|Posted by paul on January 27, 2013 at 9:50 AM|
This is typical of the raw treatment that Rondo gets in these parts. Ben Rohrbach writes a piece at Green Streen countering some of the "scathing' criticism of the Celtics supposedly made by an NBA scout...
Here, for example, is his response to the criticism of Paul Pierce...
“Paul Pierce is still great in big games, but I think he’s getting to that age — like a lot of guys do — where he paces himself. He gets up for the challenges of the Chicagos or the Miamis, but in some of these other games, he’s not quite The Truth.”
The 35-year-old Pierce has been pacing himself for a couple years now. Despite his performance during the six-game losing streak (13.5 points, 82.6 FG%), he still ranks among the league’s top 15 scorers and his 54.2 true shooting percentage isn’t that far off from years past, so a “pacing himself” theory would suggest he’s still capable of finishing the season better than he’s started. Likewise, in December, his back-to-back 40- and 35-point nights against the Cavaliers and Rockets suggest he doesn’t just get up for big games.
Contrast that with Rohrbach's nondefense of Rondo...
“[Rajon] Rondo can change the game when he’s engaged, but … let’s just say he’s always very aware of his stats. And it’s very evident from where I sit that he’s playing for steals and assists sometimes instead of making the winning play or the easier play or defending his guy like he should.”
No argument here.
Folks barely pretend to hide their intense anti-Rondo bias anymore. There's something slightly insane about it. The scout in question actually states that when KG and PP are gone, "there's nobody in the wings". Nobody?!! Rohrbach doesn't even see fit to challenge that crazy remark?
For the umpteenth time, let's acknowledge that Rondo has shown a lot of weaknesses this year. He does seem to obsess too much over his individual stats, and doesn't seem to have enough of that crucial leadership quality, the ability to always think about the team as a whole, keeping everything in that context --- that is, compared to KG, Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, etc., he lacks in this area. Compared to most players, he has an amazing ability to think for the team as a whole, and there's no reason to assume he won't get better at it. Will he get his concern for his own stats into perspective? I think he will. I think it's completely crazy that all these haters are willing to assume, AFTER JUST THREE MONTHS, that Rondo cannot lead a championship team! In fact, we have seen a lot that suggests that he can, IF he keeps growing as a player. We have every reason to think that he will keep growing, that he will become a better leader.
No one gets more frustrated over Rondo's failings than his fans. The difference between Rondo's fans and the Haters, in my view, is that the Haters refuse to acknowledge any extenuating circumstances, any counter-arguments, etc., and they have a weird way of becoming even more angry and bitter when Rondo plays well.
I think Rondo will have a great game today. If he does, just wait for the angry backlash from haters!