In Response to Re: w/o Shaq, nothing is easy. w/o Rondo, it is all mess:
The Celts have enough talent/depth that maybe no one player out of the lineup  will keep them from winning games. If I took a guess, KG would hurt the most followed by PP.. if either one was out for an extended period. I dont think many C fans really hate Rondo..they are just pointing out his shortcomings that are obvious. Shooting, FT's, carelessness sometimes, sometimes too concerned with assist stats and a certain poutiness (is that a word?) My wife can make a lot longer list about my shortcomings... believe me, Ive heard her do so many times.. but that doesnt mean she hates me.  What Rondo does provide better than any other player in the NBA is more layups & open looks for his teammates. Assists are nice but if Ray is red hot from the 3 line and hits 7 in a row...well most anyone passing him the ball will rack up good assists. What Rondo does is get us EASY BUCKETS..and thats an extremely important part of his game he needs to be credited with. I criticize Rondo on this forum plenty but I also realize a big part of the Celtics high FG% this year is due to Rondo getting his teammates dunks, layup & open looks with passes in just the right spot so they can shoot in rithym.
Posted by Karllost

Thats exactly right.  Rondo has flaws, but if you look at him as a PG overall, no one runs their team better than Rondo.  We have an ageing roster of good player who can compete maybe 20 minutes a game (no more).  If asked to compete at a high level for longer, their level of play deteriorates.  Case in point, game 7 of last year's championship where in the 4th quarter our aged stars did not have it in them anymore.

Rondo is the perfect point guard to be playing with them because he gets them VERY EASY looks.  What a lot of Rondo naysayers don't realize is the Rondo also puts a lot of pressure on the opposing defenses by always looks for the best offensive matchups for our team.  He makes them rotate, he makes them hustle and continually pushes them to defend our shooters.  I have not seen any other PG in the league push defenses the way Rondo pushes them.  A lot of naysayers talk about Rondo's guy sagging off of him and how that hurts us.  I think the opposite.  Even though one of the guy sags off of Rondo, I believe opposing teams end up expending a lot more energy on defense when Rondo is running our point.  And in the end it actually helps us.

Statistics speak volume to support this.  The celtics are shooting 52% with Rondo running our offense.  That is significantly higher than any other team in the league.  And when you see our offense, it is very easy to see that on most nights our players get very easy looks.

People talk about Ray getting hot and Rondo taking advantage of that by dishing it to him for easy assists.  In my mind it is the opposite.  At this age of Ray's life, if Rondo wasn't Ray's PG I can assure you Ray would experience much fewer hot streaks.  Rondo has the knack for running the floor in a way that he gets a lot of our shooters open at their sweet spots.