SIGN OF THE FUTURE: RONDO ON BENCH IN 4TH OF A CLOSE GAME!
posted at 2/2/2011 10:22 PM EST
couldnt believe my eyes when i saw doc keep a bad shooting niate, both in shot selection and results) in the game versus sacremento last night. in past, i would be reading all this doc about how the earth will stop rotating if ronDONT was not allowed to contribute his poor foul and jump shooting and suspect man-up defense at a juncture when just those threats are enough to soften up the defense and opposing offense while taking away their defensive rebounders just a foot or 2 away from the hoop area. with a nate, teams know if open or a clear good shot, he will take it... that makes them very honest.
don't get me wrong, i am liking what rr/rajon is now doing in terms of attacking the hoop and working on his attempts as well as his help defense. he had 17 points and 10 assists before being benched. fact is nate because of his wide body, high energy, and equal quickness is able to be a better defensive irritant esp on nights when rr's guy is consistently attacking the paint on him with impunity or scoring at will. even with rr's improvements, for most part, he still isnt getting it done shooting wise at crucial 4th quarter junctures. at least he is not as good of a threat as a nate, west or even quis. heck, we are better off having pp run the point in the last 5 minutes with bb, shaq/perk or quis in the game. so many more options.
bottom line is that the passing thing is a total exaggeration on overreaction in the 4th! i would much rather have a space-creating point than a pure passer. i have been screaming this for 2 seasons now. yep, start rondo and let him play most of the first 3 quarters. but play in the fourth should not be based on some automatic entitlement, must be EARNED and on what is best for the team. if rr was in last night, we still likely win, but we are talking at the last second and by a point or two. a nate keeps the pressure and threat going all game. plus he plays better with the confidence and flow as he has as a starter. he had 5 steals and brought unrelenting intensity and energy.
frankly, assuming delonte comes back as well as perk has, i want him closing out games and playing MOST of the 4th at the point. he is another 80%+ FT guy. using logic that tells me when a scoring is at a premium, celts will be increasing their leads or minimizing their deficits when he is in there esp when playing with a baby or JO (which is y i do not want him off the team just yet). that lineup with a jo will have 5 guys all shooting around 80% all capable of hitting or taking repetitive jumpers who won't shy away from the FT line or create turnovers because they are running away or being tentative in certain key situations in aggressively coming for the ball or making a move with the ball. plus all 5 guys who are as good, if not better, at one-on-one defense as well as helping out. doc could actually open the entire playbook!
heck, in last-shot situations, all of them are capable of having the ball in their hands to take a foul or in taking the last shot, not just being an inbounder who then runs away from the action as rondo often has to!