Rajon’s Rage


For much of the season, the Boston Celtics have been lethargic at best. Their age has dictated their play in the worst way. Right now they are sitting at an uncharacteristic 7th place in the Eastern Conference behind the New York Knicks. Their defense has been stellar this season–ranking 3rd in points per game allowed with 89.4 and 4th in defensive rating ony allowing 98.4 points per 100 possessions–but it has seemed like the hoop has been as small as a button as they are only scoring 90.6 points per game according to basketball reference.

All of this hinges on the play of Rajon Rondo.  Since the middle of last season, Rondo has been considered the best player on the Boston Celtics. He’s one of the few players that can leave his mark on a game while only taking 7-10 shots in it. He’s a phenomenal passer, defender, rebounder, and very heady as a player. What’s the weakest are of his game? Scoring. Rondo isn’t the type of player to score 20 points night in a night out. 10 assists would be more like it, or maybe two steals. He’d beat you without you even knowing it.

The Knicks found that out the hard way yesterday as Rondo had a historical game dropping 18 points, 20 assists, and 17 rebounds. The first name that I thought of when seeing his stat -line was Lafayette “Fat” Lever. Lever was one of the best, if not the best, rebounding point guard’s ever. A few more names to drop into that box would be Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, Oscar Robertson, and Walt Frazier.

From a historical perspective, Rondo is the only player to have a 20 assist 15 rebound game in the history of the NBA. Only Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Jason Kidd have had games where they’ve scored 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists.

Had Rondo gone at least 10-20 (7-20) he would’ve had a legitimate shot at having a triple double twice over. He would’ve been the first player since the NBA/ABA merger to achieve that feat. Wilt Chamberlain had achieved this playing for the 76ers in 1968 but the NBA had not yet merged with the ABA.

Rondo has had two triple doubles in the last four games since the All-Star break. Aside from a game where he did not score against Cleveland, Rondo has played stellar basketball. He has taken his anger out on the league, and I think it’s a result of all of the slights that have been put on him.

Rondo was put in the All-Star game, but only as a reserve. Who made it over him? Luol Deng, Andre Iguodola, and Joe Johnson who he ultimately replaced. It was a slap in the face to say the least. The NBA had made a statement to him that he was not good enough to be an All-Star after being there the previous two years and not dropping in production in the least bit. Not a week later the trade rumors had started. Rondo to the (insert team here). It was time to blow Boston up because they aren’t good enough. Rondo has attitude problems. You name it, it was reported.

The normally unassuming, buttoned up point guard had let everyone know that he was listening with his play do the talking for him instead of going to the media about these things. There was no reason. Ainge and Rivers said they would like to keep Rondo around and until further notice that’s the way that it will be.

In an interview with CSN New England Rondo had finally spoken about the rumors.

I don’t know where people are getting their information from,But it was big of Doc to come out with a statement. People are still going to say me and Doc have problems. But even after that comment and statement he made, they are still going to say what they want to say. It’s just part of life. -Rajon Rondo via CSN New England

Bob Cousy even gave Rondo his blessing in an interview with ESPN New York. Those words aren’t easy to come by from a Boston legend.

Rondo is making the decision tougher for Boston by the day. I’m enjoying this though, so please folks, keep it up.