SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 30, 2012

Matt Jenkins column: Rondo's time is now for Celtics

(Continued)

The Celtics have been Rondo’s team for longer than people want to admit and if you can’t admit it now, then you weren’t watching the playoffs last season.

That’s why Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers began building this team around Rondo during the offseason. The end is near for Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, but with a bench bolstered by the return of Jeff Green and the additions of Jason Terry, Jared Sullinger, and Courtney Lee, the Celtics’ title window has been pushed open again.

The health of Garnett and Pierce will obviously be critical to the Celtics’ hope for success this season, but the play of Green and Sullinger — especially in the regular season — could help Boston’s aging duo deep into the playoffs.

Garnett seemed rejuvenated last year. The defection of Ray Allen to the Miami Heat could provide more motivation for KG.

Pierce’s postseason play was somewhat spotty and definitely sub-par last spring. He looked tired and old in the Eastern Conference Finals and the reality is that Boston needs him to play at a high level against Lebron James and Co. If Jeff Green can cut into Pierce’s minutes during the regular season, then the Celtics’ captain just might have more bounce in his step when the games really mean something.

This Boston Celtics roster is as well-built as any other in the NBA, and it was put together specifically for the skills of the team’s point guard.

Now is the time for Rondo to prove all his skeptics wrong.

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Matt Jenkins is a staff writer at the Salem News. He can be reached by phone at 978-338-2648, by e-mail at mjenkins@salemnews.com, or follow him on Twitter @MattJenkins_SN.

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