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Excitement About Rajon Rondo’s Return is Needless. Boston Celtics Need More than a Point Guard to Make a Difference

January 11th, 2014 at 2:30 PM
By Sean Melia

Injuries to All-Stars in any sport require patience on everyone's part. Major injuries require even more patience. The last 48 hours have begun a swirling vortex of rumors for Rajon Rondo's return. 

Out of the blue, Friday January, 17 against the Los Angeles Lakers was Rondo's target date. This came on the heels of another report that Rondo was trying to get back before the All-Star Game. It was also reported that Rondo was thinking about hopping over to Las Vegas to play for the Maine Red Claws.

Boston Celtics fans and media have been pretty patient at this point. However, as it becomes more and more obvious that Rondo's return is imminent, it could potentially begin a soap opera that is completely unnecessary. 

Remember in the summer when Danny Ainge said Rono could be back by the Celtics opening game? Remember when Christmas was the goal according to the Celtics? Remember when January was a possibility? Every time the date nears it gets pushed back. However, people continue to froth at the mouth when news pops up regarding a Rondo return. 

Considering way the Celtics handle their business it seems that Rondo will just show up one night dressed and ready to play. Rumors around the Celtics never really come to fruition. The Courtney Lee trade surprised everyone, including the players. The Brad Stevens signing? Off everyone's radar.

So why do we continue to bite on these rumors and reports? Frankly, it's silly. Rondo will come back when he's ready. Also, at this point, does it really matter when he comes back? This team has found the path that everyone thought they would take this year: losing a lot of games while being relatively competitive and showing some fight and grit. 

'rajon rondo, kyle singler, will bynum' photo (c) 2013, Marissa Gawel - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It's worked out perfectly. After starting 10-12, the team is now 13-24 with only three teams below them in the Eastern Conference.

Is there value to Rondo returning this season? It does not seem like it right now. They have 45 games left in their season. It's going to take 35 wins for the Celtics to make the playoffs. If Rondo comes back February 5 (five games before the All-Star), he'll play in 33 games this year. 

That means the Celtics have to play 12 more games without Rondo (this is being optimistic if you ask us). Let's say in those 12 games they win four of them. They will be 17-32. To get to 35 wins with Rondo in the lineup (if Rondo returns on February 5), they would have to go 18-15.

All that math and conjecture might be exhausting, but it gives a pretty good idea of the bind the Celtics are in right now if they want to make the playoffs. Even in a horrible conference. 

Is Rondo good enough to make that big of a difference? No. Could his return lead to a trade? Possibly. It does not seem like anyone is safe on this team right now. Ainge is most likely listening to calls on all his assets. 

So, in short. Let's stop worrying about a Rondo return. With the way this Celtics team is performing right now, the Celtics will need three Rajon Rondo's to make any major impact on the future of this season. 

 

Tags: Basketball, Boston, Boston Celtics, Brad Stevens, Danny Ainge, NBA, Rajon Rondo, rondo

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