Sunday, March 11, 2012

Is Rondo The Real Deal?

With the NBA trade deadline right around the corner, the Celtics organization is taking a very serious approach regarding the utilization of the talent and leadership capability of Rajon Rondo for the future of the team. And, with rumors around the league implying that the Celtics are debating whether to move point guard Rajon Rondo to another team or not, Celtics fans must be asking themselves if Rondo has what it takes to be the new leader and face of the Celtics franchise.
To address this matter, we have to remember that the NBA, like any other professional sport is a business, and team owners have to make decisions -in what they believe- will best benefit their teams. One of the first interrogations that owners need to figure out is Rondo’s preparedness to step up and take over the leadership and star role over Paul Pierce in the Boston Celtics in the near future.
There are positive and negative sides about this matter. On the positive side, Rondo has recorded some important triple-doubles for the Celtics. Also, he has proven to be tough to put out when it comes to injuries; a very good point guard when surrounded by great players like Garnett, Allen and Pierce; and is familiar with Doc Rivers’ coaching style, system and philosophy. But how much longer will Doc be the Celtics coach for? Let’s keep in mind that last year he said he wanted to retire, which is why he signed a one-year contract for this season.
On the negative side, Rondo has shown to be a very inconsistent scorer, even though point guards do not have the obligation to be great scorers. But the thing is that he has been six years in the league now and does not seem to have a spot where he rarely misses from (i.e. Garnett’s typical solid mid-range shot beyond 14-feet away from the basket), and even from the free throw line he scorers 62 percent of the times. So basically, Rondo is a great passer, but a poor shooter, which makes him very predictable. Is that what we really want?

In addition to it, unfortunately for the Celtics, the big three is not getting any younger. As a matter of fact, they all are at the end of their great careers, and are not as effective as they were back in 2008 when they won their last Championship. This factor adds up even more pressure on Rondo's productivity, as the team depends and expects more from him on the court.
In my opinion, Rondo’s characteristics would be acceptable if he played for an average team, but when you play for a team which goal is always to be a title contender, you need someone who does more than to record triple-doubles from time to time. You need someone more consistent, dynamic and versatile at the point guard position. I mean, when Rondo takes mid-range shots, the opponent team does not even cover him close -most of the time- because chances are that he will miss the shot, which he usually does. And that allows the opponent team to double team the Celtics’ hottest player on the court at that particular moment, so it ends up being a disadvantage for the Celtics.
I like Rondo and I think he is a great athlete. The fact that he was talented enough to choose among varsity basketball, baseball and football when going to college, speaks for itself. But I believe he is the basketball version of Mark Sanchez in football. A good quarterback who has gone as far as he has gone in the NFL mostly because of the super star teammates he is surrounded by, but does not have what it takes to carry the team on his shoulders… especially when the team needs him the most.
If the Celtics’ goal is actually “all about (Championship) number 18”, they need to start thinking objectively and realistically to comprehend that with the way the Heat and the Bulls are playing this season, it is hard to believe that the Celtics do have a chance for one last run with Rondo and the big three this year. Also, they need to realize that they already have a couple of good pieces to rebuild the team, such as Bass, Pietrus and whoever they get for Rondo; and to understand that it may take a while before they celebrate another Championship at the TD Garden.
But if it were in your power to dictate what to do with Rondo this season and the future of the Celtics’ organization, what would you do? Would you trade Rondo for an experienced power forward/center like Gasol? who would probably give you up to five years of good basketball before he gets too old for the game. Would you trade Rondo to the Nets for point guard Deron Williams? who would definitely improve the offense of the team. Or, would you keep Rondo as a Celtic and rebuild your franchise around him?
I just hope I am wrong on this matter. And, with any luck, the Celtics will have a great run in the playoffs, and who knows? Maybe bring Championship number 18 home!!! But if it does not happen, remember that patience is the key to succeed in life sometimes, and this may simply be one of those times.

                                                                                                                       - Y gracias por no fumar!

- KONY 2012
Rajon Rondo.
Picture from

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