The Boston Celtics‘ organization was dealt a huge blow this afternoon. Rajon Rondo, Eastern Conference’s starting PG in the All Star game, will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. After what was thought to be a hyperextended knee suffered against the Hawks, Rondo learned Sunday afternoon that his ligament is indeed torn. He will undergo surgery and miss the rest of 2013. This is bad news for the Celtics, but it is indeed Celtics news. Hardwood Houdini will have all sorts of information about it.
I’m here to take a look at how it will effect the Pacers and the rest of the league as a whole. An injury like this sends shockwaves throughout the league, with many teams feeling the ripples. The Celtics were not in contention to challenge the top dogs in the East. They’re stars were not on the trading block, per se, but given their ages and where the team is headed, that might not last long. Guys like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are not in places in their careers where they can sit around and wait for the Celtics to recharge. They’re both closer to retirement than they’d admit and can’t afford to stay on a team that will be the 6 seed in the East until 2016.
Obviously, every team in the NBA could find a place fora future Hall of Famer, but some teams have bigger needs than others. Scrolling through the list of potential playoff teams, the Milwaukee Bucks in the East and the Golden State Warriors in the West. Both teams are in playoff position and get low production from the small forward position. That’s where Paul Pierce would be valuable. I don’t know if either team will make a move, or would be willing to pay the price to acquire Pierce, but those are the places he’d fit.
As for Garnett, it looks like the best place, on paper, for him would be Brooklyn. They’ve had a rotating door at the power forward spot,so KG would fill that need. Since the move to Brooklyn, the Nets have not been shy about promoting the crosstown rivalry with the Knicks, and adding known Knick hater Kevin Garnett would make tons of sense.
I’m not saying this is going to happen. Hell, I’d actually bet against it because that’s just the way pro sports work. But if those two stars go anywhere those scenarios make the most sense. the Pacers aren’t likely to be involved in any of these moves, but they could see their direct competitors improve. All in all, the Rondo injury cripples one Eastern conference foe, but could bolster a number of squads that stand in Indiana’s way.