Friday, May 2, 2014
The Ball is in Rondo's Hands Now
It's been hard to see the playoffs going on without the Celtics in them, even though we all expected it. It's exciting too, though, because we know that this team has a lot of talent, and if Danny makes some good moves this summer, it might have even more talent, and the thing is, as long as we have Rondo, we have one of the most talented players in the game on our side.
But questions continue to surround Rondo. The upside is so fantastic. He's by far the best playmaker in the game. He makes more spectacular and creative plays than most anyone today and most anyone in the history of the game. He's one of the best in the league at rising to the occasion, especially in the playoffs, and is capable of being the best player in the game, at least on specific nights and in specific series. But there are so many questions. Can Rondo stay healthy? Can he be a leader? Can he become a consistent scorer? Can he raise his defense once again to elite levels?
We've seen good signs. Rondo is clearly working at his shooting, and he's developing leadership skills. The other day he was at a Bruins game with Pressey. That's fantastic. Instead of worrying about the kid showing him up, he bonds with a guy who could really extend his career as a terrific backup. At times, Rondo seemed to find a really nice balancing point between tough stay-on-your-man defense and his trademark wander-and-gamble defense. It really looked like Rondo gave up on the season at some point this year and became Colonel Tank. I don't love that, but I can see the sense in it. When the season is virtually dead, killing yourself to try to get a few more wins, while risking re-injuring yourself, makes no sense.
I think that if Rondo puts in the hardest summer of his life this summer, he can seize the cornerstone role on this team, making himself indispensable to the Celtics future, and I think Danny would love to see him do it.
I'm not saying that Rondo has ever been lazy in the summertime. I think he's always been a hard worker. But I think that this summer he has to impose his will the way only Rondo is capable of doing. The signs are good. Already Rondo has stated that he intends to put aside most of his promotional activities, and he's said that he plans to be around Boston this summer, focusing on his game and the team. The most important thing is that we need Rondo to come back as an effective shooter. It's time for him to apply his willpower to this. Unleash your Rondo power Rondo! It's a kind of commitment. You'll take as many shots as it takes. You'll go spend a week with Larry Bird. You'll take shots until you are sick of taking shots. You'll find the shooter in you. He's in there. Find him this summer.
And please, try the diaper shot from the line. Yes, I know, it's far from cool, and the guy who made it famous is also famous as one of the game's alltime jerks, but you can give it a new rep. It would be such a natural motion for Rondo, and could make him one of the best free throw shooters in the game. I think Rondo could also become a top bank-shot artist. Keep working on that hook shot. That may be Rondo's real bread and butter shot. But shoot shoot shoot. Make this the summer you climb that mountain, Rondo.