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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Pre-Game Grab Bag (Trading Rondo, Switching the Rotation, and My Least Favorite Active Celtic)

Posted by MikeS on February 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Hi All, 

Today I'm just going to hit at some of the thoughts I've had of the Celtics thus far this season. Please feel free to chime in on the comments section because I'm looking for Celtics-related conversation to partake in.  


1) Last night I received a text from my buddy that plainly said, "Rondo for Okafor".  This is my go to guy for basketball talk - from general opinions to rumors - so when I read it, I actually assumed it was something he had just saw or heard.  A minute passed and I received his follow up text, "is my trade suggestion."  The conversation is nothing too exciting but what I found notable here was my reaction, or rather lack there of.  When I read "Rondo for Okafor", two things popped into my head.  I wondered if he had picked up anything else and then I thought to myself, well at least we have some solid depth at the 5.  There was nothing that really found this deal implausible. 

Now, that being said, as a Celtics fan I don't think it's the best trade, nor do I think it's all we could get for a player of Rondo's caliber. But if a future 1st rounder were thrown in there I'd have to at least think about it.  

When I found out it was merely his opinion, I shot back "Rondo and Wilcox to Denver for Al Harrington and Timofey Mozgov (and filler)" and then one-upped it with "Rondo and Wilcox (and filler) for Gasol/Bynum and Steve Blake".  

The point here is with the Celtics recent (and past) play without Rondo, combined with Avery Bradley and E'Twaun Moore's emergence, it's easier to accept that Rajon Rondo is expendable, far more so than when he was being shopped during training camp.  

This team has been in solid form as of late.  As it's been said, Doc has simplified the offense, Paul Pierce is looking like the Paul Pierce we know, and the young guys are proving themselves worthy.  I fear that, when Rondo returns, his presence is going to take away from a lot of what this team has accomplished in his absence.  Rondo, as fantastic of a player as he is, can create as many question marks as he can exclamation points.  Sometimes he runs, sometimes he holds onto the ball for 18 seconds; sometimes he goes hard to the hoop, sometimes he sees the bucket as Kevin saw the basement furnace in Home Alone; sometimes he is a bonafide floor general and other times he is the unsung reason why this team falls off.

Bottom line: If you're focus is on the future,  you stick with Rondo and hope, after this season, you can find a star who can compliment his game.  If you're playing for the now, you've got to see what you can get for him (just as you do with everyone else at this point).  A starting line up of Legitimate Center, KG, Pierce, Ray, and Avery Bradley (especially on defense), along with the deepest bench they've had since '86 is a threat to be recognized.

I think Bradley, though far from an offense weapon, really sets the tone with his nagging defense.  The way he forces point guards to, as Tommy and Mike would say, call their plays from the logo, is incredible.  It forces mistakes, bad shots, and turnovers that lead to more scoring opportunities and fast breaks for the C's.  


2) I don't like Keyon Dooling.  He has received the torch from Glen Davis and has become my least likable Celtic. It's my personal opinion, but I think the Celtics play significantly worse when he's out on the court.  My favorite example is: They blew out Orlando in Boston, and then were down by 20+ a few nights later with Dooling back in the rotation; when he went down for the game, they mounted their comeback and we all know how it ended.  I find Dooling to be nothing more than an extra body on the floor when he's out there. His shot selection is questionable at best, he doesn't have true to his position ball handling skills, he makes bad passes, and hasn't shown me much on the other end of the floor.  How has this guy survived 10 years in the NBA?


3) Last but not least, when Rondo comes back, if I were the coach of the Celtics, I'd strongly consider bringing Ray Allen off the bench and starting Avery Bradley.  A starting line up of O'Neal, KG, Pierce, Bradley, and Rondo gives you two guards who can relentlessly pressure the ball and lead the fast break.  When the offense is in set up mode, you have Pierce and KG (one will most likely be double teamed, leaving someone - either Rondo or Bradley - wide open if they work the cut).  To top that off, you now have a bench consisting of Ray Ray, Mikeal Pietrus, and Brandon Bass.  That's instant offense! 


Anyways, those are my thoughts for the day.  Please feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree, I'm interested to see how you guys feel about this team.  

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11 Comments

Reply Franklin
1:47 PM on February 3, 2012 
I would call you crazy a month ago, if you said start Bradley with Ray. I agree with that also. I would start Bradley over Allen,but at least try it.
Reply celts
1:47 PM on February 3, 2012 
Why is everyone hot for avery bradley out of the 8 games hes started he was terrible in 5 of them only reason were doing good now is because the slackers finally got themselves in shape and pierces jumpshot was falling, i really hope moore gets playing time then bradley.
Reply Perry S
1:50 PM on February 3, 2012 
I think your saying Rondo is the future,and you wouldn't trade him, but it's obvious that he could be traded because of the growth of Bradley, and Moore.
Reply Franklin
1:53 PM on February 3, 2012 
celts says...
Why is everyone hot for avery bradley out of the 8 games hes started he was terrible in 5 of them only reason were doing good now is because the slackers finally got themselves in shape and pierces jumpshot was falling, i really hope moore gets playing time then bradley.



