The original big three's title window may be over, but I wouldn't put money on it. Experience is a valuable commodity, especially when the playoffs get under way.
The most important player to Boston's success this year will be Rajon Rondo.
General manager Danny Ainge tried to trade his point guard for Chris Paul. Rondo has a tendency to be moody—he took the Kendrick Perkins trade pretty hard— and if the offense he feels for being offered in trade carries over into the season, the Celtics could be in trouble.
Assuming Rondo comes ready to play with something to prove, his outside game needs dramatic improvement. Smart defenses play off Rondo and beg him to take jumpers. This hurts the Celtics' spacing and takes away Rondo's best scoring option—his drive. If Rondo can develop an average jump shot, he and the Celtics would be infinitely more difficult to defend.
For the Celtics, the only thing that matters is the playoffs.
In the top heavy East, they don't need to have a stellar year to make the second season. If Doc Rivers is smart, he will give his veterans plenty of rest.
Really? Why would you play all of the big three on the third night of a back-to-back-back?
If the Celtics arrive at the finish line relatively fresh they could put together one last title run, regardless of their seed.
First side note: Why does Danny Ainge seem so intent on changing the roster?
Trading Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green was one of the weirdest moves in recent memory. Perkins meant so much to the Celtics culture and was their only center ineligible for AARP last season. He was infinitely more valuable to Boston than Oklahoma City. From the Thunder's perspective, the best part of the trade was not Perkins but rather allowing Serge Ibaka to take over Green's starting spot at power forward.
Trying to flip Rondo for Paul would have been a smart move in the short run, but why be so public about it? The Celtics have been contenders since the big three came into formation, why incessantly try to tweak it?
Second side note: Boston started the trend of big threes around the league.
What superstars intent on controlling their own destinies don't realize is that none of the big three signed as a free agent. Furthermore, they compliment each other perfectly. Kevin Garnett brought defensive intensity and post scoring. Ray Allen is one of the best catch and shoot players in history. Paul Pierce is the creator when the shot clock starts winding down.
Finally, the Celtics were incredibly lucky in the development of their other players. Rondo, Perkins and Glenn Davis all exceeded expectations and played excellently alongside the big three.
Everyone seems to have forgotten that to have a successful trio a team needs more than just pure talent.