BOSTON (CBS) -- Rajon Rondo is gone, and it's a new era in the Boston Celtics franchise.
For head coach Brad Stevens, that new era will prove to be a major test.
While the team's 1-2 record without Rondo is not the best start, Adam Jones did find a positive in the coach's work during the loss to the Magic.
"I think this is great coaching, I complimented for it when he did it earlier this season against the Washington Wizards, when he stuck with Marcus Smart over Rajon Rondo and stuck with the guys who got them back into the game," Jones said. "What a novel concept -- sticking with the guys who actually wanted to play, as opposed to the guys who went out there and laid an egg and scored nine points in the first quarter tonight. Which is the reason the Celtics lost, because they didn't even show up to start the game down in Orlando against a Magic team that is just brutal at home. Horrible team, just their fourth win at home this season, and a bad team in general."
"And the Celtics didn't show up to star," Jones continued. "So do you know what Brad Stevens did? When he actually found guys who wanted to play, he stuck with them. Good for him."
As a result of this strategy, it appears as though the head coach might have alienated his starters.
"And now you have Jeff Green and Jared Sullinger moping their way out of the locker room after the game," Jones said. "I don't feel that Jeff Green or Jared Sullinger owe anyone answers, [but] go out there and say, 'Look, I didn't have it tonight, the other guys were better than me, I didn't deserve to play. I don't have anything else for you.' And you know what? Then reporters don't have anything to say to it.
"But even more so than that, this is not a media thing," Jones said. "Bill Belichick and Marshawn Lynch, that's sending a message to either the media or the league that they don't feel like they should have to go through this Q&A process and they don't feel like they should have to answer any questions and on top of it with both of them, they probably have members of the media that they don't appreciate and don't want to deal with. So fine. I'm OK with it being a media or a league thing, and if you don't want to play the game, you don't have to play the game.
"But you know what Jared Sullinger and Jeff Green are doing? They're ticked off at their coach. They're ticked off at their coach. So you want to be pissed off at the league? Go for it. You want to be pissed off at the media? Fine. But if there's something there going on with your coach, that's interesting. And that's something where ... are we talking about now -- not a crossroads for Brad Stevens, because I think that's too strong -- but he's entering an interesting period. No more Rajon Rondo, that was your team leader. He's gone, and some would say that's a good thing for Brad Stevens. Now you're integrating three new guys into the locker room and on top of it, you're sitting down Jared Sullinger for the whole second half and he doesn't like it. And you're sitting down Jeff Green for the entirety of the fourth quarter and the last 3:49 of the third quarter ... and he doesn't like it."
Jones warned: "Keep an eye on that Celtics locker room. That's all I would say."
Listen to a fired-up Jones below:
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