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A Subtle Shift

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Last year you heard the refrain repeated time and again, by coaches, fans, and broadcasters.  "You can count on the Big Three to do their thing, but as Rondo goes, so goes the Celtics."  It was meant as a compliment and a challenge to the young point guard.  It showed just how critical his progression was to the fortunes of the team.

In the first 5 games of this playoff series, I would like to offer a different refrain.  "You can count on Rondo to be amazing, but as Paul PIerce goes, so goes the Celtics."

In the two losses, Pierce scored a good amount of points, but did so by putting up a lot of shots, resulting in poor shooting percentages.  He also missed key buckets and at times looked tired and frustrated.  In the wins he has stepped up and delivered.

Meanwhile, game in game out, quarter by quarter, Rondo has carried this team on his back.  He's doing it all.  Rajon is still averaging a triple double for the series AND he's the leading scorer on the team at 24.2 points per game.

Many have said that you have to start including Rondo by expanding the nickname to the Big Four.  I disagree.  If anything Rondo may be passing up the Big Three before our very eyes.  We knew that he would eventually take the torch and run with it.  We didn't know that he would swipe it, run down the court at break-neck speed, and dunk it this soon.  You almost have to refer to this team as Rondo and the Big Three.

The Celtics have the opportunity to extend Rondo's contract this offseason to ensure that he'll never even sniff free agency.  Talk about a no-brainer.  Lock this kid up long term as soon as you can.  He's a joy to watch now and he will be for years to come.