When Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics on July 31, 2007 to form the Big Three with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce, many experts were questioning the talent of Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins.
While these two were in their developmental stages, they were able to help contribute to a championship run.
Today, these two players have come into their own. Perkins and Rondo are both being mentioned as possible All-Star candidates.
This season, Perkins is averaging 12.1 points and 8.0 rebounds per game. He is shooting a league-high 64 percent from the field.
Instead of taking a dribble before shooting, Perkins does not hesitate anymore. He has become more aggressive around the basket while developing great post moves.
Perkins continues to be a great defensive presence handling dominant centers such as Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal.
Rondo has been criticized often over the past couple of seasons about anything from how he was going to handle the three egos of Pierce, Garnett, and Allen to his personality and attitude.
Through 26 games, Rondo is nearly averaging a double-double (12.0 points and 9.7 assists).
He also leads the league in steals with 2.6.
After struggling early in the season with his shot and free throws, Rondo has consistently knocked down the mid-range jumper. His free throw shooting has increased to 51.8 percent from being down in the low 30's in November.
Both Perkins' and Rondo's numbers have continued to increase.
It helps playing with three potential Hall of Famers, but Perkins and Rondo have shown the capability of handling themselves among tough competition. It seems like every night Rondo is in a matchup with another great guard.
In Sunday night's 122-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Rondo and Perkins posted double-doubles (Rondo had 13 points and 15 assists, and Perkins scored 14 and grabbed 11 boards).
While playing with the Big Three is a gift, it is also a curse for Perkins and Rondo.
They are not getting the accolades they deserve from the national media and fans.
As of last week, Rondo was ninth in All-Star voting for point guards (even behind Allen Iverson).
These two athletes might not garner much attention, but their teammates know how hard they work and the local media understands how far these players have come.