fantasy League (Dungeons and Dragons nerds) who root for individual stats. I hate it.

            I’m a Celtics fan. From what I’ve seen, watching every single game, being a season ticket holder for years, is taht overall, Rondo’s effect on the team is a negative. playing-wise and personality wise. You call it “hate”. I call it reality. I can’t deny what my eyes see. You’ve put this kid up on a pedastal. He doesn’t belong there.

          • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

            Those were all people with minutes higher than Rondo… don’t deflect the conversation. Just admit you were wrong in that ridiculous statement about his stats. Rondo has always played fewer minutes than those big superstars.

            This year, Rondo hasn’t played very good defense. But even this year, his offensive rating has been higher than his defensive rating, thus he’s been a net positive on the court. We can argue that he should have been a bigger positive this season, and that’s certainly valid.

            Still… Rondo makes this team better. And the past two playoffs, Rondo’s been one of the few reasons the Celtics have been able advance as far as they have. Suggesting the team is better without Rondo is, as Doc puts it, silly… and you can see it when they try to run a half court set even against the crappy Kings. If a team forces the Celtics to play a half court game without Rondo, it’ll be an ugly blowout.

      • RedsLoveChild

        The Bruins won because Tim Thomas was on fire! They were already on a serious roll when Horton went down…they climbed on Thomas` back…adopted a refuse-to-lose mentality.

        Nomar was about the 12th most important Red Sox player by mid-2004…light years behind Manny, Papi, Damon, Tek, Schill, Petey, Folke, etc.

        The Pats slid dramatically after Parcells left…Bledsoe was no longer a Golden Boy…lost his job to arguably the greatest QB ever.

        Rondo is talented, but far from great. Clearly, he is not well liked amongst teammates. I expect Boston to trade him within 2 years. They just want comparable talent in return, regardless of position.

        • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

          you’re insane if you think he’s not well liked by his teammates. Nearly every story I’ve ever heard publicly and privately speaks to the contrary.

          • LA Flake

            So where were KG, PP and Ray Allen when Ainge was trying to trade Rondo for Chris Paul? The ONLY guy who stood up for Rondo then was Tommy Heinsohn.

            Tommy Heinsohn and no one else.

            We all love Tommy around here but…Nuff said.

          • KY Celts fan

            @Flake

            You have no idea what’s said behind closed doors. So please don’t pretend you have some insight into the locker room that no one else has.

          • Danno

            Neither does John or Chuck, even when they claim to hear about things said “in private”

          • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

            Are you insinuating I’m making up private conversations with people who are around the team?

          • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

            Let me just say this for the record so everyone sees it. The last thing I am, or ever will be, is a fake or a liar, and I take accusations or insinuations of that quite seriously. While I don’t have credentials to be in that locker room on a daily basis, I have covered Celtics games, Celtics events, and other NBA events at which I’ve come to know people with whom I have private conversations about things related to the Celtics.

            So when I say I’ve heard both publicly and privately that nearly to a man, the guys love Rondo… then that’s a true statement.

            I take my credibility very seriously. We can disagree on the value of whomever you want on this roster, but I will not stand for personal attacks, however veiled they might be.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Where there`s smoke, there`s fire.

            Rondo`s name comes up way too often whenever there is any hint of unhappiness in that clubhouse. Too many coincidences are NOT a coincidence.

            Team leaders {PP-KG} have always remained silent whenever they`ve had opportunities to crush Rondo-related rumors of internal dissension.

          • Danno

            To set the record straight, I was not insinuating that you were lying or making anything up. I dont think you or Chuck would do that for a second. Clearly you spend countless more hours being in direct contact with people more deeply involved with the players and Celtics Organization than most of the commenters here, myself included. But if you’re saying that EVERYONE you’ve heard of says they love Rondo “to a man” then you must be misremembering all the hoopla over Ray Allen’s departure where it was reported by multiple sources that Rondo has been an irritant to not only Ray but others in the organization at times.

            Though I would appreciate if you’re expecting me to hold your reputation in high regard, that you have the respect for me or other commenters here on your site not to talk crap about us like you consider our comments to be a joke on Twitter. If you’re going to disagree with someone’s argument here, do it here where they can respond, not sneakily behind their back in a conversation on another medium while you snicker at it with the paid media members you’re buddying up to.

