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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Rondology: Bold Words from the Black Lion of Voltron

Posted by paul on May 4, 2012 at 7:20 AM


Rondo is often accused of not giving the media much.  I see him more as someone who says a lot when he says a little.  He certainly said a lot yesterday, but one might have missed it, if one was focused on his diffident manner.   He told Jeff Teague that he, Rondo, is the best pg in the league.  He told the Hawks that he considers the series to be already over.  


Where have we seen this kind of quietly staggering swagger before?   Oh yes, from Larry Bird.  But I'm not sure if Larry himself ever went this far.   By saying what he did, Rondo made certain that the Hawks will be amped to the max tonight.  I wonder if Kevin Garnett is regretting his emphatic words about Rondo's team leadership at this point.  He may be having nightmares thinking about how amped Josh Smith is going to be if he plays tonight, thanks to the words of the Black Lion.  Rondo himself should be having nightmares thinking about a super-amped Jeff Teague going at Rondo at both ends tonight.  


Then again, guys like Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have been known to swagger a bit themselves.  They don't seem to mind setting a challenge, and then embracing it.  And, as someone here pointed out, much of what Rondo has done this week may have been gamesmanship, intended to focus his team on the task of winning a championship.  After all, if they can't beat a hyped up Hawks team, how can they beat teams like the Heat, and the Thunder?   If they can't beat the Hawks tonight, maybe they didn't really have it in them to win a championship this year anyway?


More than likely, Rondo is just trying to get into the heads of the Hawks.  This Hawks team is more dangerous when they play disciplined basketball.   If they become too amped, and too focused on showing Rondo and the Celtics up, they may play right into the Celtics' hands.  On the other hand, if guys like Teague, Hinrich, Johnson and Smith go off, and the Celtics struggle, the game may be over after one quarter, like the recent Knicks game, where Carmelo came out hotter than hot, and then the three gun shooters of the Knicks took over and ran the Cs off the floor.


Without a doubt, Rondo took the dice yesterday, warmed them in his hands, blew on them hard and then threw them hard on the table, after having piled the stakes up as high as he could.  If the Celtics win tonight, it will be a statement.  If they lose, the momentum of the series will shift to the Hawks and Rondo will be blamed.


I think we will win.  I worry about Rondo not taking Teague seriously enough at both ends.  I worry about the Hawks' collapsing defensive schemes continuing to hamper the Celtics.  I worry about Johnson and Smith going off, and Hinrich and Teague hitting threes when the Cs start doubling and tripling on the big guns.  But I also think that Pierce and Garnett and Bradley will shoot a lot better than they did on Sunday, opening things up for the Celtics' offense, and that our Double Badger back court defense will show up, making it hard for the Hawks to get into their offense.


But what concerns me more than Rondo's words, and the Hawks' adrenaline surges, is the theme that seems to have cropped up again in team talk and commentators' talk over the past week;  the idea that the Celtics suffer when Rondo tries to score, and that he should, as they say, keep to his lane.  If what folks  mean is that Rondo should make a point of shutting down his man defensively, and not straying too much, as he sometimes does,  and that he should always remember to be a pass first point guard, then sure, they are surely right.  If Rondo is constantly attacking passing lanes, and doubling down on Smith and Johnson, while Hinrich and Teague go off, that will kill us.  And if Rondo throws up 20 clankers,  while handing out less than ten assists, we'll struggle on offense for sure.  But no one seems to acknowledge that part of the reason we often do poorly in games where Rondo scores a lot is that he doesn't usually make a point of scoring unless the rest of the offense is struggling.  Also, no one seems to acknowledge that it's not necessarily all Rondo's fault if the rest of the team stands around when he is looking to score.  They should  NEVER do that, right?  Even if Rondo is trying to score, his teammates should be looking to give him passing options,  spotting up, running some screens, cutting, etc..  Rondo remains our most feared offensive player.   We can't take the ball out of his hands.   Clearly Pierce is our best pure scorer, but it's Rondo who can cut through almost any defense.  To say to him "don't shoot" is as self-defeating as it would be to ask him to score 30ppg.  Let's find a happy medium.


And is it really too much to ask that Rondo and Pierce find a way to get into a flow with each other?   These guys are two of the best offensive players in the game.  They both combine scoring and passing ability, with Pierce leaning more towards scoring and Rondo leaning more towards passing.   They seem to be opposite personality types, but if they could ever get consistently into the flow together on the basketball court, I think it would make our offense unstoppable.

------------------------------------------------------------

Rondo's work habits are discussed in connection with Ray Allen's work habits by Jackie Macmullen.  I would call it a 'soft' hit piece followup to her hard hit piece from the other day.

There was a time when Ray Allen's shadow was easily distinguishable. Young Rajon Rondo determined in order to carve his path to greatness, he, too, needed to adopt a concentrated, rigid, consistent routine.

...

So, during the 2007-08 season, he attached himself to Allen and began mimicking the work ethic of his decorated teammate. Rondo started showing up 3½ hours before game time, just like Ray. He hoisted up a precise number of jumpers, just like Ray. He retreated to the locker room to shower pregame, just like Ray. The guys on the team ribbed him about whether he was going to shave his head, just like Ray.

...

Since then, Rondo has established himself as one of the top young players at his position. He is a three-time All-Star and this year's NBA assists leader.

...

With that has come the need to establish his own identity -- and generate some independence from the three Hall of Famers who have mentored him from the start. Naturally, that process has, at times, created some discomfort. Privately, his veteran teammates wish Rondo worked harder, longer. And yet, in the same breath, they laud his toughness, fearlessness and insatiable thirst for competition.

It has been nearly three years since Rondo shadowed Allen during his pregame routine.