I totally agree in a way, but he's grown. You could say the same of Bradley. Instead of him being out of shape, he wasn't ready,but when his number was called. He got it. He still has major flaws, but he's better than he was at the start of the season.
Reply MikeS
2:36 PM on February 3, 2012 
celts says...
Why is everyone hot for avery bradley out of the 8 games hes started he was terrible in 5 of them only reason were doing good now is because the slackers finally got themselves in shape and pierces jumpshot was falling, i really hope moore gets playing time then bradley.


I'd be lying if I didn't say I think AB is a lackluster offensive player; however his defense, especially when he's out there with the starters, can be game changing. Everyone knows that no one is safe on this team, Ainge has made that abundantly clear. What I'm saying is... if Rondo were to be traded now, as opposed to 2 months ago, I wouldn't be all that surprised or fearful of the repercussions. I think Bradley and Moore, as they are given chances and minutes, have the potential to really flourish.
Reply paul
2:42 PM on February 3, 2012 
I think Rondo needs to be traded. It's not that I think any trades 'must' be considered, or that trading him is in itself a good idea. In fact, I think it's raving madness. I think Rondo is plainly a very special talent, the kind of talent you can build a championship team around, the kind of talent that has always defined 'the Celtics way'. When you talk about Rondo's inconsistent play, I think there are one of two ways one can go with that: either Rondo is an massive jerk (and some folks do seem to be claiming that), or he has been experiencing a great deal of frustration. Isn't the latter explanation the more credible of the two? Being hooked up to a bunch of older great players helped Rondo a lot early in his career, but it carried a hidden cost: once Rondo began to spread his wings as a potential great player himself, the team began to experience a three's-company-but-four's-a-crowd situation. The team needed Rondo's energy and abilities, but was not really prepared to adapt to his growing game. He had to try to fit himself into the stifling slot for him on the team, the slot he was rapidly outgrowing?

See how this works? See how this impacts the natural development of Rondo's game? See how Bradley and E'twaun fit in better because they fit into the same slot that Rondo fit into in his early years?
THE FACT THAT BRADLEY AND E'TWUAN HAVE FITTED IN SO WELL PROVES THE POINT, doesn't it? They fit the slot that Rondo was outgrowing.

It's almost certain that when Rondo returns, the same problems will return. His game won't fit well into the slot. If he is very active, his chain will be yanked. He'll hear that he is trying to do too much. If he is not active, he'll be blamed for being passive and lazy. It's a no win situation for him.

I expect him to be traded soon.
Reply paul
2:43 PM on February 3, 2012 
MikeS says...
I'd be lying if I didn't say I think AB is a lackluster offensive player; however his defense, especially when he's out there with the starters, can be game changing. Everyone knows that no one is safe on this team, Ainge has made that abundantly clear. What I'm saying is... if Rondo were to be traded now, as opposed to 2 months ago, I wouldn't be all that surprised or fearful of the repercussions. I think Bradley and Moore, as they are given chances and minutes, have the potential to really flourish.


It's a shame that Ainge has that attitude. He has no sense of loyalty, but he expects loyalty from the players.
Reply jlil89
2:53 PM on February 3, 2012 
Damn paul.... As much as I hate to say that makes perfect sense
Reply paul
3:42 PM on February 3, 2012 
jlil89 says...
Damn paul.... As much as I hate to say that makes perfect sense


I just don't get it. How do you expect a player to give their all for the team, like it's more than just a paycheck, when you have this whole 'no one is ever safe' policy? The trick is to find players with pride, who self-motivate, who have a vision of the game, AND TRUST THEM.
Reply MikeS
6:38 PM on February 3, 2012 
paul says...
I just don't get it. How do you expect a player to give their all for the team, like it's more than just a paycheck, when you have this whole 'no one is ever safe' policy? The trick is to find players with pride, who self-motivate, who have a vision of the game, AND TRUST THEM.



You're absolutely right, Paul. If Danny were to move any of the big 4, the amount of bad karma that would smack this team would be cataclysmic. It's so sad that DA stabbed this team and its fans in the back with the Perkins trade, it completely ruined the "ubuntu" identity that made this team so unique.
Reply paul
11:31 PM on February 3, 2012 
MikeS says...
You're absolutely right, Paul. If Danny were to move any of the big 4, the amount of bad karma that would smack this team would be cataclysmic. It's so sad that DA stabbed this team and its fans in the back with the Perkins trade, it completely ruined the "ubuntu" identity that made this team so unique.


Yeah it sure did, and you can see with the way the team doesn't want to follow Rondo that the bitterness has continued to ripple. I just wish these guys would exorcise those Perkins Trade demons. Danny done them dirty. But guys, let's not compound it by blaming each other.