            I like you John and Chuck, and I’ve been an avid fan of this blog since long before everyone jumped on the KG era bandwagon. You know this. You’ve even posted comments if mine as blog posts in the past.

            We disagree on Rondo, or rather that the Celtics need him. I don’t think they do, and will be a better team without him because he won’t be ball-hogging on offense and matadoring on defense.

            Let’s leave it at that and leave the personal sniping to the Laker and Miami troll fans.

  • Danno

    Also – to comment on the article – I HATE, and I mean HATE Dennis and Callahan wiht the passion of 1,000 suns, but I tend to agree that those things they mentioned do have some root in reality when it comes to Rondo.

    • LA Flake

      Chuck’s whole post on this is laughable. Of course Doc’s going to defend Rondo. He needs Rondo to either play well or bring back talent in a trade. But our record speaks for itself. Who are you going to believe, Doc who has vested interest in managing people’s perception of Rondo or your own eyes? Rondo is trash like Antoine Walker was trash and Ricky Davis was trash. When was the last time we ran and shared the ball like we did last night? When was the last time we played defense like last night?

  • Chulinho

    The Chicago Bulls are 28-17 with a 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference without Derrick Rose. I guess they don’t need him.

    Ball-dominant PGs are overrated! Rose, Rondo, Westbrook, and so on-who needs ‘em?!! Right?

    • Danno

      Well, let’s look at history. Who was the last NBA team to win a Championship mostly on the play of a ball dominant point guard?

      2012 – Miami, Mario Chalmers. (LOL – not)
      2011 – Dallas, J. Kidd, JJ Barea (neither really ball dominant)
      2010 – LA Lakers – we all know what happened here and there’s no way you can attribute that to Derrick Fisher.
      2009 – LA Lakers See above
      2008 – Celtics – Rondo wasn’t nearly as dominant as he is now.
      2007 – Spurs – Tony Parker. Not so much.

      • KY Celts fan

        Tony Parker was Finals MVP that year.

        • LA Flake

          Rondo was a non-factor in our run to the championship in 08. Except for that game 6 against the Lakers when everyone on the team went bonkers, Rondo hardly finished any games in the playoffs that year and he was generally a liability which prompted Doc to finally go with Eddie.

        • Danno

          Which I’ve never understood to this day, since it was clearly Manu Ginobili’s award.

    • JG

      Rose can score, dude. Not even close to comparable. He also is consistent, which rondo is not. Same with Westbrook.

      • Chulinho

        So it’s okay to hog the ball as long as you can put up gaudy scoring numbers?

        I don’t know…that sounds like this guy named Allen Iverson…

        What ever happened to that guy?

  • Mike

    I agree. Anyone who has watched the celtics games this year would be lying to say Rondo has not been disrupting the flow of the game both offensively and defensively.
    Why would his name ALWAYS come up in trade talk the past few years?
    Why did he only get $11 mil a year if he is an “elite” point guard?
    Rondo’s avg assists have been going up every year because that is ALL he can do. His shot has never come around. He CAN. Rebound also, but that’s all.
    That being said… I say we still keep him for our transition into a leaner, fast breaking, defensive team like the thunder. He would thrive in that system.
    Overall this injury will be good for the present and future of the Boston celtics!
    KG and Pierce should retire after this season and that will free up a good $25mil or so for free agents like josh smith, etc

  • JG

    “If the Celtics start playing better basketball without Rajon Rondo, it’s because the injury sent a jolt to every member of that team and not because he’s detrimental to the team.”

    This is literally becoming ludacris. Before, people who loved rondo said they would stand no chance without him of playing well. Now, you’ve covered EVERY angle by stating as a matter of a fact that it was the “jolt” of energy his injury provided that made them better when it is CLEAR (to any unbiased individual including my father who rarely watches games but has seen them both with and without rondo) that the celtics play FAR AND AWAY better quality basketball and play the way the game was meant to be played when he is not on the court.

    I am not one that says that his triple doubles are him being “selfish”. That’s not a great argument. What I am suggesting is that he defense is literally detrimental to this team, and the team is more efficient offensively both in the half court (more people touch the ball, more people move, which causes the defense to rotate, and each player feels more a part of the game when you touch the ball several times per possession.

