The Celtics have lost 9 in a row, and during the 9 game skid. The Celtics let a few possible wins get away. Rondo understands what it means to be captain of the Boston Celtics. He's been ready for years to take the title. Rondo's been a leader in the past, and this year it has been different compared to the past 6 seasons. Boston has been sloppy, they continue to allow teams to pull away in the 4th quarter, and the game in Atlanta was a perfect example of Boston's season.
The Celtics led by as many as nine (89-80) in the fourth quarter. With under five minutes to go, Atlanta closed out the game with a 25-8 run. Rondo played well in the 4th quarter, but it wasn't enough for Boston to pull away from the Hawks. Rondo had 4 assists, with 6 points in the final frame. Rondo was 2-of-2 in the period, and honestly that's not ideal for me if I'm Brad Stevens. You want your best player to carry the load down the stretch. Rondo nailed a three late cutting the Hawks lead to 101-97, but it was too late.
"We just can’t keep saying the same things. We have to continue to run through the finish line and close games better. In the second half we had a big lead and we let the team back in it. We have to get stops, and I start with myself and turning the ball over. They turned up the pressure in the fourth quarter and took us out of our offense. I think they trapped the ball more aggressively and they just got into us. It’s pretty much the same old story the last couple of games. When teams make a comeback on us, they turn up the pressure and we seem to fold."
Boston has crumbled like a young team this season, and that's when Rondo needs to put the team on his back. Rondo seems a bit scarred to take the lead by attacking, and looking for his shot when the game is on the line. Rondo has shown in the past that he's able to take over the scoring load. But I haven't seen too many examples in his short season so far. Rondo understands that all eyes are on him, and he takes the blame off his team, like any good captain would. A good captain also knows when to put his team in check, but Wednesday night wasn't the time for that.
"It’s not really what I have to say. I just have to lead by example. I could have done a better job getting the guys together late when they did make their run, but I didn’t."
Rondo needs to find his inner KG or Paul Pierce. I hate to put Rondo on the spot like that. But he needs to become more vocal, if he's not going to score the ball. Be the director, and be the one to motivate. For me though, I'd rather see Rondo do both. Lead by example, and be the vocal leader that a young team needs. The season is nearing a close, and Rondo can put this season behind him. He could have a brand new looking Celtics squad come September, so he must be ready to lead regardless of who plays for Boston.