Originally written September 11, 2013 on In The Neutral Zone:
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So much of the fortunes of the Celtics 2013-14 season seems reliant on Rondo’s recovery, whether it positions him as a valuable trade commodity or perhaps as an even more valuable first team player. With less than two months before the season starts, it can’t be that long before we start hearing some concrete news on Rondo’s future, and what that means for the Boston Celtics. If you think you’ve already got the 2013-14 season figured out, why not take a look at the latest NBA title odds on an online sportsbook and try betting on sports at Bodog88.com. As the start of the 2013-14 season edges closer, Celtics fans with a taste betting on sports will no doubt be keeping a close eye on Rajon Rondo, whose uncertain future in Boston is one of several lingering question marks with regards to the team’s title aspirations. In the aftermath of the 2012-2013 season and the exit of Pierce and Garnett, speculation began that Rondo would be the next to move as Danny Ainge seemed set on focussing on the Celtics’ youth movement to see us through the next few years. Earlier in the Summer, senior writer for Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix quoted Ainge as being “certain” Rondo would stay with the Celtics, but two months later there are still murmurs that he will not, and a move would have to have a heavy impact on the team’s chances of a strong season. In the eventuality that the Celtics are without Rondo, the unfortunate situation that necessitated the release of Terrence Williams – the young player who many hoped would lend some back-up to Rondo in the role of point guard – will surely come back to haunt fans. The cost-cutting measures taken by the Celtics has led to some online gambling websites to raise odds on the Celtics title chances, presumably as a reaction to the supposed lack of depth in key positions. That being said, the recent signing of promising rookie Phil Pressey seems to alleviate some of these worries, although it remains to be seen as to whether the undrafted Pressey can cope with the pressure of potentially standing in for Rondo on opening night, should Rondo need more time to recover. Whether he stays with the Celtics or not, it has to be said that Rondo has to be healthy to contribute anything to the team, either as a player or a possible trade. Rondo tore his ACL back in January during a loss to Atlanta, ending his part in the 2012-2013 season. Whilst at the time coaching staff were quick to suggest an optimistic timetable for his recovery, it remains to be seen whether or not he will be ready to go for the beginning of the new season. In the absence of any concrete news either way, rumour and speculation is abound across the internet, with various unconfirmed sources both confirming and denying his readiness to play – the only real confirmation will be whether or not he makes an appearance on October 30 when the Celtics head to Toronto, if indeed Rondo is still with the team at that time. However, the competitive spirit of Rajon Rondo cannot be downplayed, and before his injury last season he was playing some of the best basketball of his career, tying the record set by John Stockton by recording more than ten assists a game for thirty-seven games straight. It could certainly turn out that missing such a big portion of last season spurs Rondo on to rehab quickly, and return to the Celtics playing at the same high standard he displayed before being sidelined. This eventuality would surely cut some of the very long odds that the possibility of the Celtics winning the NBA title is fetching at the moment – popular sports betting website, the Bodog sportsbook is offering odds of over one hundred to one at the time of writing. Whilst it’s not time to abandon all hope as a Celtics fan just yet, the writing does seem to be on the wall, at least in the eyes of the bookmakers.
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