    I cannot speak for these players, but I know from my own personal experience that when I played in college as primarily a shooter, I played WAY better on teams where the ball moved and I touched the ball more than once per possession, even if I didn’t get a shot. It’s just undeniable that rondo dominates the ball. The celtics average 3 more points per 100 possessions without him you those tracking stats.

    Finally, the fast break is better without him for 3 reasons. 1. The defense is obviously better 2. They don’t look to rondo every time as the outlet (I’m not sure whether this is Rondo’s fault they do this when he plays or Docs) and 3. The ball, after the outlet pass, gets advanced with ANOTHER pass almost IMMEDIATELY. When this happens, offensive players have more room in the open court to create for themselves, big men can trail right down the center of the court drawing even more attention and freeing up the wings. This is in sharp contrast to Rondo, who tends to receive the outlet pass and dribble (quickly to his credit) up the court and try to make the play himself for someone else. However, the dribble travels less quickly than the pass, the defense has more time to get back, and rondo usually drives and kicks out to a shooter. This limits the options on the break. Now, guys are mostly forced to catch and shoot and not attack the room because there is less room due to Rondo waiting to give the ball up. Thus, his intentions are not “selfish”, per se, as he is trying to get an “assist”, but I think what people are referring to is that it is hindering the break and looks selfish that he isn’t giving the ball up early and wants to make the play himself. I’m not sure it’s selfish or not. This is just the way some point guards play. I’ve played with this kind and the kind that gives it up immediately, and I’ve personally found that I play better with the latter, which is why in my opinion, rondo hurts this team more often than he helps it.

    OCCASSIONALLY, he is so dynamic that his individual ability can overcome these pitfalls and he can take over a game. But, that is occasionally. In my opinion, someone who is “one of the best pg in the league” should not be good “on occasion” on only one end of the floor.

    • Celtic Geezer

      Yours was probably the most lucid post on here that I’ve ever seen about Rondo (other than mine, of course. lol). You get it. The Team is better, as a team, without Rondo, really, despite what Chuck and Doc think. It has very little to do with a jolt. It has to do with a much more fluent and fluid offense when they have to play without him. He does dribble too much and he almost never gives the ball up early in the clock. In fact, he is literally terrible when he gets the ball with 12 seconds on the clock left in a crucial situation. He stands out beyond the 3-arc until the clock gets down to 4 or 5 and, 90% of the time, he ends up being the shooter because no one else comes up for air in the few seconds that are remaining on the clock. He is maybe the worst fast breaking point guard that has ever played the game. I posted the other day, that I think he gets a basket out of maybe 20% of his fast break leads, where Magic, on the other hand, worked the break at around 75% of his leads. His defense is attrocious so the Avery/Courtney team is much more effective defensively. He can make amazing passes. He is a great rebounder for a guard. He can legitimately get steals (when he’s not just trolling the passing lanes and leaving his man wide open). Pierce becomes a much more effective player when Rondo is not on the court because, as Kobe recently discovered, a great offensive player who’s willing to kick the ball to open men can rack up easy assists and get his whole team into the flow of the game. It’s a pleasure to read a post here from someone who understands that Rondo is neither the hero nor the Devil but is a flawed great player. You can tell the difference between the posts of former basketball players and the arm chair warriors. We did great last season when he was out and I have long predicted that we will keep up the intensity of our play for the rest of the season without him again.

    • zippittyay

      I have to agree wholeheartedly. The key to your post is that one or two seconds we lose when someone gets the rebound and they automatically look around for Rondo instead of making the best pass possible. When Rondo gets the rebound, he dribbles automatically instead of looking for the best pass possible.
      I feel however that Rondo is a real smart guy and he will see some of these things and make some adjustments to his game. His jumper IS better than ever. His defense is unfortunately worse than ever. There is no reason he can play harder on the defensive end of the court.
      Our end of quarter/half/game possessions, once a strong point of the team, have become an embarrassment. The ball MUST move on this team. There is no one good enough to deem ‘unguardable’ in a one on one situation with the clock running down.

    • Tim

      Jg gets it

  • LA Flake

    Hey Chuck,
    if winning is the most important thing, then you gotta admit Rondo is a below-average PG and just a horrible *leader*. What are triple doubles and double doubles worth if they’re not getting you Ws despite playing with two first ballot HOFers and a slew of talented NBA players including TWO former 6th man of the year?

