ESPN.com's 5-on-5 crew (featuring our own Chris Forsberg) weighs in on what lies ahead in for the Celtics in 2011-12.
1. For which Celtics player is the 2011-12 season most important?
Hayes Davenport, CelticsHub: Rajon Rondo. He's lived off potential for a long time, but probably not for much longer. If he doesn't emerge as the team's best player and cultural co-leader this season, he's unlikely to be capable of carrying the Celtics beyond a low playoff seed in the post-Garnett era.
Ryan DeGama, CelticsHub: Rajon Rondo. Last season, the league's view of Rondo seemed to shift away from his proficiencies as a defender and passer and toward his failings: consistency, willingness to attack the basket and free throw shooting. That's problematic for the self-styled "best PG in the game." Is he a franchise player or not? Time to sort that out.
Chris Forsberg, ESPN Boston: Kevin Garnett. He'll turn 36 this season and there's a ton of miles on those tires (the regular-season minutes odometer stands at 43,915, 15th-most in league history). Garnett has acknowledged the finish line might be near, but he's still vital to the Celtics' championship hopes, even as his body struggles to withstand the rigors.
Brendan Jackson, CelticsHub: Rajon Rondo. The Celtics' point guard is the heir apparent and the only future of this team. If he doesn't solidify himself as a top-tier player on his own (i.e., dishing to JaJuan Johnson and Jeff Green and not Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett), then his legacy (and trade value) will plummet.
Brian Robb, CelticsHub: Rajon Rondo. With an aging Big Three that can struggle to create its own offense, the C's All-Star point guard will be instrumental in creating regular easy opportunities for his teammates. Consistency has always been the biggest issue for the up-and-down Rondo, and that problem must be overcome in order for the Celtics to remain a contender.
Click HERE to read the other four questions.