27 January 2013

What does Rajon Rondo's injury mean for the Celtics?

The worst fears for Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics were realized earlier today when it turned out that in the Celtics' double-overtime loss to the Hawks on Friday night, Rajon Rondo tore the ACL in his right knee and will be out the rest of the season. Given the team has now lost six out of their last seven games, are barely hanging on to a playoff spot and are now losing their star for the season, what is next for Boston?

GM Danny Ainge really has to think about blowing the team up now with Rondo out for the year and it is time to build around Rondo with a new core. Honestly, he should have been considering this anyways because the Celtics have finally begun to play to their age as their two other key players, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, are still pretty good but are having their worst seasons in years, statistically speaking. And considering that this team was struggling to hang on to a playoff spot, now is the time to hit the reset button.

But let's say that Ainge decides to hold off on making major changes to the team until after the season, can they still reach the postseason? The days as a serious contender are over and while it is not impossible for them to hold on to their 2.5 game lead over ninth place Philadelphia, it will be very hard. The 76ers will be getting Andrew Bynum back from injury at some point this month, they hope. And a couple games behind the 76ers are the Pistons (don't laugh) because they have rebounded after their disastrous 0-8 start and have gone 16-19 since. Plus, Toronto has the ability to make a big move via a trade so they could be able to make a run.

But the bottom line is that it is going to be very difficult regardless for the Celtics to maintain their playoff positioning and thus it has to be considered that the team is blown up and retooled around Rondo for when he comes back from injury. Is an eighth place finish and a sweep at the hands of Miami really worth it when the team is going older and older now by the day?

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