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By Beecher Tuttle

If Rajon Rondo had a jump shot he would make Steve Nash look like Nash Bridges. Well, lets not be ridiculous--a Canadian version with a slightly less feathered haircut. Lets just imagine for a second that Rondo could actually shoot the basketball. Lets pretend that he didn’t keep his left hand in his pocket throughout the entirety of his stroke.

Critics of Rondo harp on his inability to shoot from long distance, but lets take a look at the totality of his work. Rondo is shooting nearly 52% from the field on the season—the highest shooting percentage of any starting guard in the NBA. He shoots it at a higher clip than Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, or even Ray Allen. And this is all done with a wavering ability to make a 15-foot jump shot with no defender in the vicinity. Opposing teams play off of Rondo, attempting to force him into a shoot first, pass second philosophy on a Celtics club that prefers to play games in a half-court set. That being said, Rajon averages over 8 assists a game while only playing 32 minutes a contest—leaving him 19th overall in minutes played among starting point guards. In terms of assists per 48 minutes, this leaves Rondo only behind Chris Paul, Steve Nash, and Deron Williams—three point guards that dominate the basketball on high tempo offenses. Rondo is third among point guards in rebounding, but anyone who has seen more than a handful of Celtics games can tell you that he is one of the best rebounders that Boston has had at the guard position in some time. His consistent ability to sky and come down with a rebound in heavy traffic speaks louder than any statistic. On the defensive end, Rondo is second in the league in steals without being known as a “gambling” point guard like Allen Iverson or Chris Paul.

Rondo is on a Celtics club with 3 Hall of Fame teammates that all still play at the highest possible level. That being said, he is the most exciting Celtics player on the floor when he has the basketball in his hands (unless of course you prefer Paul Pierce’s old-man, pickup-game skill-set that I would certainly understand).

During periods of time this season, Rajon Rondo’s poor play directly led to a handful of Celtics’ losses. During their woeful 9 game stretch, where the Celtics went 2-9, Rondo averaged 8 points per game while shooting just 38 % percent from the field. He also turned the ball over nearly 4 times per contest. Much of the talk last year (and a common interpretation of these stats) indicates that Rajon Rondo can act as an Achilles’ heel for the Celts. The common question during last year’s playoff run was, can the Celtics overcome the play of the inexperienced Rondo to win an NBA Championship? What has become evident over the past few months though, is that Rajon Rondo’s superb play is one of the main reasons that the Celtics have a great chance to repeat this season. In 2009, Boston loses basketball games when Rondo plays poorly because they now rely on him so heavily. No longer does Rondo get in the way of Celtics victories; he is now one of the dominant point guards in the NBA, who is agreeably shadowed by the Big 3 of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen. Now if only he could learn how to make a jump shot—man would that be something.

1 comment:

  1. Rondo tests.... but he digs... this "Beecher" must be from the C-Town, cuz he knows the nation like a medium-rare piece of flank steak and beautifully tossed caesar...