Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant have both taken their cracks at Rajon Rondo already, so at this point Rondo’s pretty much desensitized to the chatter about LeBron James possibly shadowing him in Game 5.
The notion came up after Rondo torched the Cavs to the tune of 29 points, 18 rebounds and 13 assists in last night’s 97-87 series-tying Game 4 win. Rondo was largely unconcerned by it all.
“It’s happened before,” Rondo said at practice today. “LeBron’s going to be LeBron. He’s a great help defender so he’s definitely going to be helping. They did it a couple years ago when Kobe was checking me in the Finals, so I’m used to bigger guys guarding me, giving me the shot and just challenging the lane because of their wingspan.
“I really don’t care. If he checks me, he checks me. It’s not going to change the way we run our offense.”
Along with being the MVP, James also joined Rondo as first-team all-defense. James finished fourth in the defensive player of the year voting, six points ahead of Rondo.
Rondo’s response: Yawn.
“It really doesn’t matter about the matchups,” Rondo said. “For me, I don’t really care who’s guarding me. I’m still going to try to run the offense in our system. If we get easy looks in transition, it doesn’t matter who’s guarding me getting back on defense, but if we’re running our sets and our offense through Paul [Pierce], Ray [Allen], and Kevin [Garnett].”
Pierce echoed the idea that the system won’t change regardless of who picks up Rondo.
“We’re not really concerned about that,” Pierce said. “We’re still going to do the same things: get the ball to Rondo on the break, let him dictate the pace. It really doesn’t matter. We’re going to get him open, set screens and cause some different matchups for him. As far as them putting LeBron on him, that really doesn’t matter.
“It’s not about one guy. It’s about how we’re playing, and how we’re opening it up for guys and Rondo’s doing a good job of that, getting us out in transition, dictating the pace and it’s not going to matter if LeBron’s on him or me, we’re still going to try to play the same game.”
Does Rondo at least consider the idea of the best player on the planet guarding him flattering?
“Yeah,” Rondo said. “You could say that.”