The Boston Celtics have overcome adversity this year to find themselves in the NBA postseason for the sixth consecutive season. The Celtics lost their All-Star point guard, Rajon Rondo, to a season-ending torn right ACL in a January 25th double overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Rookie forward Jared Sullinger was forced to undergo surgery on his back in February that ended his season. Reserve guard Leandro Barbosa suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in the third quarter of the 94-91 loss against the Charlotte Bobcats on February 11th. In a matter 17 days, the Celtics lost three key players in their rotation.
This season has been split into the team with Rondo and the team without Rondo. Prior to Rondo’s injury, the Celtics were 20-23 and they had lost six consecutive games. Then the team improved their play and appeared to rally around people calling for their demise. They won their next seven contests, including a 100-98 overtime victory over the top team in the NBA, the Miami Heat, and were 14-4 in their initial 18 games without their floor leader. The team played well defensively and they spread the ball around. Jeff Green became the player that Danny Ainge hoped he was getting when he sent Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2011. Green was more aggressive on the offensive end and his speed and length provided fits for the opposition. At one point the team was down to nine active players because of all the injuries. Ainge traded Jason Collins to the Washington Wizards for Jordan Crawford before the trade deadline ended on February 21st. He signed TerrPence Williams, Shavlik Randolph, and D.J. White. All three of these players came from the Chinese Basketball Association and had been unable to stick with a team in the NBA.