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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Rondology: Will the Real Rondo Please Stand Up?

Posted by paul on February 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM


A lot of Celtics fans don't like Rondo, but those who do see the same thing, I think.   We see a player who, when he is on, is one of the most most creative, intelligent, aware, skilled and athletic players in the league.   We see a player who renews our love for the game, who inspires us.   We see a guy who may affect a game in more ways than any other player in the league today.


 But the fans who don't like Rondo see a different player, and that player is real too.  They see the Rondo who gives up on plays defensively.    They see the Rondo who disappears from the offense, even though he is supposedly the heart of the offense.    They see how the team's energy stagnates sometimes when Rondo is on the floor.  The endless arguments between Rondo fans and Rondo haters really comes down to this:  which is the 'real'  Rondo?


It's funny too, how this works out.  Have you ever noticed that Rondo haters are forever waiting for The Trade?  They get excited everytime there is a Rondo trade rumor, and if there aren't any rumors around, they make them up constantly.   Meanwhile, Rondo fans  are constantly waiting for The Breakout Game.   I've called for Rondo to score 40 points in a game.  One feels like if he could just truly explode in one game, like Jeremy Lin,  but more,  maybe he would establish a new threshold for his game.  Maybe he would never look back.


More and more it looks like we are all waiting for some definitive solution to a struggle that appears to go on inside Rondo.  How can one square the Rondo who controls all aspects of both ends of the game, with the Rondo who shrinks to nothing and disappears on the court?  I've thought for a long time that a lot of  it has been caused by Rondo's no win situation, and by bad luck.  Last year, Rondo played incandescent basketball CONSISTENTLY in the early going, but then began to rack up injuries that played havoc with his game, and then The (Perkins) Trade happened, and since then he's constantly been on the trading block;  all this has happened in the context of a larger situation where the vets on the team, and Doc, and the brass, and the fans seem themselves to vacillate between demanding that Rondo do more, and then criticizing Rondo for trying to do too much, for not keeping to his role - even though he no longer has a clearly defined role!  Rondo is in a tough situation, for sure.  If he does well, it's said that it's all because of the Big Three.   If he does poorly, it's all his fault.  If he pushes the ball, he's criticized for not controling the pace.  If he slows the game down, he's criticized for taking the air out of the ball.  If he tried a tough shot or pass, he's blamed for gambling too much.   If he doesn't, he's criticized for being too passive.  He's in a situation that is a no win situation on so many levels.


 I think that we as fans need to CONSISTENTLY call on Rondo to step up into team leadership, as clearly the best player on the team.  We should consistently praise him when he does, and criticize him when he doesn't.  Of course I know that won't happen, but I wish it would.  After last night's game, where Rondo seemed to disappear when his aggressiveness was most needed, I really wondered if Rondo's rollercoaster play isn't something that is so inherent in him that it can never change.  If that's true, I don't think he should be a starter.  But I still don't think it's true, and I think that if we fans could just consistently call for him to excel, maybe the message would get through to the team that what Rondo needs is consistent expectations.  What would happen if everyone consistently expected Rondo to lead, and to excel.  Would he live up to it?  Would he break through his pattern of vacillation?   Or would he fail?   I'd like to see.



I blame Rondo a lot, but I have to wonder how anyone would be able to cope with all the mixed messages he gets about what is expected of him.

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If Gary Washburn is right (and I would call anything he says close to official)  Rondo does NOT have the backing of the team, which would help explain his vacillation:

“I don’t think that they feel that Rondo is like a franchise point guard. I think that they think they need a franchise big man, but I don’t see why you would trade a 25, 26 year old Rondo for a 31 year old Gasol who is probably on the down side of his career.”

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8 Comments

Reply celts
2:49 PM on February 10, 2012 
I agree if your the best player you should take the blame, but you should also get the credit you cant just be cast aside in both like many fans do to him he has to be the goat and the hero he cant just be the goat and the goat.
Reply Franklin
3:04 PM on February 10, 2012 
Rondo as the best player needs to be the guy shooting 15 times a game, not 8 attempts. He was effective when he attacked the rim, but it wasn't enough.
Reply paul
3:38 PM on February 10, 2012 
celts says...
I agree if your the best player you should take the blame, but you should also get the credit you cant just be cast aside in both like many fans do to him he has to be the goat and the hero he cant just be the goat and the goat.


So well put. Right now, it seems that Rondo ends up somehow being the goat no matter what he does, perpetually the black sheep.
Reply paul
3:50 PM on February 10, 2012 
Franklin says...
Rondo as the best player needs to be the guy shooting 15 times a game, not 8 attempts. He was effective when he attacked the rim, but it wasn't enough.


The color guys on TNT said a couple of things that many Rondo fans have been saying for a while. They pointed out that Rondo is a one-man fast break for the Celtics and that he is the best threat they have in the paint. And you can see that other teams know who the real threat is, because of the way they react to Rondo. If Rondo makes a move like he means it, he attracts two, three, four defenders. Rondo is the guy they worry about. Rondo is the guy they think can beat them. Why doesn't the team take full advantage of this?

And too, aren't they ever ashamed of the fact that the Celtics are now presumably known as the team with the one man fast break? How blatant an admission that the Celtics are an old team is it this?! Yet when it comes to leadership of the team, they seem to continue to sit on the young lion.

But why does Rondo disappear? I'm thinking back to the Chicago game. There too Rondo gave us a nice lead with his third quarter aggression, but then, as the game went into the late third quarter and then into the fourth, Rondo disappeared, and Derrick Rose took over. How much of this is due to Doc telling Rondo to quiet down and just run the offense, and how much is Rondo's fault?
Reply celts
5:15 PM on February 10, 2012 
i think his jumpshot is good until he hesitates he knocked down 2 in the third but the ot jumper he took looked like he didnt want to take it at all
Reply paul
5:22 PM on February 10, 2012 
celts says...
i think his jumpshot is good until he hesitates he knocked down 2 in the third but the ot jumper he took looked like he didnt want to take it at all


Yeah. If he misses a layup or gets blocked, he doesn't drive for a while. If he misses a j, he doesn't shoot them for a while. You can't play like that
Reply Jesse
1:22 AM on February 11, 2012 
I am a Rondo fan. I am a frustrated Rondo fan. Team basketball wins games. It almost seems like role definition is missing in more than the point guard position.
Reply paul
7:23 AM on February 11, 2012 
Jesse says...
I am a Rondo fan. I am a frustrated Rondo fan. Team basketball wins games. It almost seems like role definition is missing in more than the point guard position.


I'm frustrated too, Jesse. In fact, I think the situation has become more than frustrating. It's become upsetting. I think that Doc devised an offensive system that worked perfectly at the time, and he isn't willing to change it as the team's personnel change.