    Rondo sucks.

    • KGino

      to be fair, celts are like 22-5 when he has a triple double..

      • Danno

        He’s had 5 Triple Doubles this season. In those games they are 2-3. Only one of those wins came against a Playoff caliber team – ATL. The other was against Charlotte.

      • LA Flake

        Just about every one of those Ws came when he was playing with the Big 3. Other coaches have pointed this out. Chris Paul has pointed this out. Rondo was very fortunate to play with KG, PP and Ray Allen. You and I could average 10 assists if I were playing with those three.

        When Ray was still here, all we heard from morons like Forsberg and Blakley was how Rondo needs guys who can run with him. Danny goes out and signs a bunch of guys who can run better than Rondo and what does Rondo do? Dribble the air out of the ball or botch every fast break opportunity he has. And *leads* the team to a sub .500 record.

    • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

      “What are triple doubles and double doubles worth if they’re not getting you Ws”

      The Celtics are 23-5 when Rondo gets a triple double. They are 116-55 when he has a double double.

      So the triple doubles and double doubles actually do get you W’s.

      • LA Flake

        During the Big 3 era, John. During the Big 3 era.

        What is our record THIS YEAR when Rondo got a triple double?

        • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

          Ah… I see. So you want to skew the numbers. So on nights where the bench didn’t perform well but Rondo got a triple double… that’s his fault? You can get numbers to say whatever you want when you shrink the sample size and get selective. The overall career numbers are what they are.

          You can be the guy who claims Rondo sucks… you’d last 5 minutes as an NBA GM.

          • LA Flake

            If I were a GM and Rondo was on my team, I wouldn’t go around trashing Rondo. I’d do exactly what Danny and Doc’s been doing: Praise the hell out of him and tout him as one of the best in the game and say some bullshit like, “Rondo is our best player” so that some dumbass GM will bite and give me an all star talent in a trade.

            How many games did we lose without Rondo this year? One?

      • Danno

        This season, they have a .500 record when rondo scores a double-double. 10-10.

        and they are 2-3 when he gets a triple double.

        They have played 45 games – rondo has played in 38 of them. and are 22-23 overall.

        They are 4-3 without rondo in the lineup.

        Of the 38 games Rondo has played in – they are 20-20 when hs scores a double double. They are 10-8 when he doesn’t.

        As a team, where W/L are concerned, The Celtics statistically ply worse and lose more often when Rondo plays better and has double digit totals in multiple categories, and the better he does, they more often they lose.

        which means in teh games rondo

        • Tyler

          All of those numbers, give or take a few (some are small sample sizes), are about .500 which is where the team is at overall for the season. There isn’t a drastic change in the team’s record with or without Rondo. So you could maybe say that he’s a “nonfactor” but you can’t say that he’s detrimental to the team when he plays. They aren’t better (right now) without him. If they rattle off a couple win streaks in the next few weeks, you can make that statement but so far they’ve won 2 games since he’s been out with an injury and one of those games came against a bad Kings team. Like it was stated in the post, their half court offense is going to struggle without having Rondo on the court, especially against good teams and most definitely in a 7 game playoff series. There are plenty of critiques to be made about Rondo’s game especially at a point where most fans thought he’d finally hit that stride and become a legit MVP candidate. But to say at this point that they are a better team without him is silly. It isn’t his fault when JET, KG, JG or any of these guys shoot something like 2-12 or worse when they combine to do it on the same night. More often than not, these guys are getting open looks at jump shots…

          • JG

            Tyler,

            I mean this seriously, not as an insult. You may not have played basketball at a higher level before. If you haven’t, I just want to tell you that 1. Long two point jumpers aren’t considered good shots when that is all you get (as they do with rondo) and 2. As I stated, if you ARE a good shooter, it is not easy to have the ball in someone’s hands for 20 seconds while you stand there flat footed and wait for him to create. It is much easier to get into the flow of a game when bodies are moving on offense. People are moving the ball, cutting, screening, what have you. I know that I personally went from a knock down shooter when playing like that to almost a below average shooter when playing with guys like Rondo. From a distance, people like you might say “well those shots are open, they should make those”, but I can honestly tell you, when you’re out of rhythm as I see most of these guys are when they receive his passes, it becomes a different game.

            Secondly, I said the celtics would struggle in the half court without a POINT GUARD. Not without Rondo specifically.

