Add Rajon Rondo and the Boston Celtics to the list of former and current players who don’t agree with Las Vegas’ decision to make the Miami Heat favorites to win the 2010 NBA Championship.
Rondo, speaking with Yahoo Sports last week, told one and all that he doesn’t see why the Heat would be favored to represent the Eastern Conference in the finals over his Celtics.
“They should be good, but they ain’t done nothing yet,” Rondo said after a recent practice during Team USA’s minicamp. “They ain’t done nothing.”
Rondo officially took the crown as the Celtics’ best player this past season and led the team to Game 7 of the Finals before eventually losing to the Los Angeles Lakers. With Boston’s core group returning next year, even with its aging nucleus, Rondo thinks that his team should be far more weary of the Lakers than the Heat.
“What is there to be nervous for?” he said. “I’m worried about L.A. That’s the team we need to beat. Miami looks really good on paper, and I’m sure they’re going to be really good. But they still have to come together as a team. I’m not saying they won’t, but who knows if those guys can jell?
“Our biggest opponent each night is ourselves – that’s how I look at it. Not to be cocky or anything, but that’s how we honestly feel. We are the defending [Eastern] champs. Once the first game of the regular season starts, that’s irrelevant. But we are going to go into training camp looking to get back to the Finals and win it.”
Rondo was in his second season in the league when the Celtics traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who would ultimately form Boston’s “Big Three” with Paul Pierce. Later, Allen would tell reporters that despite their 66 games won and eventual championship, the team needed the entire season to really learn how to play together.
Rondo was asked how he thought LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would mesh together in Miami.
“It depends on those three guys [James, Wade and Bosh] in particular, how they accept their roles,” Rondo said. “Things aren’t going to go each guy’s particular way. It’s going to be about how they handle it as gentlemen.”
Still, Rondo isn’t completely opposed to the Heat garnering so much attention. In fact, he believes that it may help his Celtics in the long run by taking the target off their back.
“We didn’t have pressure on us last year,” Rondo said. “Everyone wrote us off last year. It’s going to be the same thing again. We only won, what,  games last year and we made it to the Finals.
“You have to be truthful with your team. Every team in the NBA can’t go in saying they’re going to win an NBA championship, but we honestly feel that way.”
Rondo has signed on to play for Team USA this summer, and won’t have much time to rest before Celtics training camp starts this summer.
Many are already counting the Celtics out of the running for the Eastern Conference crown.
They’re too old. They don’t have enough talent. The East is too top-heavy.
Fans and critics heard the same song and dance last year right through Game 4 of the Cleveland series. If the Celtics have taught basketball observers one thing, it’s this: don't underestimate their heart and desire.