Boston Celtics – No Longer a Contender

Rajon Rondo has been the best player on the Boston Celtics for more than a a couple of seasons, but it seems that it’s new to him and everyone around when he steps up and takes over, each and every time. This year, it’s going to be the same story, with the same unhappy ending when it’s all over.

You hate to end your season with a loss, but only one team gets to finish it winning a game. That is if you make the playoffs. Non-playoff teams can win their last game, obviously, but it doesn’t really help them, does it?

There’s only one place in the United States that actually sees this Boston Celtics team as a contender for the title – Boston. The Miami Heat should have made it less than 7 games last season, and it was pretty evident that when at their full strength, with LeBron James in ‘Finish Him‘ mode, it wasn’t a fair fight.

Ray Allen left to the Miami Heat, because he knows where the better chance of winning titles is; because he doesn’t like playing alongside Rondo anymore; because he didn’t wan’t to play for Doc Rivers. And the Celtics? The team keeps getting older, but they keep throwing band aids at something that can’t be solved. It’s either break this group up or simply wait till the ride is over, trying to fix it in transition, but there are no NBA titles waiting at the end of it.

Because Kevin Garnett is still very good, no longer limited by that back problem, but won’t turn into someone who’s a consistent scorer in the paint. He can stop guys in the paint, but that mid range jumper isn’t going to fall forever. Brandon Bass, Jason Collins, Chris Wilcox and even Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger aren’t at the neccesary level from a championship team, especially with what’s in the backcourt.

Rajon Rondo might be the best point guard in the NBA on some night, but usually there are a couple of guys around the league better than him. He has no one to back him up, with the Celtics choosing to use Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Avery Bradley as point guards in certain situations. Maybe Paul Pierce will get a bit more ball handling duties when Rondo isn’t on the floor. All not the most intimidating options when opposing team look at the Celtics.

And then there’s Pierce himself, as a scorer, and leader. He struggled in the playoffs when it came to the Heat and elite competition, but there’s only one LeBron James. Pierce might find it harder and harder to put up easy points on the board on some nights, and all the championship swagger, experience and self belief won’t be helping the Celtics next season. The championship days, the championship contending days, seem to be over.

It’s all hypothetical, but there’s a good chance the Celtics don’t make the conference finals if Derrick Rose is healthy. That gives them an opening for this year as well, but they’re an inferior team, slightly, to what they were last season. Best point guard in the NBA or not, they need more.

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