In 09 the C's lost to an inferior magic team. The next year we dominated them with KG. It's high comedy to think that we were in any way shape or form better without KG.
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.
Boston has always had a tendency to win without Rondo, because our scorers step up. Instead of having 4 scorers and a passer, you have 5 scorers. The impact hasn't historically been that great.
I'm a little annoyed by so many people bringing up 2009 as an example of how Boston played "great" without KG. It's forgetting the fact that Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were still allstar players at the time. Rondo was coming into his own. Perkins was at the height of his defensive powers. We won games in spite of Glen Davis not because of him (I was extremely vocal about that at the time... Davis was the beneficiary of his teammates... KG's teammates were the beneficiary of him). And in the playoffs, the loss of KG was brutal. It took mighty otherworldly performances from Ray Allen and Rondo to even knock off the young Bulls in 7 games (including multiple overtime games)... a team that we DESTROYED the next year when we played them in the regular season with KG (28 point blowout on October 30th... 26 point blowout on December 12th).... Despite the fact we had Ray and Pierce just shy of their prime, KG was the difference between being an pesky little playoff team who could barely scrape by a young Chicago team... to a legit contender that lost the championship by 4 points.
KG is integral to the success of this team... especially at this point where we are deprived of bigs and our defense revolves around his skillset. Losing KG at this point would be catastrophic. Losing Rondo is mostly just annoying. Any other year, losing Rondo would be more difficult... but this team is stacked with guards and all of them are better scorers/shooters than Rondo.
In this case, we just need to see what happens over the 38 games without rondo. Let's not overreact one way or the other.
People can call 8-0 a small sample size and it is... but the phenomena of Boston winning games without Rondo isn't really new. I've been bringing it up for a couple years now. Pierce generally was the one who stepped up.
There was an 8 game stretch a while back with Rondo out and Pierce stepped up:
1/20 (LOSS) 12 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks
1/22 (Win) 34 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals
1/23 (win) 19 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds
1/26 (win) 24 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 block
1/27 (win) 28 points, 8 assists, 10 rebounds, 3 steals,2 blocks
1/29 (loss) 18 points, 5 assists, 6 rebounds
1/31 (win) 20 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals
2/1 (win) 17 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block
4/18 (win) 29 points, 14 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals
Pierce usually steps up his game with Rondo out... which makes sense since the ball pretty much flowed through him his entire career up until late 2009.
Another example: 5/1 (win) 36 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists.
... anyone surprised that Pierce put up 27 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists vs Denver? He's always been our 2nd more important player. KG has always been our MVP. And Rondo has always been a fantastic player who was incredibly overrated by some of Boston's fans. He's got a great skillset and he's a bonified all-star... but our offense survives without him. He's not as integral to this team as KG or Pierce. And this year we have the added benefit of additional scorers like Lee, Terry and Barbosa who can ease the blow of losing Rondo... not to mention the defensive improvement of a Lee and Bradley back-court. It makes sense why we are holding down the fort without our 3rd best player.