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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Rondology: Rank Ranking?

Posted by paul on March 5, 2013 at 7:35 AM

SI just ranked NBA point guards, and Rondo came in sixth.   What's sad is that at one time I would have protested this vigorously, arguing that he should be much higher on the list.  Now I would have to question it the other way.   Shouldn't Curry be higher on that list, at least?  Jrue Holiday?  Maybe others?  


Of course, SI's ranking  started yet another round of Rondo discussion and Rondo bashing at Celtics Blog, but the sad truth is, I don't really feel like defending Rondo anymore.  I'm not even sure he's a top ten pg at this point.  A point guard has to be able to lead his team, and he has to be able to play defense.  Rondo has shown that he can't do either of those things at this point in his career.  His jump shooting was better this year, but for the most part, his game took a massive nosedive.  The 'bottom line' is this:  Rondo has always been a player who had to be assessed on the basis of much more than stats.  This year, his play hurt his team.  A lot.  Avery Bradley has proven this.  With Bradley leading, this team has risen to contender status.  It has become the team we thought it would be this summer.  With Rondo 'leading', we were mired as one of the worst teams in the league.  Granted, we showed some signs of improviing, and admittedly, Rondo's teammates had a lot to do with the team's problems, but in the end, it was Rondo's responsibility to lead this team on both ends of the court.   He didn't do it.   


It's hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, Rondo was paired against Chris Paul in a climactic game, and pregame talk was about how this was a matchup between the two top contenders for the title of Best Point Guard.  It's equally hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, Rondo was preparing to play in his first All Star Game in a starting role.  Both of those developments showed a player on the verge of superstar status.   Rondo was knocking on the gates of Basketball Heaven, but there was trouble in paradise.   A teammate was taunting Rondo on Twitter.  KG was all but calling Rondo out openly, suggesting that Lee and Bradley were the team's best guard combination.  Paul Pierce and Jason Terry were throwing the ball away in key games.  During one road trip, the team as a whole simply gave up.  Then when Rondo went down with injury, one could almost hear the sigh of relief go up from the team.  They started playing like they had gotten out of jail.  Suddenly every player who had been inconsistent or bad started clicking, led by Pierce, who took to making clutch play after clutch play, instead of screwing up in key moments.  


It's just so hard to talk about Rondo.   At this point, I'm not even sure he's good enough to be a starting point guard in the NBA.  Opposing point guards were abusing Rondo's 'defense', game after game after game.  Even so, there's no one in the league I would trade Rondo for.  No one.  I think the talent that guy has is unworldly.  If I were Danny, I'd have a long sit down with Rondo.  I'd maybe go on a mini-retreat with him and Doc.  I'd spend a few days together, somewhere reasonably isolated.  I'd tell Rondo that I want to build the future of my team around him.  I'd ask him for his ideas and I'd share mine with him.   I'd talk basketball until we were all sick of it.  But I'd also ask him what commitment, in return, he was willing to make to me, and it would have to start with less Red Bull over the summer, and more basketball.  

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4 Comments

Reply Greg
12:31 PM on March 5, 2013 
Sing it Paul! Lovely piece. Don't give up on Rondo. Yes the perhaps was his worse season in the last five years. I think it was a learning curve. Rondo has no choice but to become a different player.
Reply paul
1:51 PM on March 5, 2013 
And if you look at it that way, Greg, as his worst season, it's pretty darned good! And he's had such a track record for continually learning and growing as a player. But will he this time?

I think it's definitely time to ask Rondo, what commitment are you willing to make to the future of this team?
Reply rcraig617
10:05 PM on March 5, 2013 
With or without rondo this team wasn't going to peak until post all star break we would've had the same record if not worse pre allstar break if we had green and bradley at the beginning of the season and no rondo. Along with the face that green just cleared a year since his surgery and bradley came back when he wasn't 100 percent so he's improving steadily. That article is incorrect tony parker is the best point guard in the nba right now i could care less if he's injured chris paul couldn't hold his jockstrap a week ago when they played and he swept chris paul last year. To be honest I don't know where rondo and rose should be it's hard to rank injured players along with non injured players when rondo's not injured and wants to play he's the best in my eyes.
Reply paul
10:34 PM on March 5, 2013 
rcraig617 says...
With or without rondo this team wasn't going to peak until post all star break we would've had the same record if not worse pre allstar break if we had green and bradley at the beginning of the season and no rondo. Along with the face that green just cleared a year since his surgery and bradley came back when he wasn't 100 percent so he's improving steadily. That article is incorrect tony parker is the best point guard in the nba right now i could care less if he's injured chris paul couldn't hold his jockstrap a week ago when they played and he swept chris paul last year. To be honest I don't know where rondo and rose should be it's hard to rank injured players along with non injured players when rondo's not injured and wants to play he's the best in my eyes.


good points