Over the past year and half, there have been many Celtics to come and go. Here is a look at how a few of the major players are doing since their departures from Boston.
Captain Queenan: "Staff Sergeant Dignam has a style of his own. I'm afraid we all have to get used to it."
In 19 games since he was traded to Dallas, Rondo is scoring 10.0 points a game to go along with 7.0 assists and 5.3 rebounds per contest. He is shooting a respectable 39.4% from three-point range, but only 40.2% from the field as a whole.
The Mavs have lost four in a row amid a brutal stretch of games against the Rockets, Grizzlies, Pelicans and Bulls. Since acquiring Rondo, they are 11-9, while they were 19-8 before the trade.
The Mavericks had a transcendent offense before the trade, blowing the league away with an insane offensive rating of 113.6. There were some who thought Rondo could cramp some of the spacing that made the Mavericks offense so great, but no one could have foreseen the Mavericks offensive rating falling to 105.5, which would place them in a tie for 8th if they had that mark for the entire season. Now, this can't be entirely blamed on Rondo, as Dirk Nowitzki, for instance, suffered from a bit of a shooting slump after Rondo's arrival (though some might say the timing slump was no coincidence).
So it is clear the Mavs offense hasn't hit it's stride yet with Rondo, but on the other end of the floor, things have greatly improved. Before the deal, the Mavericks defense was abysmal, with a defensive rating of 105.1, which placed them 20th in the league at the time. With Rondo, the Mavs have posted a defensive rating of 101.6, which would be good for 12th over the course of the whole season. Rondo admitted he hadn't played his hardest in Boston on defense, and has shown a better commitment to that end in Dallas. But again, that improvement cannot be solely credited to Rondo either.
Since the trade, the Mavs net rating would still put them at 10th in the league, and they are far from a finished product. Rondo's best game as a Maverick came against the Celtics, when he put up 29 points on a career high five three-point makes. The fact Rondo raised his level in the Boston game still preserves the idea that Rondo always shows up when the game means something to him. Though it hasn't been a perfect fit so far, the Mavericks did not make this trade to win games in January. The defense in Dallas has already improved dramatically, and if there is anyone who can figure out how to mesh all the offensive talent in Dallas, it is the brilliant mind of Rick Carlisle.
Frank Costello: "I don't know if it's beyond...Queenan to pull you out of the Staties and send you gift-wrapped to me."
The biggest winner of anyone in the Rondo trade, on either side, may have been none other than Dwight Powell. Powell went from living on the Waltham to Portland shuttle to playing big time minutes for a title contender.
Powell is not posting huge numbers, but over the past 8 games, the Stanford product has been playing 17.4 minutes per game! Over that period, Powell is averging 5.3 points per game on 51.9% shooting with 3.5 rebounds per game. Good for the kid.
Colin Sullivan: "If we're not gonna make it, it's gotta be you that gets out, cause I'm not capable."
The Mavericks may not be playing well with their new additions, but the Grizzlies have been humming since they added Jeff Green from the Celtics. The Grizzlies are 8-1 since they acquired Uncle Jeff, and interestingly enough, their only loss during that stretch was to Rondo (and Powell) and the Mavs.
Jeff's scoring numbers over nine games in Memphis have been a little down from his time in Boston at just a hair under 13 a game, and he is shooting 42.7% from the field and 35.5% from deep. However, Jeff has started the last five games for the Grizzlies and been tremendously efficient. In that role, Green is shooting 48.7% from the field and 57.1% from deep - and the Griz have won all five contests.
Over the nine games Green has played with the Grizzlies, they have posted a 10.9 net rating, with an incredibly stingy 95.6 defensive rating, which would be the best in the league if maintained for the whole season. The Grizzlies have been impressive all season, but have been even more so with the addition of Green, as he gives them exactly what they needed in terms of floor spacing and a versatile defender.
Jeff was pigeonholed in the wrong role here in Boston as a go-to scorer, and is showing the value he can bring as a fourth or fifth option in Memphis.
Frank Costello: "The point I'm making with John Lennon is - a man could look at anything, and make something out of it. For instance, I look at you and I think "what could I use you for?"
Crawford was unhappy with the lack of interest in his services this offseason, so he signed a deal to play for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in China. Steez has always been an interesting character, and showed nothing different in this feature from the summer where he claimed, "I want to accomplish something crazy out here as well" when discussing the legend of Stephon Marbury in China. Unfortunately, while Crawford averaged 29.4 points per contest, he only played five games for the Flying Tigers before he got injured.
As for now, not even Crawford himself could give us an update on his situation.
Been100%and working out for a minute now. Still under contract in China. Wanna finish the season out with them but I guess we will see— Jordan Crawford (@jcraw55) January 18, 2015
Frank Costello: "Nobody gives it to you, you have to take it."
Chris Johnson was a pleasant surprise after his call up from the D-League last year, and earned a contract for the rest of the season with his hustle and shooting ability. This summer, Johnson was on the outside looking in on a crowded Celtics roster, though the Celtics would have preferred to keep him around if things could have worked out differently. Johnson started this year for the 76ers, where he played 9 games before being waived in November. Johnson had been lighting it up in the D-League, and was just signed on Wednesday to a 10-day contract with the Jazz.
Frank Costello: "I don't want to be a product of my environment. I want my environment to be a product of me."
There are a million things to say about Paul Pierce, but per usual, The Truth says them best.
"Any team without Paul Pierce misses him. Period."
The Celtics have felt his loss for two years, and now, the Nets are feeling the same pain.
One man's loss is another man's gain, and the Washington Wizards, who are third in the Eastern Conference with a record of 31-16, have really benefited from having Pierce around. He is currently averaging 12.8 points per game on 45.3% from the floor and 38.7% from three, but as Jorge Castillo writes, "Pierce's most influential asset might be his leadership - more specifically, his mouth."
Come back Paul!
Sergeant Dignam: "I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy."
Humphries was an unheralded addition for the Wizards this offseason, but has filled his role nicely with the team. He is averaging 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game, and has even started 16 games for the Wizards. Humphries is known for his energy and hustle plays on the boards, but he also brings a solid mid range game to the table. On shots from 15-24 feet, Humphries has come in at a 46.1% clip on a little more than 3 attempts a game. That shooting is valuable in providing space for John Wall to go to work.
Sergeant Dignam : "Maybe, maybe not. Maybe ---- yourself."
Brooklyn has been in a free fall, losing 11 of its last 13 games. The Big Ticket is a shell of himself (though he still rebounds at a great rate), averaging 7.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in 21.3 minutes per game (so basically Kris Humphries numbers). It's tough to see KG struggle on a floundering team, but it's also nice to see that fire that made him so great will never die.