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Even with Rondo, did the Celtics stand a chance against Miami?

Posted by shawn cassidy on February 28, 2013 at 5:30 AM

Steve Bulpett / Boston Herald

Even with Rajon Rondo, Jared Sullinger and Leandro Barbosa in the lineup, the Celtics knew they were going to need to catch a few breaks along the way to make a serious postseason run. With those players lost to season-ending injuries, said breaks must involve opposing stars and limbs.

The Miami Heat have become the sum of their opponents’ fears, playing stifling defense and regularly getting otherworldly turns from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. If the Heat lose a series during the Eastern Conference playoffs, their foes will have bucked odds taller than Manute Bol standing atop the Rocky Mountains.

The Celtics know where they stand. And you know where they stand simply because they no longer want to talk about where they stand.

Your Shamrocks were more than happy to discuss their belief that they were better on paper coming into this season than they were during their championship run in 2007-08, but that notion was buried at sea long ago.

Even when they stumbled through the first months of the campaign, people like Paul Pierce would boldly say, “I still like our chances. I have confidence in this team. We still think we can beat anybody.”

That kind of talk now is far beyond their focus.

The Celtics entered the 2012-13 season with a deep team,and it was said that this was the deepest team since 2007-08. I think this team was deeper, but it was a different time,and era in the NBA. The Big Three were in their primes,and the East was very weak,and even the West was in 2008. The battle of leadership roles was a conflict this season. Things didn't go right for the Celtics, no other way to put it. This team was built to beat the Heat. And Steve had this team written off before Rondo went down.I believe if you had them written off then. You more than likely feel the same now.

I was split about the Celtics before Rondo went down. I felt if Rondo played better defense,and if he defined his leadership role,and if he became more assertive about his role. I think the Celtics would have beaten the Heat. Of course if the Celtics stumbled into the playoffs this season without focus,and without a true leader. They would have been smoked out in the second round, and maybe the first round. I currently think the Celtics will upset a team or two. But when it comes to the Heat. The Celtics can beat the Heat. But so much needs to go right. I mean so much.

I'm not giving up my hopes. I think this season may just be a learning experience for the young guys in the playoffs. I think the Celtics could have a few advantages when it comes to playing the Heat. KG can handle Bosh,and the Celtics can throw Bradley,and Lee at Wade,and even Williams,and Crawford. Who can slow down James? Nobody,but Green was solid a month ago going up against James,and Pierce does his best. When you still look at depth. The Celtics still have more. But the Heat are rolling winners of 12 games in a row. I hate to say it. But who can really beat them. But we play the games, because who knows what can happen. Injuries are a bitch.

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Reply paul
7:30 AM on February 28, 2013 
I think this team can beat anyone. Anyone. The talent is deep, and they are incredibly gutsy. But it hurts to think how strong they could have been had the craziness not happened with Rondo. I think Rondo is potentially the best player in the league. Why did virtually all the young players apparently decide that they didn't need to listen to him? I think Pierce and Terry are the cause of that, but I also think Rondo didn't help with his slow-down-pound-the-ball approach to the offense, nor did he help with his turnstile still-imagine-perk-is-there defense.

Oh what could have been. But this team can still be great. But what happens next year? How does Rondo return to a team that tuned him out, that one can argue stabbed him in the back even? If this team doesn't win a championship, I'd really like to see Danny clear the decks. Build around Rondo. Talk with him about who should stay and who should go. I don't care about the 'experience' these guys are gaining. I don't want to see any of them back, really. That includes Pierce. If this team doesn't win a championship, I want Pierce gone. I'm done with Mr. Half Truth. The Truth is, you win a championship, and no more excuses, buddy. This is the team you wanted. You are the absolute leader. No one challenges your dominance. NOW YOU WIN THAT SECOND CHAMPIONSHIP OR REMAIN FOREVER ON THE SECOND TIER OF CELTICS GREATS!

Lol. I know I get carried away...

Now if this team does win number 18 - and I think it can - seriously, how can Rondo come back? Between Lee and Bradley, which are you going to sit down so Rondo can start? Two championship players? You can't sit either of them. So do you sit Rondo? I can't see that. If this team wins a championship, Rondo has to go, it seems to me.

So it's never been more true that it's number 18 or bust...
Reply Celticslifer
11:02 AM on February 28, 2013 
If the Celtics win without Rondo. Well, he will have big shoes to fill,and fans will have a target on his back if he can't come deliever a title. I like the Celtics chances this year,but honestly, I don't think Rondo needs to worry about a title this year.

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