by Hal Bent, BostonSportPage.com
The big news in Boston is all about the Celtics. The Patriots are out of the playoffs licking their wounds and watching the NY Jets get a head start of dysfunction for next season. The Red Sox are gearing up for spring training in only a few weeks. The Bruins are flying out the gate of the abbreviated season and trying to fill the void of the empty dog days of the time between football and baseball.
NO GO RONDO:
The Boston Celtics had a huge victory on Sunday afternoon, beating the world champion Miami Heat and ruining the return of departed free agent and former “Big 3” guard Ray “No Respect” Allen. Allen shot his way out of town, turning down twice the money from Boston for the “respect” that comes with playing in Miami. The Celtics were without guard Rajon Rondo with a knee injury; unfortunately, word came at halftime it was an ACL injury that would require season-ending surgery.
Against Miami, the Celtics ended a six game slide by gutting out a double-overtime win against the defending NBA champions. Despite apparently trying to give the game away at the end of the fourth quarter, the Celtics shook off their double-overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks (where they had blown a 27 point lead) to hold on and hold off the Heat. Suddenly, a big win seemed a bit of a downer, as attention turns to whether this team makes a run for the eighth seed and a first round loss to the Heat.
This team was on the bubble of the playoffs to begin with, and now the team front office needs to look hard and long about blowing this team up. In fact, they should have already been considering the idea. General Manager Danny Ainge has to draw up a short list of core building blocks and then unload everyone else.
The Celtics were going nowhere this season, and now without Rajon Rondo, they are officially in what should be rebuilding mode. I know it’s sacrilege to suggest, but forwards Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce should be on the trading block. Add in forward Brandon Bass, veteran guard Jason Terry, and useless guard Courtney Lee, and the Celtics have the pieces to make two huge trades and start the process of getting this team on the road to a lottery pick, financial flexibility, and young, athletic players growing into a contender down the road.
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