Since last year, I've noticed a particular pattern with the World Champion Boston Celtics - the team goes as point guard Rajon Rondo goes. It's not the Big Three that matter most, it's Rondo.
Check out the team's losses this year, and you'll find that Rondo didn't play well or didn't play due to injury. Last year in the playoffs, the losses occured when he didn't bring his usual A game.
Last night's game was a prime example. Rondo didn't play due to injury. There just isn't a flow to the offense when Rondo's not bringing the ball up. Marbury tries and is going out of his way to try to distribute the ball, but the results just aren't there. Marbury is still rusty and I believe he will be an impact performer off the bench come playoff time.
The reason why Rondo is so good is due to his quickness. He creates havoc on the defensive end, and is 5th in the NBA in steals. He's also the best rebounding PG in the NBA. When he gets the ball in his hands, he bursts up the court and is immediately putting pressure on the defense. Rondo is a master at bringing the ball in the lane and dishing off to an open Garnett or Perkins for an easy dunk or layup.
Marbury and Eddie House do not have that quickness and neither is as good as Rondo defensively. At this point, Marbury is a liability defensively. He's trying hard, but is a step or two slow in chasing his man. Rondo, unless he is picked, doesn't have such difficulties.
For the Celtics to win, it's okay if Garnett misses a few games or Pierce goes through a 5-20 shooting night. As long as Rondo is there and playing well, the chances of victory are great