It does seem strange the type of argumentative tactics Ive seen being used here when criticizing Rondo. We went (I think) 10-1 without KG, but we never thought we were better without KG, and bought that faith wholesale because of back credit accumulated. But we never brought up KG's lackluster games for parts of the 08 playoffs, never used the recent success as justification that KG was expendable or holding the team back, because he's Kevin Garnett, and we knew he was a critical leader who was the very bedrock of the team.
Rondo doesn't have KG's spotless reputation or his MVP pedigree, Rondo's a unique player whose game and reputation does have worts, and maybe that's why we're so quick to use this win streak as a justification. But the parrellels are there; Rondo is argumentably our most talented player, is indisputably a critical leader in the lockerroom, and is an important piece to the very bedrock of the current incarnation of the franchise. He's earned that.
And the reason why the argument is flawed is the same; the team has seen too much greatness, too much success with Rondo, and he's been so good that a 7 game win streak is a paltry sample size as proof positive that the team is 'better off without Rondo'. It should be dismissed out of hand, and no amount of wins between now and the All-star break can tip the scales to justify trading Rondo for anything other than his full value. As Chuck was once wont to say, 'Anything else, would be uncivilized'.
You can't compare losing KG to losing rondo. KG is heads and shoulders more important to the celtics than rondo will ever be. Also its not just the win streak its how we've played during it. This particular team has looked better without rondo than with him. Not talking about last years team or the one before that. I'm talking about this particular group of guys. I'm just calling it how i see it.
And why can't you compare them? Because KG is KG? Rondo's absence caused players who had been underperforming to play harder, the team gelled around the weakness, like a herd of Buffalo protecting an injured member. The same thing happened with Kg. glen Davis was kind of a big deal for a while there, and ultimately you can easily point to 2009 as the year that made BBD resent the 'shadow' he was playing under. Courtney Lee, similarly, was reported to be unhappy with his role wih Rondo, and Jason Terry hadnt yet found his rhythm.
It's the same thing, just one guy is unimpeachable because he's Kevin Garnett.
And the conclusion should be the same; even if the team can come together and play inspired ball for stretches, it doesn't mean we're better off without Rondo. It might just mean some guys needed a kick in the arse to play up to their ability.
Because statistically on the defensive end of the floor, having KG on (versus off) the floor is the difference between us being a top 5 defense, and us being a bottom 10 defense.
Our offence doesn't really get any better or worse overall when Rondo is on the court compared to when he is off the court, statistically. On the other hand our defense is actually worse, statistically, when he is on the court.
This team is one that wins games with defense, but we are capable of scoring. If we have a bad shooting night we can sometimes still overcome that with suffocating defense, but if we have a bad defensive night we are toast.
Also offensively Paul Pierce, statistically, is more valuable to us than Rondo. When Pierce is not on the court our offense drops just as badly as our defense drops when KG sits. Pierce draws so much attention from the defense that it makes it easier for teammates to get open, and when he is running the plays teams cannot defend him assuming he will pass (as they do with Rondo) because Pierce to this day is still probably a top 10 offensive player in the NBA.
So if KG is our most valuable defensive player, and Pierce is our most valuable offensive player...where does that leave Rondo?
Rondo is an elite talent but basketball isn't all about talent, otherwise Darko Milicic would have been a superstar on a max contract. Basketball is about what you do (not just what you CAN do).
I hope Rondo see's the way we are playing now, and uses that as inspiration to change his offensive style so that it's more accomodating to the other guys on the team. I also hope that Doc see's how capable our supporting cast is and reduces Rondo's minutes (to say 32-35 per game) so that he's not constnatly exausted and might actually have the energy left to play some defense.
This will make me happy