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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Rondo is Long Gone (to Dallas), Time for the Celts to Move On & Accept This Shitty Reality


Here is all you need to know about the current depressing state of the Celtics: their only must-see games anymore involve when links to their successful past return with their new and better teams. As the last link that remained to the 2008 title team, Rajon Rondo played the role of conquering hero last night at TD Garden for his first game back as a Maverick. We all know how he plays in big games and make no mistake, this one meant plenty to Rondo who went off for 29 points (his most in nearly two years) on a career-high five 3-pointers as Dallas crushed Boston 119-101.

Dallas (24-10 overall, 11-5 away) might not be the best team in the Western Conference but the addition of Rondo (6 rebounds, 5 assists) seems like a perfect fit. Barring injuries, there is no reason that team can't make a deep run in the postseason this spring. In addition to the big game performances, Rondo should excel with the wealth of scorers around him: Monta Ellis (22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals), Dirk Nowitzki (17 points, 7 rebounds) and Chandler Parsons (13 points, 7 rebounds). Tyson Chandler (8 points, 16 rebounds, 2 steals) is also still there to do all the dirty work around the hoop.

As always, the Celtics (11-19 overall, 8-10 home) showed the Red Sox how to put together a proper video tribute without going overboard on the awful music and nauseating schmaltz. That was shown after the first quarter where Rondo went off for a career-high 15 points as the Mavs jumped out to a 31-17 lead and frankly never looked back. Boston outscored Dallas 29-28 in the second quarter but the Mavs put it away with a dominant third (33-18). The C's pretended to make it interesting in the fourth (37-27) but come on, it was long over by then.

While Dallas can legitimately think about another title run, the best that Boston can hope for this season is sneaking into the JV Eastern Conference playoffs as the seventh or eighth seed. What a lofty goal, of course any C's fan that knows anything will tell you that ultimately shooting that low is counterproductive to the franchise's return from NBA purgatory (not the worst-hi Sixers and Knicks-but light years away from contenders) to national (not to mention local) relevancy.

Avery Bradley led the Celts with 22 points, while Jeff Green had 18 points and six rebounds, Tyler Zeller put up a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Jared Sullinger added 12 points and six rebounds. All those players are solid NBA starters but none of them were ever nor will ever be All-Stars. Sadly, the only way to win consistently in the NBA is to accumulate as many stars as you can. As it stands, Boston's only hope to get those (since none want to come here in free agency) is to win the lottery (which they are allergic to). Ugh, Green 18 baby!


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