Are The Celtics Mentally Tough Enough To Go On Without Rondo?

Doc Rivers made it a point to be silent with his team regarding Rondo's injury because he didn't want his players to get worked up, and become unfocused, during the Miami Heat game. After seeing the reaction that Paul Pierce had during the post game interview with Doris Burke, I wasn't too optimistic about the mentality in the locker room.

I don't want the Celtics to think "Man, no Rondo, no Championship." There are a lot of proud players on this team, and they need to be able to keep that pride up.

For anybody who plays basketball, your mentality may change when the best player gets on and leaves the court. When the best player gets on the court, you feel a little bit more relaxed and composed. You feel like you have less responsibility, and you may feel like you don't need to play as hard as you can, because you know there's someone more capable than you on the court.

However, there's always that time when that player leaves the court, and now you may feel like you have a heightened sense of responsibility. You feel the need to be as good as the player that just left the court, and so you may do things that you normally don't do. You may use every ounce of energy you have to try and replace the energy and skill set that just left the court, and you may end up doing too much. You make make too many mistakes, and that's when your team truly suffers.

The Celtics have to go on without Rajon Rondo for the rest of the season, but I don't want any Celtic player to play outside of themselves. They all of great individual skill sets, and so players shouldn't have to force themselves to try to do what Rondo did. No individual Celtic has to average over 11 assists for this team to win games, there are several ways to win ball games, but how you do it, relies on your ability to recognize what your limitations are as a player.

Yes, sometimes it's okay to move a little bit out of your comfort zone, but you have to trust that your teammates will play within themselves, but at the same time give their utmost effort. The Celtic mentality has to be a combination of the two scenarios. They have to play harder, but at the same time their sense of responsibility has to increase. They have to play within themselves, but at the same time they have to understand that they all must chip in just a little bit more.

Going to high school in New York City (Broooooooklyn!) is work when it comes to sports. All of these New York Knick and Brooklyn Net fans run up to me and say, "Yo what's good with that Celtic season?" or "No Rondo, no chip, sorry boy". I'm sure that Celtic fans from all over are hearing these things, but the mentality has to stay the same. The Celtics are still competing for a championship, regardless of who's on the injury roster right now.

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