I have heard a lot of negative comments on Rondo after his recent departure from Team USA. The fuel people are using on their I hate Rondo fire is absurd. Rondo’s skills far outweigh his deficiencies. The man is a winner, plain and simple.
Since Rondo has come into this league, he has run the offense. Early on he had guys like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen to take the burden off him. However, these men have gotten older. They are still very talented, but more and more the offense is predicated on Rondo. Rondo is the one distributing to these veterans and setting the offense up so his teammates have the best opportunity to score. His passing is incredible. At least once a game the man makes a pass that turns heads. He finished fourth in the league and topped the East last year in assists with a 9.8 average. The offense flowed with Rondo at the helm as the Celtics despite having a ton of injuries averaged 99 points a game.
The man is in my mind the best defensive point guard in the NBA. He led the NBA in steals with a 2.33 average. However, his best work is done one on one. The evidence of this is the NBA playoffs. He made guys like Mo Williams, Mario Chalmers, and Jameer Nelson vanish. His long reach is a distinct advantage. He also has blinding fast speed to keep up with people. The bottom line is the skills and talent is there on the defensive end.
The one knock every Rondo hater has is he cannot shoot. He misses free throws, mid range jumpers, and various other shots. His shot has gotten better and word is that he is working even harder after his USA debacle. Here is what people fail to understand. The man does not need a jump shot to be a great point guard right now. The man averages almost 14 points a game and more in the playoffs without it. He still takes over games despite the fact every player in the building knows that he cannot shoot. Do people think LA was the only team to lay off Rondo the entire playoffs? Cleveland, Miami, and Orlando tried that same tactic. LA just played better team defense. Despite LA’s defense, Rondo still averaged almost 14 points a game with 7.6 assists per game. The games Boston won, Rondo was not contained. So let me get this straight. A man without a jump shot that is facing a good defensive team, still has these solid stats and had a bad series? He is not a great player because of this?
He did have a bad series because he is capable of more even without ajumper. The man averaged close to 16 points and 10 assists a game for the playoffs. This means his Finals stats were subpar. This should also tell you the greatness of Rondo. The fact that he plays so well on the offensive end and he has those great defensive skills makes people forget what a great rebounder is to top it off. He was topps in the East and trailed only Jason Kidd and Russell Westbrook in that category.
My main argument for his greatness is his teams win. All three years since his rookie year the team has made the playoffs. They have won a Finals series and been to another one. He was five points away from a second ring. The team has two 60 plus win seasons since then as well. He is a very large part of all this success. Whatever the team needs Rondo provides it. The big steal or lockdown defense, he’s got it. The rebounding is off; he sticks his nose in the paint. A player needs to get going, Rondo finds him. The team needs points, Rondo drives the lane. The bottom line is despite the knocks, the man wins. That is why Rajon Rondo may indeed be flawed, but he is also one of the best