Missing Someone?

After Rajon Rondo went down with his season ending injury, the Celtics immediately won seven consecutive games. Many C's fans started to believe that this Celtics team is better off without #9 and thought Boston would make a similar dramatic mid-season turnaround as they did last season. Honestly, those were the most ridiculous remarks by Celtics fans I've ever heard and I knew we were in for a serious grind for the remainder of the season. The Bulls are not better without Derrick Rose, the Lakers are not better without Kobe Bryant, and the Boston Celtics are certainly not better without Rajon Rondo and that was made clear in games 1 and 2 against New York.

Over the past five postseasons we have witnessed the Celtics point guard transform his game to an elite and unstoppable level, or as some would say, the "Playoff Rondo". That Rondo is extremely missed right now. Without their starting PG the C's don't have a go-to ball handler and facilitator. Pierce, Bradley, Terry, and Green have been attempting to fill the gaping void left by Rondo but they have yet to find any consistency in distributing the ball. In the series opener Paul Pierce finished with seven dimes, but also six turnovers. Jeff Green (6 TO's) and Avery Bradley (4 TO's - horrible passes) also had trouble handling the rock in game 1.

New York's guards have definitely been taking advantage of Rondo's absence on the defensive end. Raymond Felton seemed unstoppable, driving to the hoop past Terry and Crawford at will, finishing with 16pts/7rebs. 6th Man of the Year, JR Smith, knows the Celtics are struggling without their star guard.

Can't argue with Smith at all there. The Celtics offense is clearly stagnant without Rondo. Kevin Garnett has yet to get a good shooting rhythm, which is usually provided by Rondo on the patented Rondo/KG pick-and-pop. The C's tried to get KG more involved in game 2, but the Knicks were well prepared. CSNNE's Brian Scalabrine spoke on Garnett and how Rondo's absence is affecting KG's game:

"Yeah what I see in Rajon Rondo is not on this team anymore," Sacalabrine said. "Rajon Rondo can get KG a wide open look when he has the extra time. In the NBA a foot makes a difference, in inch makes a difference whether you make the shot or miss the shot. KG is taking more contested shots now than he did before. Rondo always had that ability to get Kevin Garnett his rhythm, and now he doesn't, so Kevin has to fabricate his own rhythm. That's not the way that you want to have Garnett to play. You want him to have a nice balance of deep post ups, post ups off the block, and also some pick and pop jumpers."

Assists and flashy passes are clearly not the only things the C's are missing from Rajon Rondo, he makes his teammates better on both ends of the floor. As Kevin McHale said, "...Rondo's the engine that stirs the drink...".

Twitter - @CelticsLife_PBB