The Boston Celtics may have lost a major piece of the original Big Three, but fortunately, they didn't have to look far to replace him. Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are still a big threat in the NBA, even without Ray Allen.
Last season, Rondo soared to new heights. The dynamic point guard averaged 11.9 points, 11.7 assists and 4.8 boards per game. In the postseason, he stepped it up to 17.3 points, 11.9 assists and 6.7 rebounds.
More impressively, Rondo registered six triple-doubles last season. He was the only player to have more than one over the course of the regular season.
Pierce is the team's captain and still comes through in the clutch, even at age 34. He averaged 19.4 points and 5.2 rebounds last year and still has much value to the C's.
After considering retirement, Garnett decided to return to Boston to give another run at the title. The power forward was a key part of the Celtics championship in 2008 and continues to be an emotional leader for the team.
In addition, Garnett was rejuvenated last season after assuming the role of starting center. As the Celtics' prized big man, his play visibly increased. Garnett averaged 19.2 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in the 2012 postseason.
One thing the Celtics have that other Big Threes lack is togetherness.
When Garnett and Allen joined Pierce in 2007, they understood that they would have to adopt different roles to ultimately win a championship. They put aside their egos and played with one common goal.
Even though Allen is gone, that winning mindset still remains.
While Rondo hasn't even reached his peak yet, Garnett and Pierce are on the decline. Both players are nearing the end of their careers, and it's evident on the court. One of the main reasons why the Celtics lost the Eastern Conference finals was because the veterans just couldn't keep up with the younger, more durable Miami Heat.
Led by the Big Three, the Celtics still have enough gas in their tank for one more championship run. With the self-proclaimed best point guard in Rondo and two effective veterans in Garnett and Pierce, the Celtics have one of the best triads in the league.