|Posted by paul on December 17, 2012 at 8:20 AM|
I've sort of been feeling like I should write something about Rondo and leadership (Walton), or Rondo and shooting more (Magic), but I just haven't felt like it. I guess it's just getting a little old at this point. I know it's an evolution for Rondo, and maybe a tougher one for him than for a lot of great players, because he doesn't have the amazing physical qualities of a Lebron, or the amazing shooting skills of a Kobe, or the charisma of a Magic Johnson, but how long is it really going to take Rondo and Doc to figure out that he needs to shoot more for this team to be a contender, and more importantly, he needs to defend more?
I was thinking yesterday about Ernie Digregorio. He was one of the greatest playes on college history, and potentially one of the greatest offensive point guards of all time on the NBA level, a player whose talent was attested to by Bob Mcadoo as contributing to his success, but he couldn't play defense on the NBA level and so washed out of the league (injury made this worse too). Of course, what I was thinking about, what made me think of Ernie No D, was that no matter how good you are on offense, if you can't play D, you may hurt your team more than help. I'm starting to wonder if Rondo can play defense on the NBA level? Yes, I know, he's been on all-NBA teams, and he's won a steals championship, but the rest of the league seems to be figuring out that he is good at attacking passing lanes, and at poking the ball away from a guy, but he has no ability whatsoever to stay in front of any point guard in the league who has any quickness and speed.
Granted, staying in front of any NBA point guard who has quickness and speed is a tall challenge for anyone. Without handchecking, it's close to impossible. But isn't it increasingly clear that the rest of the league has figured out that Rondo can't keep opposing point guards out of the lane at all? As Doc pointed out the other day, it's time we stopped blaming the Bigs for our defending and rebounding problems. We knew this summer that our perimeter defense had to step up, and it seemed like we were bringing on board the kind of players who could do that, but they just haven't, and mostly that means Rondo hasn't. And now it sounds like Danny is 'shopping' Lee. I don't get it. If we don't bring a high quality defensive Big Man in here, then we NEED Lee. We need him because our guards need to apply sustained pressure to opposing team's perimeters. But wait - we can't do that because Rondo can't or won't.
At one point this season, Doc was making excuses for Rondo's poor defense on his man and on the ball, indicating that Rondo had to save his energy for the offensive end. Ok, well, I don't see how we can do that. It all goes back to The Trade. We simply don't have the powerful front which can cover for Rondo. We don't. We just don't. Perk is not aboug to wak in through that door. Our defensive power, if we have any, has to be on the perimeter. Isn't what why we brought Lee in? Now we want to get rid of him? My god, how many points do we want to give up? Do we want to be the worst defense in the history of the NBA? We are already the worst rebounding team in history. Or something like that.
After the Spurs game, Rondo said that Parker 'went on a roll', and immediately went on to comment that the Cs didn't play well as a team. Wow. Way to step up and take responsibility, Rondo. Yeah, Parker went on a roll. Does anyone on the team have primary responsibility for Parker, Rajon? Can you think of anyone at all, who might have that primary responsibility (*Rondo glances helpfully around lockerroom*).
I'm sorry. I know I'm being mean, and I shouldn't be. I love Rondo. I think he's a generational player who will change the game. I think a lot of the old time stars think that too. But I think he's being terribly stubborn about this. He won't change his approach to defense, even though the team has changed. I really don't think it's that he can't do a better job of staying in front of his man. I think it's stubbornness.
Of course, stubbornness is a lot of what makes Rondo Rondo...