BOSTON (CBS) – Celtics VP of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge called in to the Toucher and Rich Show, and one of the topics covered was just how bad the Eastern Conference is right now.
If the season ended today, the Celtics would make the playoffs with a 13-18 record – Ainge thinks injuries are to blame.
“The Eastern Conference of the NBA this year there’s been a lot of injuries – devastating injuries. When you lose your best players it makes it a challenge,” said Ainge Thursday morning.
On how injuries relate to his team, it’s clear that the Celtics are missing All Star point guard Rajon Rondo.
Of the areas they’ve struggled this season, one of the most glaring is giving up leads late in the game and not really having a “go-to guy” – Rondo, or a player of his ilk, would certainly help fix that.
“As you can see down the stretch of games it’s been our biggest challenge – that’s when the best players are most needed. A player like Rondo, who will clearly have the ball in his hands at the end of the game – not necessarily taking the shot but as a director – I think that’s a big loss for us in not having that.”
Ainge went on to say that Rondo’s absence has also hurt coach Brad Stevens, who as a first-year NBA coach hasn’t gotten the chance to work with his best player.
For the latest happenings with the Boston Celtics, including their most recent games and the demotion of MarShon Brooks to the D-League, listen below for the full interview: