So you are saying without Rondo they still have enough talent to win? Win what? Win the 8th seed in the playoffs? They have 4 journeyman guards, two aging, former superstars, a power forward who can't get out of his own way, a small forward who had a great game today, but who has underachieved his entire career, as PF/center who is always injured, and a rookie PF who has tremendous potential. A decent team, but nothing to write home about.
The big problem here is that everybody on this board grossly overvalues Rondo.
Everybody looks at Rondo's individual numbers as a reason why he is irreplacable - pointing to all of his assists and his triple doubles as reasons why we have no hope without him.
The thing is Rondo just had two triple doubles in a row, and we lost both games.
When Rondo has huge games this season, it hasn't necessarilly resulted in us getting wins. We get wins when our other guys play well. We get wins when we play hardcore, suffocating defense (like we did tonight) for an entire game. We get wins when everybody on our team contributes offensively.
No I'm not saying we're better off without Rondo, but I don't necessarilly believe we are much (if any) worse without him either.
We beat Miami today in double OT without Rondo. Let's be honest - do you believe this would have been a blowout if we had him? I don't. I believe the game would have been just as hard fought regardless, and we still would have struggled to win.
I believe that the defensive pressure of Bradley + Lee against Wade today was huge, and at least as valuable to us as any of Rondo's assists.
I believe that Jeff Green's defense on Lebron was the difference between him scoring 34 points and him scoring 45 points (in the 52 minutes he played).
I believe it was Green who took a huge charge on Wade near the end of the game, a play that could have been the difference in the game.
I believe it was a combination of KG and Pierce who hit the two key baskets down the stretch which essentially won us this game.
I believe it was Terry who calmly hit all of those clutch free throws to keep the stop Miami from building a lead.
I believe it was Barbosa who came out and put on a nice scoring run when it looked like Miami were about to run away with the game.
What I'm saying is Basketball is a team game. Last season we went deep in the playoffs, and while KG and Rondo had a lot of huge games to take us there, just as many of those games were won with the defense and effort of Bradley, Dooling, Pietrus and Marquis.
How many games did the Lakers win in the past off big clutch shots from role players like Robert Horry and Derek Fisher? Guys who on paper were practically end of bench guys, but they hit the big shots when it counted.
In 2008, how many of those games were won due to big plays by guys like Posey, House, Powe and PJ Brown? You know, back in the days before Rondo was the Rondo we know today.
When teams win games everybody gives credit to the stars, but so often it's the role players who do the little things (set good screens, rebound, play tough D, etc) who impact the game just as much.
All of these 'journeyman' comments add up to nothing, because the value of this team is not in each indivuduals superstar talent, it's in the talent of this unit as a whole. The way eveybody plays together as a team.
Did the Piston's have more talent when they won their most recent championship than we do right now? Was Wallace at his peak any better than KG now? Was Hamilton any better then Pierce is now? Was Billups impact the game any more on offense than Bradley and Lee do right now on defense? Was Prince any more talented than Jeff Green when he plays as he did today?
The potential is there, that's all I'm saying. We can still be competitive as we are, but if DA could pull of a trade that brings in a strong scorer (Reddick, Nayo, etc) then that could transform us into a pretty deadly team.