The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, arguably the two most historic and popular NBA franchise, aren’t having normal seasons. Both have just 14 wins and over 25 losses and face off on an otherwise lackluster Friday night.
Leave it to Rajon Rondo to spice things up a bit. The Celtics point guard has missed the entire season after sustaining a torn ACL last year, but is expected to make his 2013-14 NBA debut against the Lakers in Boston on Friday night.
Head coach Brad Stevens said that Rondo will only play roughly 18-20 minutes, but in due time, Boston will have their All-Star point guard back up to speed, and the Celtics should be even more competitive than they already have been.
Rondo’s return is excitement enough, as Celtics fans will once again get to see a true magician operate with the basketball (over 11 assists per game in three straight seasons), and will naturally positively impact Celtics tickets.
The impact hasn’t been felt yet, though, so Boston fans have time to react and get their tickets on the cheap. Celtics vs Lakers tickets specifically can be had at a fair price - just $101.80 on average (36% more expensive than Boston’s home game average), along with a $43 get-in tag. Prices are slowly trending upward since the announcement yesterday, rising 6%.
Celtics fans don’t want to wait forever, however. Celtics ticket quantity for the game is down 73% since Wednesday, which means time is running out to cash in on well-priced Boston Celtics tickets for the remainder of the year. While the pending return of Rondo hasn’t yet dramatically impacted the price of Celtics tickets, it has clearly impacted how fans are looking at the season.
And it’s pretty clear: With Rondo back, people want to be at Celtics games.
It only makes sense, too, as Boston is clearly paving the way for Rondo to take over during the second half of the season. In fact, Boston just completed a three-team trade with the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat to ship off point guard Jordan Crawford. Crawford was actually playing exceptionally well, but there simply wasn’t any room for him with Rondo making his way back. That, and the Celtics got solid draft pick value in return for a solid player.
The moral of the story? The Celtics are a reasonably respectable 14-26 without Rondo to start the year. Now they’re getting him back. Regardless of what that means for the win column, his pure talent and the sheer possibility of the Celtics getting better with him starting is enough to get fans back in the seats again.