Once again, Chris Forsberg posted another installment of his latest "Summer Forecast." This time he asked, "Who will be the Boston Celtics MVP?" Out of all the local bloggers, Rondo received 65 percent of the vote, with Jeff Green at 20 percent, and the sophomore Jared Sullinger coming in at 10 percent. Avery Bradley also received a vote. Here are our responses:
Bill Sy, CelticsBlog (Jared Sullinger):
Even though I picked him to be the biggest underachiever next season, I think he'll emerge as the locker room leader. Next year is going to be tough, especially on vets like Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green, who have both reached their own levels of relative success, and it's going to take a calming voice in the clubhouse to keep everybody's chins up. Sullinger has already exhibited leadership qualities with the summer league team in Orlando and has been very vocal in the media about Celtic Pride (capital C, capital P) and not tanking. We'll miss Kevin Garnett next season, but he lit a fire in Sullinger before he left, and hopefully, it'll burn in Boston for years to come. Look for Sullinger leading the team in a "bar fight" "with grit and balls."
I can't disagree with the choice of Jared Sullinger. I hope Bill is right when he says that Sully steps up and becomes a leader in the locker room. While I can't imagine he becomes a leader in the Kevin Garnett sense of the word, maybe he can continue to mature and be an example of how a young player should be professional in the NBA.
Both Jeff Clark and I went with Rajon Rondo.
Kevin O'Connor, CelticsBlog (Rajon Rondo):
This is the year that Rajon Rondo proves that there is no doubt he is a top point guard in the NBA. When the Celtics won the championship in 2008, fans said that Rondo wouldn't be anything special without the Big 3. But since his 2010 playoff run, Rondo has put the team on his shoulders and that became even more apparent during the team's 2012 playoff run that ultimately ended in a Game 7 loss against the Miami Heat. Rondo won't score over 25 points per game, but I think he will have his highest output scoring, and will prove that he can average over 10 assists no matter who he is passing the ball to. Without Rondo, I believe that this roster is guaranteed a top-5 pick; with Rondo, they could make a run at a playoff spot.
Like I said in my response, I think this team is absolutely terrible without Rondo. With him? They can compete. Rondo just does that. I remember getting into arguments with friends (non-Celtics fans) over the past five years and it wasn't until the 2012 playoffs when people really started to take Rondo seriously. Before that they seemed fixated on him being a guy that was just surrounded by super stars. Only then they saw how the Big 3 had digressed but Rondo remained a star. I fully expect him to continue on that trend this season because as the veteran on this team, he has to.
Jeff Clark, CelticsBlog (Rajon Rondo):
He better be the MVP. That is all.
Jeff might be right; if Rajon Rondo doesn't prove himself as the MVP of this team, then we have a problem. Either he has fooled us since 2007 and he really isn't that good without loads of talent surround him, or he is slow to recovery from his ACL tear. Either way, I hope both of those situations are nothing but a distant thought once Rondo steps back on to the court.