Celtics Undefeated Without Rondo
by Abby Lebovitz on Friday, February 22nd, 2013
For many Celtics fans, the news of Rajon Rondo tearing his ACL was heartbreaking as almost everyone thought the Celtics’ season was bound to be a failure without their star ball handler. However, the Celtics proved the basketball community wrong. Since Rondo’s injury, the Celtics finished up the first half going 7-1 heading into the All-Star Break, including wins against the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. An interesting factor is that six of the seven victories have been on the Celtic’s home court, TD Garden, so hopefully they can carry their winning momentum with them on the road.
With the loss of Rondo, veteran captain Paul Pierce has risen to the occasion and has continued to lead the team on and off the court. In the past seven victories, Pierce has averaged 10.1 rebounds, 18.8 points, and 7.3 assists per game. These statistics are outstanding; nearly a triple-double, and fans have seen a difference in the Celtics playing style as a whole. In fact, it seemed as if Rondo had not lived up to his expectations this season while he could play since when he was on the court the Celtics were scoring four points less per 100 possessions than without him. Interestingly, when Pierce is on the court, the team actually scores an average of 4.6 points per 100 possessions higher than when he is not on court. So, overall their offense has notably improved since they stopped relying on Rondo as its sole director. Although Rondo may have given off the impression as the solo key player on the Celtics, it turns out Pierce is filling in the roll a lot better than most expected. Pierce’s versatility on the court compared to Rondo’s often excessive moves has led the Celtics to outstanding victories and success both offensively and defensively. Hopefully the Celtics can keep this success going during the second half of the NBA season. Go Celts!
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