Celtics Question of the Day: Who is the Celtics' leader this season?

776812.jpg

Celtics Question of the Day: Who is the Celtics' leader this season?

Paul Pierce is still the captain. Kevin Garnett remains the heart the Celtics. And Rajon Rondo is clearly the C's most dynamic player.

But who's leading this team?

All three players will in some fashion defer the leadership title to one of their teammates. But if you've paid attention to this team's evolution the past couple of years, it should be pretty clear that this is Rondo's team.

We're not talking about his team in the future. This is Rondo's team ... now.

That doesn't make Pierce and Garnett irrelevant in terms of their role with the franchise. What it does, more than anything, is clarify the direction that the C's are trending towards.

Look no further than the moves made by the Celtics this summer: Youth. Athleticism. Versatility.

You see a strong mix of all those traits in the players Boston added this offseason. But what you don't see is the addition of the aging veteran to a prominent role.

Why?

Because the C's core group of Pierce and KG are aging veterans.

Aware of this, Boston added talent and depth at those positions so they wouldn't be as dependent on those two to carry the team like they've done for so many years.

That's why they gave Jeff Green a four-year deal worth 36 million. They did that with the knowledge that he will someday replace Pierce at small forward and that his strength -- running the floor -- plays well off of one of Rondo's best qualities.

Boston drafted Fab Melo because he has the potential to be a game-changing defender in the middle like Garnett which would allow Rondo to get out and run more in transition.

The Celtics drafted Jared Sullinger because he has the potential to deliver points in the paint a la Garnett, while Brandon Bass can help spread the floor, like Garnett, with the pick-and-pop game he runs with Rondo.

You go down the line of new additions, and they all in some way benefit the play of Rondo.

Both Pierce and KG will continue to have prominent voices and a presence inside the locker room. But Celtics coach Doc Rivers has said many times that this is Rondo's team, and the way the Celtics are constructed, it's pretty clear that's never been more true.

Stars, studs, and duds: Bradley lone bright spot in Celtics' Game 5 loss

Stars, studs, and duds: Bradley lone bright spot in Celtics' Game 5 loss

BOSTON –  The Boston Celtics’ season is officially over following their 135-102 Game 5 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the game. 

 

STARS

LeBron James

He was indeed the ultimate closer once again, leading all players with 35 points on 13-for-18 shooting with eight rebounds and eight assists. 

Avery Bradley

Not the way he would have liked the season to end, but Bradley once again showed great leadership in the face of adversity. He led the Celtics with 23 points on 10-for-20 shooting with four rebounds and an assist. 

Kyrie Irving

Boston continued to struggle keeping him from being extremely efficient scoring the ball. He had 24 points on 9-for-15 shooting with seven assists. 

 

STUDS

Kevin Love

Most of his points came early in the game, a trend we saw most of this series with him. He finished with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds along with three assists. 

Deron Williams

His scoring in the first half was among the keys to Cleveland pulling away and never looking back. He had 14 points for the game on 5-for-6 shooting.

Jae Crowder

He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (3-for-8 shooting), but you had to love his toughness and rugged play not just in Game 5 but in this entire series. He had 11 points and six rebounds to go with three assists. 

 

DUDS

Kelly Olynyk

They needed him to have a “Game 7 versus Washington” kind of night, and that just never materialized. He had seven points while missing six of his eight shot attempts.

Marcus Smart

Aside from Game 3 when he made seven 3’s, Smart didn’t maximize his opportunity to be a suitable replacement for the injured Isaiah Thomas. Game 5 was another rough one for Smart who had six points on 2-for-7 shooting with five rebounds and two assists with five turnovers.