Things have changed without Rondo.
With the NBA trade deadline quickly approaching, each team must take stock of its roster and see what moves may be necessary to improve it. The Boston Celtics have been put in a bit of a precarious position due to Rajon Rondo's torn ACL, and now they have bigger concerns than it originally looked like they would.
Let's examine some of the biggest issues facing the Celtics as the deadline draws nearer.
1. Frontcourt help
All season long, Boston's most prominent problems have taken place in the frontcourt. Only the Miami Heat are a worse rebounding team than the C's, and the Celtics also rank 26th in the league in blocks per game. Obviously, these poor statistics are a direct result of just not having enough up front, and it would behoove general manager Danny Ainge to remedy this.
Kevin Garnett is really the only defensive presence Boston has on the interior, as players such as Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger are hardly rim-protectors.
It's not just on the defensive end, either.
The C's could definitely better from adding another low-post scorer to their lineup, as, once again, Garnett is their own consistent player in that regard. Sullinger can score down low, but the Celtics can't rely on the 20-year-old to do that for them regularly.
Giving Garnett another big man to play alongside of him would work wonders, and you have to think that there will be something out there come the trade deadline.
For example, maybe Marcin Gortat could be an option?
2. They have to find a point guard
As it stands right now, Boston doesn't have a true point guard on its roster. Sure, Jason Terry, Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee and Leandro Barbosa can all handle the basketball and play the role of floor general in spurts, but over the course of an entire season or in a playoff series, this could end up being a fairly significant problem for the C's.
The Celtics have always taken it for granted that they have had Rondo bringing the rock up the floor, but that is no longer the case. Because of that, Ainge will likely take a look around the league and see if he can bring a point guard in. The snag is that it will be tough to make a move for a player at that position without sacrificing an important part of the roster.
While Boston does have a couple of very nice trade chips in Bradley and Sullinger, there is absolutely no way Ainge will want to move either of those two for a stop-gap at point guard, nor should he. Perhaps the C's will be better off waiting for someone to get waived.
You can say whatever you want about Rondo and his ballclub playing better without him at times, but don't think for a second that the Celtics aren't going to miss his court vision come playoff time. Now they won't be able to find someone to replace him in that sense, but they need someone with some type of ability in terms of seeing the floor and making plays.
3. They need another scorer, period
The Celtics rank 20th in the league in scoring and 27th in offensive efficiency (seen below), and while those numbers may not be entirely indicative of the talent that Boston has offensively, they do say something. Taking that into consideration, it may serve the C's well to add another scorer, especially given the fact that Rondo is now out.
The question is, where do they find such scorers? Again, the Celtics' two main pieces of interest are players they really do not want to deal, and while they may have some other decent guys, their contracts will make them difficult to move (like Bass, for example).
The good news is that this really does not need to be a major trade. There are generally always players available who can help in this sort of capacity, and sometimes, they may come cheaper than you think.
Again, with Rondo gone for the rest of the year and guys like Terry struggling to find consistency offensively, Boston may try to bolster its firepower.