These guys still have something to prove.
I'm not for one second going to argue that the Celtics are a better team without Rajon Rondo. But there are some numbers that suggest Doc Rivers may have known what he was talking about when he said "You can write our obituary. I'm not."
Boston was 18-20 in games Rondo played this season, and they are 3-3 so far without him. Over the past 4 seasons the Celtics are 145-95 (a .604 winning percentage) when Rondo plays, and 21-13 (.618) when he does not.
This year their efficiency rankings have actually been slightly better when Rondo was not on the floor; 99.2 on offense (points scored per 100 possessions) and 100.5 on defense (points allowed per 100 possessions) for a difference of -1.3 with Rondo on the court vs. 100.4/offense and 100.0/defense (+0.4) with Rondo off the court.
Now let's put the stats aside and look at this from a philosophical point of view. The way things were going it was very very unlikely Boston was going to win ...