It seemed fitting to wrap things up with Rajon Rondo, the player most frequently criticized heading into the season, and as of today most resoundingly vindicated. He can straight up play. You also might want to check out the past profiles as well as the changes at Green Bandwagon.
Player: Rajon Rondo
Strengths: Massive hands, long arms, quickness, toughness, jumping, ability to get to the rim.
Weaknesses: Rondo is still sketchy from the foul line (61% on the year – that’s bad), is not a threat from beyond the three point line and clearly favors certain spots on the floor when it comes to shooting. As Mike Gorman noted a few weeks ago, Rondo is a much better shooter from the right side of the floor than the left. Finally, Rondo has trouble matching up with Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams and other big, physical guards. On the flipside they have to guard him too.
Go to Move: Rondo busted out the fake pass all season. There’s no telling how many big guys he embarrassed in the lane with it. Actually I guess you could tell if you watched all the games and tracked it. But in lieu of that just know Rasheed Wallace, Dirk Nowitzki and David Lee are on the list.
a Difference a Year Makes: Years from now we’ll talk about
how much Rondo improved between his first and second season and how he
barely got minutes behind Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair during his
rookie campaign. And even though Rondo played in more games last
season, albeit at 6 fewer minutes per game, Rondo was definitely more
of a factor this year.
Shining Moment This Season: There was the rebound he ripped away from Dirk to help defeat the Mavericks without KG. He also grabbed a huge board in San Antonio that helped seal the deal and kick off the Texas Triangle Sweep. You choose.
If not in Boston which NBA team would make the most sense?: Hands down the team that drafted him, Phoenix. We’re talking about a reliable back up for Steve Nash on a reasonable contract. And a defensive upgrade to boot. The Suns possibly could have added a season or two onto Nash’s career.
Random Point of Information: All season I avoided Comcast SportsNet's magazine show "Celtics Now," because it seemed like the kind of show I was destined to dislike. Man was I wrong. I caught the episode where Rondo talked about his obsession with roller skating and was absolutely hooked. Last summer he skated 5 days a week for at least 2 hours. And he still had time to work on his game. Now that’s commitment.
Contract Situation: Rondo won’t make more than $2 million until 2010 when the Celtics would be legally insane if they did not pick up the team option.