Boston Celtics: Five Questions in the Second Half

Sean DutraContributor IJanuary 21, 2009

The Boston Celtics seem to be back on track.

On a five-game winning streak and after absolutely dominating Phoenix Monday night, they look to be playing with the same intensity as they did in November and December. The Celtics have righted the ship...but there are still some questions as we look ahead to the second half of the season.

5. What Rajon Rondo Will Show Up?

Rondo was playing at such a high level during the 19-game win streak. He gave defenses a real handful because many of them were laying off him to worry about the Big Three. During that streak, he made a habit of driving hard to the basket and hitting the open jump shot when the defense gave it to him. He played with confidence and showed why he can be an All-Star in this league.

Rondo has struggled at times, though. There have been a couple games when he has been invisible on the court. He has to make his presence felt early in games because that seems to be the key to the Celtics' early-season success.

4. Come Playoff Time, Who Will Step Up?

As of right now, the Celtics are doing just fine without James Posey. The bench is struggling to play consistently, but the team has been able to move on without him. Where he will be missed most, though, is the playoffs.

Somebody on the Celtics bench has to step up and be that sixth man that Posey was last season. The Celtics will rely on their inexperienced bench and hope that someone will pick up that key role come playoff time.

3. Will They Take a Chance on Mr. Starbury?

At first glance, a player like Stephon Marbury doesn’t really fit the mold of the Boston Celtics. He is a selfish player and everywhere he has gone he has been chased out of town by management and fans.

But he could be the perfect fit for the C’s. If he is able give up his selfish style of play and the "Starbury" persona for the rest of the season, he could help the Celtics greatly. He can still score and, if he realizes Rondo is the starter, he will get big minutes off the bench. With the Celtics looking for a consistent scorer off their second line, I say why not Marbury?

2. Can They Get Home Court Advantage in the Playoffs?

The top seed in the East will be absolutely vital for Boston's chances to repeat. With Cleveland looking unbeatable at home and the Magic also playing great, the Celts need the comfort of Boston for the playoffs.

Last year in the playoffs they struggled greatly on the road, and they have struggled this year when having to travel long distances. If they are able to get the No. 1 seed in the East, it is safe to say they would be the favorites.

1. Can the Big Three Keep the Intensity up for the Rest of the Aeason?

During their stretch of bad play around the turn of the new year, the Celtics looked lifeless. After their defeat on Christmas Day, people started to doubt the fact that the Big Three could keep it up the whole season. Garnett, Allen, and Pierce are all veterans playing at a college-level pace.

Yes, this is what makes the Celtics great, but you have to wonder if at some point this level of energy could catch up to them. Using the youth off the bench to play more minutes could help this, but again, the bench needs to produce, or else the Big Three could be too worn down at the end of the season.


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