Monday, March 3, 2014

Rondo can lead the Celtics to the promise land, with some help of course

To the world, love is a feeling that dictates, destroys, and it can make or break who you are as a person. To me, it is a state of mind, and it's the makeup of what feels real in the world. Sometimes you even love to hate something, like maybe a Lebron James type character.

A state of mind can be built on love, hate, and false beliefs. There is a certain state of mind, a belief that Rondo hasn't led a team without help from stars. Well, of course he hasn't. Who has won without other star talent? Of course Rondo isn't going to win with this roster that's assembled with the likes of Brandon Bass, and Jeff Green as the focal points.

Rondo's great ability to make Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett look young goes unnoticed. I think the past glories of those players, took away from the present that they were at the end of their primes. The Celtics past the 2009-10 season were Rondo's team, not in the emotional or vocal sense, but by skills alone.

The Celtics would have never bested Lebron James and the Cavs without Rondo, the Celtics success was on Rondo's back. Rondo was fortunate by every measure that he had Hall of Fame talent surrounding him. But Rondo also had the ability, and smarts to keep this three year plan set by Ainge past the deadline date.

Rondo was fortunate because Ray Allen had a strength, which was his three-point shooting. KG's strength was the pick-and-pop game, along with the jumper that was a thing of beauty. KG's bounce was gone, but he was still able to catch alley-oops from Rondo. As for Pierce, he didn't lose as much as Ray or Kevin, but he developed a deadly three-point shot that Rondo picked up on. Rondo knew how to bring out those three players strengths at the end of their careers. That's a great player bottom line.

James departed Cleveland to go play with stars, Chris Paul did the same by demanding a trade. Durant has Westbrook, and Bird had Mchale. Rondo's a star, who needs other stars to compete, just like everyone else. Rondo may have shut some of the fans, and media guys up who don't believe in him, if the Celtics had won another banner.

Injuries changed everything for the Celtics, in some of the big moments of their run. In the 2010 Finals, the injury to Perk in game 6. Then the following year, Wade's takedown of Rondo. Then what if the Celtics had Bradley in the 2012 Eastern Conference against Miami, and if Ray Allen wasn't battling bone spurs in his ankles.

A lot of misconceptions, and double standards are out there. Look at the 2007-08 Celtics when Ainge brought into two stars to play with Pierce. Yes Rondo can't do this alone. Rondo's game has evolved. Will he ever be the Chris Paul or Rose type of point guard? I don't think so, to me he's the John Stockton, Jason Kidd type of point guard.

Rondo's numbers suggest that he's basically the same player, but without proper star talent to win. In Rondo's past five games, he's averaging 14 points, 11 assists, and 4 rebounds a game. That's likely what he'll be as a player. Rondo's scoring is inconsistent, but his leadership, passing, and his accountability to win is consistent from game to game.

Rondo has clearly improved his three-point shooting, and even his free throw shooting. In Rondo's past five games, he's averaging 81% from the line, and nearly 39% from three. Rondo is only two three's away from passing his career high of 17 made thee's in the 2009-10 season. His shooting is legit, and once he reached his peak, maybe the scoring will become more of the norm with Rondo.

Building a team around Rondo is possible by all means. He's a star that needs other stars around. The only concern is that will they be the right stars, and how will Ainge bring them in. Is Rondo a number one option? Likely not, but he's without a doubt the best player on your team without being the number one option, if that makes sense. Jason Kidd is a player that I compare Rondo to. Kidd was usually the best player on his team, but that didn't mean he was the number one option. At times they'll be that, but they need someone else at times to win games.

Rondo's ability to play at such a high level is unique. I simply believe his desire to win drives him like no other player in the game. Rondo isn't satisfied with what he's done in the game. He wants more and more, and in time he'll have a chance to show the NBA world that he can win without the Big 3.


  1. I love this piece, but I disagree about Rondo's shooting. I know I'm in the minority on this, maybe a minority of one, but I think that Rondo has already been the Celtics number one option for years. It depends on what one means by number one option, I guess. I like to cite Bobby Orr's Big Bad Bruins teams of the seventies. The volume scorer on that team was Esposito. Bucyk too was a top scorer. Orr scored perhaps half the goals Bucyk scored and a third the goals that Espy scored. But there was no doubt who was the offensive powerhouse on that team. To be powerful, an offense has to have at least one guy who puts fear into the opponents' hearts. It's not always the volume scorer.

  2. Rondo has been the best player on the celtics for years, but Paul Pierce was the number one scoring option every year. Rondo was huge in his last playoff games in 2012, showing that he was the number 1 guy. It didnt translate though last year, or so far in his return.

  3. Spot on man. Nice work. I think Rondo needs a player to feed.

  4. Greg, Paul Pierce is a fine scorer, one of the great scorers in the history of the game, really, but Rondo has been the key guy for years now. He just hasn't been acknowledged as such, and he himself has been shy about it too. He doesn't have the same confidence as a scorer thta he has as a passer. But the key scorer on a team is not always the volume scorer.

  5. Part of the problem with the Big Threee, as they morphed into the Big Four, was that Pierce could not accept that, while he remained the team's volume scorer, the piston that churned the Cs offense was Rondo. It astounds me that the entire fandom is blind to this. Rondo is not a bad scorer. He is an elite scorer. He has not been, to this point, a volume scorer, but he is an elite scorer. I guess it's all too subtle for most observers.

    Listen, volume scorers are guys who can hit the same shot all night long. That is important to a team. But what is more important is the guy that the opposing team feels they cannot defend. Sometimes, usually, that's a volume scorer - a Jabbar, or a Bird, or a Lebron. But there has to be some kind of magic to it. Jabbar had that incredibly perfect sky hook. Bird perfected the outside shot like no one before him. It was like a layup to him. With Rondo it's this uncanny creativity. His challenge right now is to combine his creative scoring with something more bread and butter so that he can be more of a volume scorer, especially in crunch time.