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In Game 6, the Boston Celtics allowed the Sixers to force a Game 7.
While the expectancy was that the C’s would go to Philly and close out the series, Rajon Rondo was almost non-existent offensively and this was a hard slap in the face for coach Doc Rivers.
Rondo is Boston’s engine and that was made apparent while Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett kept up their end of the deal by scoring 44 points, collectively, and grabbing 21 of Boston’s 48 rebounds. Pierce and Garnett were the reason why Boston stayed in the game.
However, it was Rondo’s absence that led to Boston’s loss. When the Celtics’ general is playing in sync with the rest of his soldiers, Rondo melts through defense. With such excellent court vision and the ability to draw the defense, he creates so many easy looks for both Garnett and Pierce’s hot spots.
He did not even register a double-double, which has become almost as consistent as his appearances in Boston’s starting lineup.
The Celtics' Big 3 has shifted to include Rondo and exempt Ray Allen, and the franchise functions better that way. Allen comes off the bench very well, as he did in the latter fraction of the season.
Rondo is what makes this franchise move in a forward motion and without his strongest efforts, Boston’s core is left to fend for themselves. Fans saw how that took on a benevolent tone in last year’s playoffs against the Miami Heat.
The Boston Celtics cannot afford for him to be absent in spirit and production.