The End of an Era?

Losing+key+player%2C+Rajon+Rondo%2C+to+injury%2C+the+Celtics+look+to+find+a+way+to+recover.++

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Fox Sports

Losing key player, Rajon Rondo, to injury, the Celtics look to find a way to recover.

by Ryan Stolz, Staff Writer

On Sunday afternoon around 12:30 PM, Boston Celtics fans were alerted that their All-Star Point Guard Rajon Rondo would be missing their heavyweight battle against the Miami Heat due to a hyperextended knee. At that point, it was widely assumed that Rondo would miss maybe one or two games at most. Rondo was then taken to a local hospital to get an MRI to make sure no further damage was done.

At around 2:00 PM, rumors started surfacing that Rondo might have done damage to his ACL (the main connection of the bones in his knee). As it turns out, he ended up tearing his ACL: benching him for the remainder of the season. The Celtic faithful lost almost all hope of winning another title in the Paul Pierce era.

Even their playoff status is now up in the air as the Celtics hold the 8th and final playoff spot. Rajon Rondo has had a major impact on the team so far, leading the NBA in assists per game and triple doubles (receiving ten points in three different categories). His impact on the Celtics is immeasurable, and the void he leaves is not one that could be filled in-house. It seems at this point the only way the Celtics could have any glimmer of hope to make another playoff run is to make a major blockbuster trade before the trade deadline passes on Thursday, February 21. The Celtic’s core is currently built around a couple of old veterans who have been overproducing relative to their age.

It remains to be seen whether the Celtics GM, Danny Ainge, will blow up the whole team and trade their core of Pierce and Kevin Garnett, or if he will stick it out for the year and rebuild in the offseason. Due to the Celtic’s old age their best players might not bring much back in return, making it harder for the Celtics to replace the production they got from Rajon Rondo.

Since Rondo has gone down, the Celtics role players have stepped up their production — leading the team to a 6-0 record in the absence of Rondo. Recently, it has been reported that the Los Angeles Clippers would love to trade Caron Butler and Eric Bledsoe for Kevin Garnett. This trade would make contending this season a lot easier for the Celtics, but the Celtic’s ownership quickly shot the idea of this trade down, hoping to make one last run at a title with the aging veterans.

When Garnett was asked if he could imagine finishing the season without Pierce he abruptly replied, “No, I can not. I will not.” When asked about the notion that Garnett, himself might be traded he passionately replied, “I bleed green, I’ll die green,” but continued, “That’s what it is. But it is a business. When it crosses that path, I’ll deal with it.”

The next two weeks will define the Celtics for possibly the next decade. Their front office has some major decisions to make regarding personnel moves. Ainge needs to decide whether the Celtics should try and make one last run at a championship in the Paul Pierce era, or if they want to overhaul the roster and re-tool for the future. One thing is certain about the Celtics future, nothing.

Sources: ESPN, lakersnation.com