Let’s say this: Rajon Rondo’s absence has never been more noticeable.
Will Garnett and Pierce stick around for one more year and see what they can do with a Rondo-led offense? We can hope so. These Celtics, as we’ve been saying all year, are not those Celtics. They are a shell of their former selves. The blame shouldn’t be focused on anyone. This team doesn’t have the personnel to compete with the elite teams of the NBA at the moment. No All-Star point guard (or anything resembling a point guard), no big man depth, no shot blocking, and an older, breaking-down Garnett. They should be commended for making the playoffs this season. For giving themselves a chance to win Game 1, before Carmelo got the playoff monkey off his back.
Without J.R. Smith for Game 4, the Celtics have a better chance, but, it really doesn’t matter. As resilient as this bunch is, they have no hope of winning four straight games against a team playing this well.
If you’re looking for a team to get excited about in this year’s playoffs, it’s the Golden State Warriors. An undermanned group without their All-Star, David Lee, the Warriors and Steph Curry will keep you entertained.
Celtics fans can spend the off-season thinking about a Rajon Rondo-led future. And crossing their fingers that Garnett and Pierce will give it one more go. That ain’t so bad.