Conference Finals, Game 2 – Rajon Rondo’s line: 44pts, 10ast, 8reb.
Were we treated to glimpses of what Rondo has in store once this Big 3 era comes to an end?
In recent years Rajon has legitimately become a star. Proven himself more than enough that he is the best player on this talent filled Celtics roster, which does happen to include future HOF beasts Allen, Pierce, & Garnett.
Having been in the top 3 leading assists in the League over the past four seasons (1st this year) Rondo has never been known as much of a scorer. If anything, there have been times when I have cringed watching him put up a jumpshot. This year hasn’t particularly been his best in terms of points scored (Best: 09-10 – 1,110pts), but he does seem to be a lot more comfortable with taking that shot which before he would always have dished off.
Doc Rivers has frustratingly said numerous times he would like a more aggressive Rondo. A Rondo that would attack the rim more, get to the free throw line more. Hell, a Rondo that would just shoot that damn open look. Of recent months we seem to have seen glimpses of that Rondo.
The 4th quarter of the 76ers series saw Paul Pierce foul out at possibly the worst time, and Rondo took the Celtics by the reins and stepped up into 2nd gear. Scoring 11 points in that quarter alone, the shots included a clutch jumpshot, followed by a massive 3 pointer…
Last night in Miami, Rondo shot an amazing 66.7% from the field, 100% from behind the 3, and 83.3% from the line. Not bad for a point guard that never really showed talent for being a score first guard.
The point I’m trying to make amongst this apparent Rondo worship is, is that I believe Rondo is honestly ready to take this team on as his own past this era. It’ll be sad to see the Big 3 come to an end, whether that be at the end of this year once they hit free agency or.. not. Whatever happens, I think we’ll see a slightly different Rondo, not just because Allen might not be around to hit those 3′s off the pick & roll or dishing to Pierce to crash through into the paint. But, because this is a slightly maturer Rondo. A Rondo that is able to create his own look and not afraid to take that open shot like he would’ve done in yester-year.
NBA heads & ‘experts’ have been quick to write off the Celtics being built up around Rondo, but if this assist machine that seems to be progressing into a decent scorer can genuinely make this a leading part of his game…the future looks bright for the Celtics.