Jason Terry and Brandon Bass enjoy playing without Rondo; Danny Ainge says Celtics better without Rondo “is silly”
The Celtics have won two straight since Rondo went down with a season-ending ACL injury, and much has been made about the Celtics recent turnaround without their point guard. Some have been audacious enough to even hint that the Celtics are better off without number 9 running the show.
Count me clearly in the other camp, but Brandon Bass and Jason might disagree with me (via CSN):
“The way we’re playing now is a little more conducive to my game, (but) I’m playing just the same as I did with Rondo. There’s no difference for me.” – Bass was asked point blank if this was a happier time for the Celtics where everybody touches the ball.
“I mean, of course you feel better by the ball touching your hands and going through your hands, whatever. But, yeah, it feels good,” Bass said, before the big… “But at the same time we still miss Rondo.”
Yes, I fully understand the argument of the one player going down and the cohesiveness that ensues because everyone else on the team is forced to pick up the slack. Yes, Rondo did dominate the ball, but in a loving, “I have it now, so you can have it later” kind of way. He led the league in assists when he was injured, why is he getting so much flack for being the primary ball-handler? Here is Danny Ainge’s response to some of the people who assert the C’s are better off without the Kentucky product (via WEEI):
“He single-handedly carried us many nights, and I don’t see how people don’t see that,” said Ainge. “When people say we’re going to be better without Rondo or the team’s going to do better without him, it’s silly. He’s a great, great player, and he’s proven that time and time again. The guy’s been MVP of probably four or five series over the last five years — not just individual games here and there or triple-doubles on national TV. He’s been the best player in a series against LeBron James. He’s been the best player in a series against Derrick Rose. He’s been the best player in three games of an NBA Finals.”
Thank you, Mr. Ainge.
The Celtic’s GM mostly references huge playoff performances from Rondo, which is when it really matters. Sure, Boston can distribute the ball around more effectively without Rondo during the regular season, but when it mattered most– Rondo was a superstar. The playoffs, if Boston is lucky enough to make them without their leader, is when the loss will truly be felt.