Boston Breaking Down With Ainge Dealing Rondo
Three years ago, things couldn’t have been worse for the batty basketball betting nuts in Boston. Paul Pierce was mired with useless talent, finishing 15th in the Eastern Conference at the end of a terrible 2006-07 season. It was the second season in which the Celtics failed to appear in the Finals.
Then God answered as Danny Ainge masterfully pulled off trades for both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett, bringing in the help that The Truth so desperately needed. Boston was a spread crushing giant in the basketball betting community, and romped and stomped to an NBA Championship behind the ferocious Garnett, the sharp shooting Allen and a rejuvenated Pierce.
As they geared up to defend their title last season, things started to look good. LeBron was still having trouble with them, though the Lakers seemed to find some answers. But the Big Ticket became the Big Problem in Boston, as KG’s knees decided to check out right before the playoffs leaving the Celtics without their most important player. The Mighty C’s fell to Orlando in seven games during the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, and now they the cookie is crumbling before it’s taken out of the 2009-10 jar.
The first dismantling issue is the health of Kevin Garnett. It’s one of those things that people just don’t want to talk about, and I don’t blame them. Listen, he’s my favorite player in the league; I make no bones about that. But last year was his worst statistical season since his rookie campaign. He’s averaged a double-double for nine straight seasons, before winning a championship last season. In 2008-09, Garnett dipped to just 15.8 points and 8.5 boards while appearing in just 57 games and missing the playoffs. The league loves KG. He’s the type of class act and competitor that makes the league look good, though some of his playground antics may have had to do with his downfall last year (hubris, anyone?).
With KG’s health the biggest question mark on a team united through more adversity, their general manager, Danny Ainge, has stoked the fires of his starting point-guard, Rajon Rondo. Ainge has called Rondo heartless, a slight cancer and hinted that Rondo is “not a max contract player”. Really? This is how you treat your starting point-man heading in to the final year of his contract?
Rondo is certainly not a max contract guy, but he’s also the guard that had 16.9 points and 9.8 assists in the playoffs this season, while putting up 11.9 points and 8.2 helpers during the regular season. Why on Earth are you going to get under this guy’s skin? When KG went down, Rondo became the glue of the team on the court. You do not throw him under the bus, especially when a young player is coming in to his own on a team of aging superstars. If Rondo is the C’s future, Ainge is doing his best to burn bridges before next summer when Rondo enters free-agency.
My third dilemma with the Celtics is Paul Pierce. You know how we all dogged Kobe for not winning without Shaq? Why couldn’t Pierce pull up his socks without KG? 21 points, 3.1 assists and 5.8 helpers is fine in the playoffs – but not if you’re a superstar. I don’t doubt that Pierce wants it, but I just don’t know if he wants to do it on his own.
The Celtics may be the sweethearts of a league that is about to enter the NBA Draft, and thus change, but Boston betting hopefuls might want to think twice before lumping loads on Boston to upset the Cavs or Magic in the Eastern Conference. Chemistry is what got the C’s to the top of the mountain, and unnecessary chaos is what will lead to their demise in 2009-10.