Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/1/13
For much of the 2012-13 season, it appeared as though the Boston Celtics might be able to hang on to their spot among the Eastern Conference’s elite, that no longer seems to be the case. Not on the NBA moneyline, at least, where their odds of winning the NBA championship have dipped to 30-1. This, we’ll remind you, is a team whose been a mainstay within the NBA futures’ top five for the past half decade. The truth is, with the amount of uncertainty there’s been in Boston all year long, a season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo makes all the difference. Yes, Celtics fans, if you’ve been trying to shield yourself from the news, sadly it’s true. The superstar point guard will miss the remainder of this season due to the torn ACL. Suddenly, the made-for-TV movie plot of a bold young man stepping up for his company when it mattered most and guiding his wise but withered colleagues to surprising success seems a little out of reach. As a result of the news, the buzz around Beantown has shifted to the rest of the Celtics roster. More specifically, the talk is all about whether Paul Pierce‘s and Kevin Garnett’s days in Massachusetts are numbered or not. While Pierce has reiterated a desire to finish his career in Boston recently, that hasn’t stopped the brigade of trade rumors that have him heading out of town, perhaps to a team like the Los Angeles Clippers not far from where he grew up. There may be nothing to the onslaught of possible swaps, but the fact the Celtics find themselves in their current position does suggest that it wouldn’t be entirely out of the question. If Danny Ainge and company play their cards right, the franchise could salvage one last run at the Eastern Conference playoff bracket. With the NBA trade deadline fast approaching later this month, pay special attention to how the Celtics fare in their first days post-Rondo. If things start to spiral out of control, we may see one of this generation’s legendary Celtics packing his suitcase. Bet on the NBA at its most unpredictable at Bovada now.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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