This is the worst time of the year for a team to struggle. It is well documented that the Celtics are struggling right now. First place in the Eastern Conference is on the line and home court advantage too but the Celtics don't seem to realize it. It seems as if they don't want it enough...it seems like they have lost some heart.
Yes, they did pull off come-from-behind victories over the New York Knicks and the New Orleans Hornets recently showing signs of life. Nevertheless, there are clear issues that need to be addressed moving forward. Those issues were on display against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. The Celitcs need big men and will be getting them shortly as the O'Neals are set to return from their injuries in the next two weeks. The most important issue besides getting the two O'Neals back into the lineup is Rajon Rondo's health. Without Rondo playing great basketball the Celtics wouldn't have stood a chance against the Grizzlies. Yeah, I know the Grizzlies! The thing is that Rondo hadn't been playing that great of basketball these last couple of weeks.
Must Read: Rajon Rondo Strong Side, Weak Side
Many fans of the Celtics have started to debate whether the Celtics should move Rajon Rondo to the bench in favor of Delonte West to assure Rondo is healthy for the playoffs.
I'm here to say that they should not move Rondo to the second unit but rather continue to start him and give him a lot fewer minutes.
This move should not occur because of his slump. It is because of his health concerns and the short time left in the season before the playoffs.
The 25-year-old finally admitted he was taping the finger on his shooting hand because it was jammed.
"I haven't struggled like that since I've been in the league, I don't think," he said. "I played decent [Saturday], it's not that it's over. I've just got to stay focused and continue to believe in myself."
On top of this pinkie injury, Rondo has been fighting plantar fasciitis and a sprained left ankle.
Delonte West is an ample PG. In addition, Carlos Arroyo and Avery Bradley could use more time in the mix before the playoffs in order to obtain more game experience. It would be good for the team's court chemistry to get these three players involved more now as the season winds down.
This would allow the C's to have a more functional offense heading into the playoffs. The only thing that will restore Rajon Rondo to his earlier-season All-Star form is rest.
His statistical drop off has shown us that he has been pushed to the limit, and if Doc Rivers and the Celtics push him further, he may reach a breaking point.
In summary, it is understood that the Celtics are fighting for Eastern Conference supremacy and home-court advantage in the playoffs. However, home court or away, the Celtics will not win without a healthy Rajon Rondo. Rest will bring back the hop to Rondo's step and to the Boston Celtics offense.