Celtics: better is than better does without Rondo

Keeping the Celtics as a contending team is a daunting prospect with all their injury concerns and the continual conversation of, "Are they better without Rondo?".  Last night's game provided the proof that this team is mediocre at best. The Toronto Raptors led by new leader, Rudy Gay, gave a spirited effort and Boston played down to their expectations. It was very hard to tell which was the veteran-laden team as Toronto took a 10 point lead  into the fourth quarter.

Thank goodness, Kevin Garnett and the "Brazilian Blur", Leandro Barbosa, led the charge in the fourth and they were able to extend their winning streak to five.  Still, it is clear that the Celtics are in a tenuous position without Rondo. He is a polarizing figure, whose talent is often obscured by his eccentricities. Kobe Bryant said it best when describing Rondo in his interview with Jackie MacMullan of ESPN (Link: Kobe: "You don't want Rondo? Send him my way. I love everything about him.")

Are the Celtics willing to throw that away?  Kobe would take it, and I am sure if Danny was to lose his mind and trade Rondo, the Lakers would do their best to obtain him with Kobe's blessing.  Imagine the Lakers next year, with Rondo and Kobe; two S.O.B's who could care less about hurting your feelings.  Those two are only about the chips, and I bet you the Lakers would be the most dangerous team in the league.

They would have a two pronged attack of, to quote Kobe, "know-it-allness" at the guard position.  Who would be able to stop Rondo's genius in creating and Kobe's propensity to make ridiculous shots? It seems like the Laker great as well as those outside of Celtic Nation see Rondo as a true champion, but we continue to condemn him.

This is not to say that the Celtics are not a good team; however, in Boston just like L.A., good is not enough.  Other NBA teams are just discovering what these two storied franchises have known and practiced through their championship years. That you must have continuity and not give up on your young talent, but be shrewd enough to know when to move on.

Rondo dominates the ball like Derrick Rose and Chris Paul, the difference is the lack of a legitimate jump-shot with range. He isn't the darling of the NBA, but fans are beginning to recognize him for what he is by voting him as a starter in the all-star game.  For years pundits put Deron Williams ahead of him, but if it wasn't for his injury, you can see Rondo is head and shoulders above this coach-killer.

The Boston Celtics will remain a threat as long as KG and Paul Pierce are healthy and are not to be taken lightly.  They continue to ride the coattails of these two future hall-of-famers, and must do so through the regular season.  The question remains will they have enough in the tank to take them beyond the first round of the playoffs?

Danny and Doc can feel good about this regular season win streak; it is what awaits them when PP and KG are exhausted that scares them.  Tonight they face the aforementioned Kobe Bryant and his crew, who are facing injury concerns of there own.  The difference is they still have the most deadly scorer in the league in the Mamba, and a ton of bigs they can throw at KG.

If they are able to pull this win out albeit, against a just as banged up Lakers team, it will give them added  confidence just like the overtime win over the Miami Heat that started this current streak.