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NBA Free Agency 2012: Why the Boston Celtics Are Better off Without Ray Allen

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 24:  (L-R) Rajon Rondo #9 and Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics talk on court against the New York Knicks in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 24, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Nikhil BaradwajSenior Analyst IAugust 2, 2012

When Ray Allen left Boston to join Miami, it felt like a betrayal for many Celtics fans.

The problem wasn't the fact that the sharpshooter left town, considering that Danny Ainge tried to repeatedly shop him during the season, but the way in which he left.

Oh, and the team he chose to play for was the one that has knocked out the Celtics the past two seasons.

Numerous reports cited the fact that Allen left because he took issue when Doc Rivers decided to run the offense more through star point guard Rajon Rondo and due to his limited role after returning from his ankle injury.

Allen reportedly wasn't buying into what the Celtics were doing, which was handing the keys to the car to their best player, Rondo.

He allegedly wanted a bigger role in the offense and he really wasn't going to get his wish in 2013, especially when Avery Bradley returned from his shoulder surgery.

Having a grumpy player would not have helped the Celtics. In fact, Allen would have been more of a nuisance than a help.

Whether he likes it or not, the Boston Celtics are Rajon Rondo's team. At the end of the day, the point guard's play will determine how far the C's go in the playoffs.

This should be of no offense to Allen, considering that he is way past his prime and is not the perennial All-Star he once was.

Boston management now needs players who know that Rondo is the alpha dog. This isn't 2008, when the "Big Three" were the main reason why Boston won an NBA title.

When we look at his numbers from this past postseason it is clear of Rondo's prowess. He averaged an astounding 17.3 points, 11.9 assists and 6.7 rebounds against the best in the East.

Not only this, but he showed up in the biggest games.

In Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, Rondo scored 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, with 11 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.

Doug Collins agreed at the time saying this (via ESPN.com):

"I don't look at them as the Big Three. I look at them as the Championship Four. Because if you're going to leave Rondo out, you're making a huge mistake."

Rondo was even more dazzling in the Eastern Conference Finals, when he averaged 20.9 points, 11.3 assists and 6.9 rebounds against the best team in basketball.

He is the driving force of this team and without him the Celtics are a middling team in the East. In my opinion, there are really only three players in the league that can stop the Heat: Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Rondo.

If a player like Allen can't realize that, then it does make sense to cut ties with him. This is no longer the "Big Three" era.

It's Rondo's time. 

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