Rondo's injury has actually helped refocus the Celtics.
After looking at that first sentence, it already sounds like a crazy argument.
In fact, most people expected the Celtics to crumble after the injury to their best player. They were under .500 for the year, sitting at 20-23. Head coach Doc Rivers went on to question his team's work ethic.
The Celtics certainly took Rondo's injury hard, but they realized that everyone else on the team needed to step up, and they did just that.
Here are five signs that the Celtics have refocused after the loss of Rondo.
The Celtics have gone back to their winning ways.
The first sign is pretty obvious. The Celtics weren't winning with Rondo, and now they're winning more games without him.
Before the injury to Rondo, the Celtics were 20-23. Now they are 31-27. That means that they have gone 11-4 without their best player.
The Celtics now hold the No. 7 seed in the East. Their playoff hopes are looking more realistic now that they are sitting above the .500 mark, and they could continue to move up in the East.
With 24 games remaining, the Celtics have a real shot at getting a fifth or even a fourth seed. They are currently only two games back from the Chicago Bulls, who are holding onto the No. 4 spot.
The improved record is a very positive sign for the Celtics. If they can keep this up, they may find themselves as one of the top teams in the East in April.
Garnett has been an anchor for the Celtics once again.
Without Rondo, it appeared that a lot of offensive production would disappear.
Fortunately, the veterans of the team have stepped up.
Kevin Garnett has played very well since the injury. His scoring was in double digits for each game he played in the month of February, averaging 15.7 points per game. He was also much more aggressive on the boards, averaging 9.5 rebounds per game during the month.
Paul Pierce also improved over February. He averaged 17.8 points per game on 41.2 percent shooting. His assists skyrocketed, going from 4.3 per game in January to 6.8 in February.
Jason Terry has become a more effective player as well. Averaging 11.7 points per game and shooting over 40 percent from behind the arc, his age didn't appear to slow him down last month.
The rise in play by the veterans has helped the Celtics continue to win without their point guard. Their leadership and talent are keeping this team relevant in the East.
Jeff Green has stepped up big with the loss of Rondo.
The loss of Rondo left a big hole to be filled. The younger players on the team have emerged to help fill that hole.
The player who has stepped up the most since the injury has been Jeff Green. The former standout at Georgetown has emerged as a real weapon with the absence of Rondo.
Green had his breakout game in February against the Phoenix Suns. He surprised many, including Celtics fans, scoring 31 points on 11-of-14 shooting. His defense was fantastic as well, recording seven rebounds and a very impressive five blocks.
Avery Bradley has had to accept the role as the starting point guard, and has done a good job. He has had a few growing pains learning to run the offense, but is improving with time. Averaging over 10 points per game in February, it's clear he is starting to get the hang of running the Celtics' offense.
These two younger players will be vital to keeping the Celtics relevant not only this year, but in the future for the franchise.
Trading Pierce, Garnett or Rondo would have been insane.
Looking back on it, the Celtics have to be glad they didn't trade anyone at the trade deadline.
After the injury, panic seemed to take hold in Boston. Speculation about players like Garnett, Pierce and Rondo being shipped out filled the Internet, with crazy rumors coming from everywhere.
Some of the trade rumors appeared to be true, however. According to Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald, Chris Paul from the Los Angeles Clippers called Garnett offering to bring him to Los Angeles. Garnett declined the offer, choosing to stay in Boston.
Other trade rumors involved Rondo himself. A tweet from ESPN's Chris Broussard claimed that owners insisted Rondo was available.
Nothing ended up happening by the trade deadline, and the Celtics were smart to do so. The team appears to be doing well without Rondo, and shaking up the locker room even more could have spelled trouble for the team.
Doc Rivers is ready to finish the season strong.
There are few coaches that are respected more in the NBA right now than Doc Rivers. Through highs and lows, he has stuck with the Celtics and kept them on the right tracks.
This year has definitely been a struggle, but Rivers appears ready to wrap up the regular season and head into the playoffs.
Rivers seems very focused right now. The Celtics had a weekend to rest after their game against the Golden State Warriors. According to Chris Forsberg of ESPN, when asked about the standings in the East, Rivers said:
I don’t [look at the standings]. I guess I should at times, but I really don’t. I just think every game right now is important. So I have a single-game focus, instead of the whole picture, right now for us.
It looks like Rivers is definitely taking the rest of the season one game at a time. He sounds like he is prepared to make a serious run in the final stretch, and with how well the Celtics have been playing, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see them move up a few spots in the East.