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Without Rajon Rondo, Who Starts at Point Guard for Boston Celtics?

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COMMENTARY | Rajon Rondo has a lot resting on his shoulders.

The Boston Celtics are relying on him to keep them competitive this season after he returns from an ACL injury, and he is the building block of a new era. It's certainly a change of pace for a player who is used to competing on a team full of veterans, but Rondo appears to be up for the challenge.

We don't know exactly when Rondo will be back on the floor. ACL injuries treat every athlete differently, as we've seen with Adrian Peterson and Derrick Rose. The team shouldn't rush him back, but things could get ugly on the court with Rondo watching the games in street clothes.

No one on the roster stands out as a great option to temporarily replace Rondo's role as the starting point guard.

That being said, here are a few options:

Avery Bradley

This seems to be the obvious option. Bradley was drafted as a point guard, although he eventually ended up as a shooting guard next to Rondo. Physically, he's built to run the point. His defensive pressure is best suited guarding opposing point guards.

As we saw last year, his ball handling is simply not good enough just yet. He struggles against ball pressure, and the team's offense becomes out of sync pretty quickly. Bradley is an awkward "tweener" player who isn't ideal at either guard position.

In all likelihood, Bradley will start, and it very well may be at point guard. He's probably the favorite to start the year in this role.

Jordan Crawford

I've been as critical as you can be with Jordan Crawford, but he could be a legitimate option. Seriously.

As you can read over at MassLive, Crawford has been impressing his teammates and new head coach Brad Stevens. He's starting to show his ability as a passer, and it looks like he's working his way up the depth chart.

Is it possible that Washington was just an awful environment for him, and now he'll start to show his skills? Yeah, there's a chance. I'll believe it when I see it, but a smart coach like Brad Stevens could do a lot of good for Crawford. Remember, he's still only 24 years old.

He's a better ball handler than Bradley, and probably a better passer as well. The question here is whether or not he can shake his bad habits enough to run an offense. There's a chance that they both start in the backcourt; Bradley would probably be listed at point guard, but Crawford would manage a lot of the ball handling duties.

Phil Pressey

Pressey is definitely the dark horse. It will be an uphill battle for him to crack the starting lineup, but he's been impressive so far.

The 5-11 rookie out of Missouri is probably more of a "true" point guard than both Bradley and Crawford, and might end up being the backup point guard the Celtics have lacked for years.

Where Pressey might have the most impact is off the bench, where he could run a surprisingly good pick and roll offense with Vitor Faverani. Pressey will be a solid NBA player, but it's doubtful that he'll be a starter this year.

It looks as if Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford very well could be the Boston starting backcourt on opening day. Sorry, Celtics fans. I'll bring the tissues.

Bradley will probably be listed as the team's starting point guard, simply as a formality. Expect Jordan Crawford to carry a lot of the normal responsibilities of a point guard, as he's more fit for the role on offense. Bradley is better suited off the ball offensively, although he will probably match up against the opposing team's point guard on the other end of the floor. Expect Jeff Green, who will start somewhere in the front court, to help out with the ball handling as well.

Hopefully. Rondo won't pull a Derrick Rose, and this won't be an issue for very long. But, at this point, it's inevitable that someone not named Rajon will start the year as Boston's point guard.

Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.

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