What Rondo’s injury means for Celtics

Boston Celtics All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo went down with a right knee injury in Friday night’s overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Now we know the extent of his injury, a torn ACL. The team announced on Sunday during the Celtics and Heat game that Rondo suffered a torn ACL and will be out for the rest of the season.

This injury could very well be the thing that keeps the Celtics from making the playoffs. The Celtics were the number eight seed in the weak Eastern Conference as of Sunday night and that was all with the help of a healthy Rondo. Now that he is out for the season it seems the Celtics will turn to Leandro Barbosa to try and take his place as the team distributor.

Rajon Rondo

Barbosa has averaged only 11 minutes per game this year in his limited role, but on Sunday vs. the Heat with Rondo out Barbosa’s minutes jumped up to 30 for the game as he finished with nine points and four assists. Another player that will assume more of a point guard role for the Celtics will be newcomer Jason Terry.

This is Terry’s first year playing for the Celtics and will now prove if the team made the right move in acquiring him this offseason despite them already having Rondo. Terry is in his 13th NBA season and fits right in with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett as veterans of the team. The Celtics are one of the oldest teams is the league and have been criticized so because they are not making an attempt at getting younger.
However, with Rondo going down for the year and this team already on the fringe of making the playoffs, this could be the turning of an era in Boston.  Although the team will not be rid of veterans Garnett, Pierce, and Terry until after the 2015 season, I would expect them to start making moves to acquire draft picks and young talented players as they look towards the future.

With all the questions that will surround the Rondo-less Celtics, there will also be some answered uncovered. In the past the Celtics have dangled Rondo as trade bait because they didn’t see him as their franchise point guard.  However, they kept Rondo and have seen the results of this team when led by him; now that he is injured they will finally be able to see how much of an impact he really does make while on the court.

The rest of the season could very well dictate how the Celtics move forward from here; if they crumble it will become apparent that Garnett and Pierce are not the right sidekicks to make a deep playoff run in the future. If the Celtics get on a run and are able to keep playing as they did Sunday when they beat the Heat then questions will surface once again if Rondo will stay in Boston or if he could be traded with either Garnett or Pierce to bring in a young scorer. Then there is the most likely and also most unfortunate result, the team plays average and barely makes the playoffs which will keep the main core intact and keep this team mediocre until they make the decision to build with younger talent.