Rajon Rondo Is Sorely Missed during Celtics' Losing Streak

B.Contributor INovember 22, 2010

Arguably the most important piece in the Celtics' playoff run
Arguably the most important piece in the Celtics' playoff runMike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After a hot start to the season, a two game losing streak against a very shorthanded Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors snapped the Celtics back into reality. Victory comes at a price, much like all else. 

They steamrolled the Thunder, who were at full force. They beat the Bulls. They closed down the Heat. Twice. 

The very same Celtics. 

Well. Not really. In those games, the Celtics were playing with Rajon Rondo. 

Rondo ended the last minutes of the game against the OKC Thunder on the bench and was out tonight.

Let's take a look back at last year: The Celtics looked much like they do in their current state, uninterested, demotivated and generally tired. There was doubt about whether they were even going to get past the first round of the playoffs. But, much to everybody's surprise, they fought through and were five minutes away from lifting Banner 18.

What changed?

Rondo. Rajon Rondo. His emergence in the playoffs was huge.

The Celtics now need a point guard much more than anything else. They have the offensive options and the defensive capabilities. They need a conductor.

What Rondo also seems to bring is motivation. They say he is, by nature, quiet and withdrawn. The transformation that took place in last year's playoffs made him much more vocal, at least on the court. I swear I hear Rondo's voice over the crowd in every game. 

Tonight the starting point guard was Nate Robinson. He did step up by producing 22 efficient points on eight of 14 shooting. However, the deal was the same as he racked up just two assists. Robinson is like a very small shooting guard rather than a point guard.

The other player who can somewhat fit the point guard bill, Delonte West, did not see many minutes as he is recovering from his back injury and does not know the playbook as well.

On one hand, Rondo needs rest. He has played the greater part of many games. On the other hand, the Celtics need a true point guard type player. Hopefully, Delonte's injury is over soon. Rondo's leadership is much needed and he needs to be healthy.