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EST. 2011

Celtics Title Town

"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Rondo vs Parker Hoopla

Posted by paul on August 11, 2011 at 9:00 AM


SI's Zach Lowe got  everyone stirred up with the epic comparison he made  between Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker, as part of his top 100 NBA player ranking.  

http://nba-point-forward.si.com/2011/08/10/top-100-nba-players-nos-21-30/?xid=si_nba

 

 

Of course, I think Rondo should be ranked higher than the 27th best in the NBA that Lowe gives him, that he should be top 20 at least, if not top 15, or possibly even squeaking into the top ten;  after all, he's widely acknowledged to be the best player on the Celtics.  That, to me, is more important than how he compares to Tony Parker.   In my opinion, writers and opinionators are punishing Rondo for the way he fell apart over the last month of last season.  I think they are blaming the wrong person.   Danny Ainge blew the team's title chances with a horrible trade, and writers want to blame Rondo?  

With that in mind, what I find interesting about Lowe's comments is not anything he specifically says;  in fact, I think he picks on the wrong Rondo flaw to knock his rating down with.  Rondo's poor shooting is obviously a big problem, but a much bigger problem in his game, the one that has caused the Celtics' offense to underachieve, is Rondo's inconsistency.    Anyone who watches the Celtics regularly is painfully aware of this.   Rondo looks like his mind isn't on the game of basketball half the time.  He walks the ball up the court, stands around eating up shot clock, and then finally drops the ball off to one of the Big Three and waits for them to make a play.  Or not.  Usually not.  When he's in this mode, it's just maddening to watch.  One wonders how much of it is his idea, and how much of it is the old guys telling him to use up as much shot clock as possible.  Either way, it's a terrible way to run an offense.  

It's not that you have to always push the ball up the floor, any more than a  band has to always play up tempo.  What's important is to use pacing as your friend.  Sometimes you push the ball, sometimes you slow it down, but always you try to control the tempo, keeping the defense on your string.  When Rondo is focused, he does that better than anyone.  When he's not ... it's like having a robo-pointguard.

Still, what I find interesting about Zach Lowe's article is how hard he has to work to talk himself into giving Rondo a low rating.  I think it's kind of funny, in a way.  I think everyone knows that Rondo is  one of the best players in the league, but statistically ... well, frankly, he's a walking, running, defending, passing, crazy-playmaking embarrassment to the notion that everything in sports can be measured statistically.

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8 Comments

Reply shawn cassidy
12:39 PM on August 11, 2011 
Rondo isn't a top all-time defensive player yet like Bill Russell. Russell was limited on offense,but he was able to change the game with defense,and he was able to put the ball in the basket when he had too. Rondo doesn't score a ton of points,but he scores enough,and he does everything else. His shooting keeps inching closer to being respected. He's shooting the ball from the field more,and in time it will come.
Reply shawn cassidy
12:39 PM on August 11, 2011 
Thanks for the post Paul. It was fun to read.
Reply Ron Leyba
12:44 PM on August 11, 2011 
Rondo will never get enough credit. If we miss out on Dwight,or on any other big name free agents in 2012. Rondo will have this team to himself if two of the big three leave. Paul will still be here to carry some of the load,but Rondo will get the blame for this team soon if they lose.
Reply paul
1:00 PM on August 11, 2011 
shawn cassidy says...
Thanks for the post Paul. It was fun to read.


Ty Shawn - I enjoy your posts.
Reply paul
1:01 PM on August 11, 2011 
Winitall in 2012 says...
Rondo will never get enough credit. If we miss out on Dwight,or on any other big name free agents in 2012. Rondo will have this team to himself if two of the big three leave. Paul will still be here to carry some of the load,but Rondo will get the blame for this team soon if they lose.


I don't doubt that Rondo will get the blame, if that happens, but I'd blame Ainge, wouldn't you? No player has ever been able to win all by himself.
Reply paul
1:04 PM on August 11, 2011 
shawn cassidy says...
Rondo isn't a top all-time defensive player yet like Bill Russell. Russell was limited on offense,but he was able to change the game with defense,and he was able to put the ball in the basket when he had too. Rondo doesn't score a ton of points,but he scores enough,and he does everything else. His shooting keeps inching closer to being respected. He's shooting the ball from the field more,and in time it will come.


I agree. Rondo's no Bill Russell yet - but I think he has the makings of a Russell-type player. I think what was interesting about Russell wasn't even his vaunted defense, as important as that was. I think he understood the game of basketball better than anyone else, and that he understood how to facilitate his team mates, often in unnoticed ways, better than anyone else. He was, among other things, a great passing Big Man.

I think we'll see Rondo raise his game this year. If there is a year.
Reply celtsfan
1:36 AM on August 12, 2011 
paul says...
I agree. Rondo's no Bill Russell yet - but I think he has the makings of a Russell-type player. I think what was interesting about Russell wasn't even his vaunted defense, as important as that was. I think he understood the game of basketball better than anyone else, and that he understood how to facilitate his team mates, often in unnoticed ways, better than anyone else. He was, among other things, a great passing Big Man.

I think we'll see Rondo raise his game this year. If there is a year.




You might be on to something with Rondo as a player coach. The stress of a coaching job in today's sports is too hard to handle for any player though.
Reply paul
8:04 AM on August 12, 2011 
Celtsfan, it seems to me that the hard part would be dealing with possible jealousy of other players. What would help with that would be if Rondo was more of a scorer - scoring is something that everyone respects, rightly or wrongly. And while it's hard to be sure that the reclusive Mr. Rondo would handle the people aspects of player-coaching well, there is just something so natural about the idea - I'm talking about Rondo being a player/assistant coach, of course, under Rivers. As has been pointed out many times, Rondo already plays like a kind of assistant coach on the floor.

And it just might help him keep his head in the game more !