            Finally, as for your point about it being too early to claim they are better without rondo: they have not played enough games without him yet. I think that you will find that over the course of the next few weeks, they will continue to win at a slightly better or even better than slightly better clip. I say this not just because of the RESULTS of the past 2 games. I’ve actually been saying this for about 3 years now, with the exception of when he plays extraordinarily well (as in the Miami series where he all of a sudden was hitting 3s), the celtics are better without him. I say this because I am observing the actual Xs and Os, the dynamic of the team. Not just looking at stats and results here. As I always say, stats don’t tell in basketball.

  • Better-Off

    The Celtics might be better off without Rondo. Like others have stated….when we won in 2008 Rondo was less a part of the mix and Eddie House was in for his spacing the floor and shooting. Rondo is an awesome player, but he is also a huge liability when he is not slashing to the basket. We saw flashes of how he should play against Orlando a couple years back in the Playoffs, but because his jumper is lacking and he dominates the ball he can become a liability. We saw last night the Celtics moving the ball around and the shooting improved. i detect that we will continue to see better shooting and also better defense because Rondo is a risk taker and not a good defender. i can try for steals all day but the majority of the time it hurts the team rather than helps.

    • LA Flake

      And he’s become a detrimental player for the team this year in every aspect. Sucks on D, zero effort unless he’s on national TV, shitty attitude, shittier game. Hey, but he’s a self-proclaimed MVP candidate!

  • KGino

    There is no denying that based on a small sample they seem to play better together without rondo.

    My opinion is this.. who cares? Rondo is obviously very talented, but doesn’t quite know the best way to use his talent to translate into W’s. The important thing is that while he’s out these next 6-9 months, he learns how to utilize his skills better for the sake of the team.

    If we played the way we do without Rondo with Rondo, we’d be even better than we are without him.. if you know what I’m saying. Doc needs to take some blame for always putting the ball in Rondo’s hands as well.

    • JG

      True…I’d have to agree with that.

  • NP

    I’m not a Rondo hater overall I am pretty neutral to him, when he turns it on he can be amazing, its funny that seems to happen mostly in front of national TV audiences. This year I was very annoyed with his defense which was terrible or non existent but what was worse is that he is terrified of the line for a guy that can’t shoot a 3 and doesn’t shoot that many mid range shots either he doesn’t go to the foul line, the foul line is huge it means you are breaking down the defense and getting easy points at the line one the floor spacing of Ray was gone this became ever more apparent how Rondo’s weakness stalled the offense. You can’t be a slash and kick finish at the rim point guard and never go to the line. I think its also why Rondo makes some of those stupid passes we all hate instead of just finishing at the rim when he should. I don’t see him becoming a true outside threat, I don’t see him changing his game enough to be the focal point the true alpha dog on this team and thus I thought he should have been traded before the deadline. He was the most valuable trade bait in terms of getting equal value back. Another big man that can rebound and a scorer that can take some of the load off of Pierce would have been nice Pierce is just to old to be able to be “THAT” guy now consistently.

    • LA Flake

      I don’t see Rondo lasting two more seasons in Boston. He’s going to be determined to prove all the naysayers and doubters wrong next year which means he’ll be even more full of himself than this year. But his game will not mesh with the current roster of players. His shot will still remain shaky because let’s face it. Rondo’s shot is Rondo’s shot and will never change. And he still won’t get to the line. But to me, the real reason why Rondo won’t be here is because I just can’t believe Danny and Doc when they claim that Rondo is good for the team. They’re quite brilliant basketball minds, so they must see the same thing many of us see which is that Rondo is very, very overrated. So Danny will cash in when he can.

      In Danny I trust.

  • Quest

    Rondo turns 27 end of Feb He will be on the cusp of 28 when he returns from rehab and will have about a yr and half on contract. Now isn’t that a concerning thought. Still too many variables to play out with this team. It would be so nice to have 2 -3 stable yrs.

    It’s not only about Rondo it’s about Doc too. Doc was the one putting the ball into RR’s hands and letting him be the coach on the floor running Doc’s system. The celtic organization really works hard to keep what is going on in the locker room behind closed doors and making the necessary spins. It’s a business after all. But agree where there is smoke there is fire. Did anyone catch KG’s comment when comparing Sully recently that Glen Davis had a mean streak but Sully was a nice guy. Before Xmas Tommy even hinted about cliques in the locker room and some grumblings. But all is healed with wins so just gotta get Ws.

