Throughout the Big Three era, and even in the days when Paul Pierce was all the Celtics had, we pretty much knew where the majority of the points would come from.
In the years from 2002-2007, Paul Pierce was the go-to guy, the player who would take over a game in eight to ten minute stretches.
During the Big Three era, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen would be the ones who at the end of games would contributed 65-80 points on any given night.
Now with Allen gone, Pierce and KG another year older, where will most of the points come from this season? Its likely that they can win games for the Celtics early on in the year, but when the NBA schedule reaches February and March, who will be that player who picks up the slack?
A few weeks ago, Doc Rivers had made it clear in an interview that this is Rondo’s team now. With that in mind, will he have to start scoring more and being more aggressive on the offensive end? We saw glimpses of what he can do offensively back in the 2010 playoffs, in Game two versus the Heat in last season’s playoffs, when he finished with 44 points, and game after game in the last few regular seasons.
I’ve always disagreed with the fans who say that Rondo should try being like Chris Paul and Deron Williams offensively, and after taking a step back and thinking it through, that’s actually a legitimate argument. At times Rondo does pass too much, and there were a couple possessions in the Miami Heat series that I thought he should have gone up for the layup instead of kicking it out to the three point line.
But if Rondo is having an off game, or consistently looks for the pass instead of the shot, who else is there that can put up points? If there was ever a year that Ubuntu and playing as a team instead of individuals should be stressed, it would be now. There will always be that game when Rondo, Pierce, or KG will carry the team with a great performance, but to win this season it will have to be a team effort.
The Celtics have capable scorers other than the Big Three like Jason Terry, Jeff Green, and Brandon Bass. This will also have to be the year that Doc relies upon the rookies more, and even if they don’t score, the young guys will have to get minutes to keep the veterans healthy.
I’ve said it before, the Celtics are entering a transition year. The old guard is now being replaced by the new. If Danny Ainge plans on keeping the pieces he’s put in place around the veterans, the next few seasons will be critical for the next generation of Celtics to get a good foothold into continuing the winning tradition.
As I look at it right now, the 2012-2013 season holds a lot of importance. This could be the last title run with Pierce and KG, and this will have to be the year that Rajon Rondo, Brandon Bass, Jeff Green, and Avery Bradley form a nucleus. Those four players right there may be the new faces of the franchise in a few years, and it’s imperative that they take the reins to this team as the season wears on.