"I don't really know what happened," Allen shrugged. "I guess he decided to follow his own way. He has a strong mind."


Celtics Town also discusses this article.   Both commentators seem to assume that Rondo's workhabits can be measured based on what the Big Three think.  I think Ray is more on the money when he says that everyone is different.   I think Rondo's steady improvement suggests strongly that he has very good work habits, just not ones that are so visible.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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16 Comments

Reply Morena
10:00 AM on May 4, 2012 
The idea that he amped on purpose the Hawks because they are more dangerous when they play disciplinate basketball I think is more than interesting.. I think that Rondo is smart enough to do something like that!! As the celtics staff said more than once, he is a real student of the game, every aspect of the game.
In fact, this is not the first time that he says things like he is the best poing guard in the NBA, but he usually say good things about himself, not other things about other team as he did yesterday (if I remember well); so he may very well have said this on purpose.

I don't think we'll have to worry about Rondo scoring too much if his teammates are not struggling on offense. It seems that during this year he has found a great balance between his scoring and passing.
We just have to hope that everyone is in the game.
Reply paul
10:23 AM on May 4, 2012 
I agree, Morena; all should be well if everyone is into the game. If not, we could be in trouble.

I agree to that Rondo is plenty smart enough to try to pull of a gambit like that. What he said yesterday was so bold and so strong.

How do you think it will go tonight?
Reply Franklin
10:45 AM on May 4, 2012 
Rondo is pegged to get a triple-double tonight for sure,the game is on ESPN. He will be making the right moves.
Reply paul
10:47 AM on May 4, 2012 
Franklin says...
Rondo is pegged to get a triple-double tonight for sure,the game is on ESPN. He will be making the right moves.


I'll be surprised if he doesn't. My only real worry is Teague. He has to control Teague, or we could be i n trouble.
Reply shawn cassidy
10:47 AM on May 4, 2012 
That's an awesome Rondo black lion voltron. Nice
Reply paul
10:49 AM on May 4, 2012 
shawn cassidy says...
That's an awesome Rondo black lion voltron. Nice


Thankyou, Shawn! I looked it up in images just to get a quick idea, and then I tried to make my own interpretation.
Reply Morena
11:09 AM on May 4, 2012 
paul says...
I agree, Morena; all should be well if everyone is into the game. If not, we could be in trouble.

I agree to that Rondo is plenty smart enough to try to pull of a gambit like that. What he said yesterday was so bold and so strong.

How do you think it will go tonight?


I think we should win.
I'm sure he will be fired up even if he said it's just another game. He always step up in this kind of situation and I think his teammates will be excited to see him play like that and will follow the lead, ad Pietrus said tuesday night.
Reply Celticslifer
12:38 PM on May 4, 2012 
I have seen comments of people crying about Jackie's comments. Saying he's not like Bird. Of course he is. I come here to hide in my sane world.
Reply shawn cassidy
12:49 PM on May 4, 2012 
Paul, would you be so kind, and do tonight's recap?
Reply paul
1:06 PM on May 4, 2012 
shawn cassidy says...
Paul, would you be so kind, and do tonight's recap?



I'll be glad to, Shawn, though I have to admit it scares me a little! I mean it could be a great triumph, but if we lose, what a downfall...
Reply paul
1:07 PM on May 4, 2012 
Celticslifer says...
I have seen comments of people crying about Jackie's comments. Saying he's not like Bird. Of course he is. I come here to hide in my sane world.


I really don't get that. Why are folks soooo committed to the idea that he isn't comparable to Bird? My God, people, DON'T YOU WANT A NEW BIRD?!!!!

I just don't get it.
Reply paul
1:09 PM on May 4, 2012 
Morena says...
I think we should win.
I'm sure he will be fired up even if he said it's just another game. He always step up in this kind of situation and I think his teammates will be excited to see him play like that and will follow the lead, ad Pietrus said tuesday night.


Garnett put it all right on Rondo's plate, didn't he? Now it's up to Rondo to come through. And the thing is, we all know that he is fully capable of doing so. KG did the only thing that made sense. There's no guaranteed that Rondo will rise to the occasion - but gosh, don't you like the odds!!! I'll go with those odds!
Reply jlil89
2:53 PM on May 4, 2012 
I just don't see a way that he can not deliver. If he plays like he did in game 1 and his team exert the fiery passion like game 2... oh my... It's going to be deadly. Not to mention the fact then we are coming back home to a ROARING crowd in Beantown. He wants Atlanta to bring it. Be on your A game, cause if we can't beat that then we have no business challenging the likes of Chicago and Miami. We need that challenge to ensure we will be ready.
Reply paul
3:06 PM on May 4, 2012 
jlil89 says...
I just don't see a way that he can not deliver. If he plays like he did in game 1 and his team exert the fiery passion like game 2... oh my... It's going to be deadly. Not to mention the fact then we are coming back home to a ROARING crowd in Beantown. He wants Atlanta to bring it. Be on your A game, cause if we can't beat that then we have no business challenging the likes of Chicago and Miami. We need that challenge to ensure we will be ready.


I think I really agree with that. If we can't beat the Hawks at their best, we have no chance against Chicago, the Thunder or Miami
Reply celts
5:05 PM on May 4, 2012 
I think to many people are thinking triple double i could care less if he comes out gets 10 points with like 13 assists or something as long as they get the win i dont care and neither will he, but some people will.
Reply paul
5:41 PM on May 4, 2012 
celts says...
I think to many people are thinking triple double i could care less if he comes out gets 10 points with like 13 assists or something as long as they get the win i dont care and neither will he, but some people will.


But I think there is a correlation. It's like saying you don't care if Paul Pierce scores 20 so long as we win, but you know that for us to win, one of the things we typically need is for Pierce to score 20...