  • Art

    “The bottom line is that you’d rather have him.” That doesn’t sound too convincing, Doc. The bottom line is that his team needs to play like a team, and not like the game is always under the control of one player. If it’s a matter of Rondo not being coachable, trade him.

  • KGino

    The question is not if we are better off without Rondo..

    the question is, will Rondo realize the adjustments he needs to make to his game to make the team as a whole successful..

    Take notes these next 8 months Rondo, or else Danny will have to come down with the kibosh!

    • LA Flake

      but how will rondo develop a reliable jumper in 8 months? as long as rondo’s running the show, we’ll always play 4 vs 5 on offense. sick and tired of that crap. loving the new look celts minus rondo.

      • KGino

        LA Flake.. his jumper is reliable as of this year.. not when its to beat the shot clock, but when he shoots in rhythm. Did you know he was in the top 25 in the entire NBA for mid range jump shot % this year?

        As of mid December he was 8th for midrange jump shot %.. so I’m comfortable with saying at worst 25th by the time he got injured haha.

        Google it.

    • Art

      Agreed. Rondo’s focus must be 100% on W’s. Not double-doubles or triple-doubles. We could care less about his numbers. We all saw his team was not getting W’s even against weak teams, while he is supposed to be the leader ’cause Doc makes him the focus. I believe that more plays need to be called that gets everyone involved, instead of the one pass and shoot Rondo offense, or Rondo constantly taking his famous jump shot. Better coaching needed from Doc!.

  • zippittyay

    Ain’t it strange how over the years, Doc’s most ‘brilliant’ moves happen when an injury forces his hand?

    • JG

      I’m not disagreeing, I’m just curious cuz I can’t think of any. Which other ones?

    • zippittyay

      It seems impossible to look this up, so I will have to rely on my flawed memory. I recall Rondo, Avery Bradley, Tony Allen and even Ryan Gomes as players who were called upon due to injuries and did so well everyone wondered why they never got any playing time before.

  • JG

    Also, I was just talking to my brother who also agrees the celtics are better without rondo and we were thinking about something…

    To all of you other people who agree with me about the Celtics being better without rondo:

    Should we just settle the argument by telling these people who love rondo that yes, he is skilled. He is a dynamic, talented player. But, for all of the reasons that others and myself have posted above, this team is better without him.

    That’s as far as I’m willing to go. I’m not even going to say he sucks. He just sucks as far as being the best point guard in the league in terms of helping his teams effectively play well.

    It just frustrates me so much that people who love rondo call us “haters” on here. I can’t speak for everyone, but I personally have NO reason to want rondo to be unsuccessful here! None! In fact, I WANT him to be the best point guard in the league, because I love this team and always have. It would make me a MUCH happier man if he could play and the team dynamic wasn’t ruined and they could still play quality basketball with uptempo fast breaks with long outlet passes, passing cutting and screening on offense, and stifling defense. But unfortunately, when he plays, more often than not, those things don’t happen. And so far, from what I’ve seen, the celtics don’t only win with him out but PLAY well, and do all of those things.

  • Chuck – Red’s Army

    While there are some valid and well written points here, I’m astonished at the overall negativity to Rondo’s game and influence.

    It’s like we’re blasting him for not being the best player in the game. How about appreciating what he brings to the table – which is top 5 point guard skills?

    Everyone also has a short memory. What about his performance vs Miami in the playoffs last year? He averaged 45 mpg, 20.9 ppg, 11.3 apg, 6.7 rpg. We’re better off w/o that?

    • JG

      Chuck, the thing is, you are pointing out stuff that I am conceding to in my posts already. I 1. Admitted that he has great TALENT and 2. Said that his talent is so great that it can occasionally overcome how he hurts the team, which in my opinion, for the reasons I have stated, happens the majority of the time. Yes, the Miami series he played EXCELLENT basketball. But, don’t you kind of see it as a problem that every time someone criticizes him people point to a single series where he shot the best he has ever shot in 7 games? I have said he’s capable of doing it occasionally. That’s not the point. This team struggles with consistency. We have been saying that all year, and I think he plays a major factor in that. Does that make sense?