Celtics maintain winning streak since Rondo injury.
“You can write the obituary, I’m not.”
The reaction from Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers in the aftermath of the news that Rajon Rondo would miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL was taken with a pinch of salt. Without their star guard, few believed that the Celtics would be able to compete.
However, since Rondo’s absence, starting with the victory over the Miami Heat, the Celtics secured their seventh straight win after defeating the Denver Nuggets 118-114 in triple overtime on Sunday.
While few doubt the ability and contribution that Rondo offers with his pace on the break and in the dribble, dishing out assists and contributing points on a nightly basis, his absence has forced a bigger effort all round.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce continue to lead the charge, the former recently passing 25,000 points in the NBA and the latter recording a triple-double on Sunday. There was no doubt that this was Rondo’s team as he controlled their offensive game, but the veteran duo appeared to have moved up a gear and are playing harder.
In addition, the likes of Jason Terry, Jeff Green, Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley have all stepped up to soften the blow of Rondo’s absence. Terry, who had been criticised since his arrival in the off-season, hit 26 points against the Nuggets including a game-winning three pointer.
This latest win leaves the Celtics with a 27-23 record, and seventh in the Eastern Conference. Rivers has arguably been proven right so far, but if the Celtics go on to reach the play-offs then perhaps that is when the absence of Rondo will really begin to sink in.