|Posted by paul on December 28, 2011 at 7:45 AM|
Is Rajon Rondo playing perfect ball right now? For sure, no. He needs to do a better job on his primary defensive responsibility, the opposite point guard. Douglas torched Rondo in the Knicks game, and Cole torched him last night. That kind of thing will kill us if it continues.
He also needs to step up more in crunch time. But, after two games in the 2011-2012 season, it already seems evident that Rondo has stepped up to the plate and delivered most of what coaches, players and fans have been demanding from him. He clearly has worked hard on his shot over the summer. His form looks much better, and he's attacking the Rondo Sag with confidence and determination, sometimes shooting the J, other times driving to the basket and picking up fouls. He's also been very effective from the line. He is playing aggressively and with consistent focus, balancing scoring with playmaking, doing whatever the team needs, controlling the game and taking leadership responsibility to the point where he has really carried the team on his shoulder for most of two very difficult games. Rondo has even shown tremendous toughness, getting clobbered over and over again in drives to the lane, even getting knocked out by a Carmelo Anthony elbow, and even then returning to the game after taking just a moment to shake off the wooziness.
If the Cs had won the past two games, Rondo would be the clear frontrunner for MVP. That's a big 'if', of course, but even though it's only been two games, but does anyone doubt that we are seeing a different, much improved Rondo? Calipari was right. Rondo was working hard this summer, preparing himself for a breakthrough season.
And it's not as though this is the first time Rondo has done this. Year after year Rondo has improved his game dramatically. He is like a lottery ticket that keeps on winning, more money each time.
So fans are delighted, right? Well, actually, fan response has been tepid, I would say. Where on earth is the support? We fans spent the summer screaming for Rondo's head, egging Danny on as Danny shopped him around the league like a used up mop, making long lists of areas where Rondo needed to improve, and all he does in response to all this is step up to the plate like doggone Babe Ruth ... and ... nothing. Tepid praise. More criticism. More catcalls. Blame. What on earth is going on here? Where on earth is the support for a great young player who is giving his all and getting better and better and better?
I get it that part of being a fan is caring enough to criticize. But part of being a fan is also encouraging and supporting. Rondo needs our support and encouragement. So does his team, which is struggling to find itself. It's time for Celtic fans to step up to the plate.