BOSTON MA - OCTOBER 26: Eddie House #55 of the Miami Heat battles Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics for a loose ball at the TD Banknorth Garden on October 26 2010 in Boston Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and or using this photograph User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Zach Lowe takes a long hard look at the problem that's been plaguing the Celtics since the Big 3 arrived: Turnovers.
After watching all 197 of Boston's transition turnovers (no, really. I did. And it was torture) from last season, there is one uncomfortable yet inescapable conclusion:
It is largely Rajon Rondo's fault.
I guess the fact that Rondo's providing the bulk of turnovers isn't that surprising considering that he has the ball in his hands so much. But I was a little surprised that many of the turnovers happen in transition. I always thought of Rondo as a great fast break point guard because he's so quick and creative. The thing is, he might be a little too creative.
Here's one of the examples that Zach gives to illustrate the point.
Highlight bounce passes from the wing to the paint. Rondo prefers to work from the side of the court (usually the left side) on fast breaks, and he rarely misses a chance to throw a one-handed bounce pass across the court to a big man lumbering down the middle. When you do this left-handed, and when the target is Kendrick Perkins or Brian Scalabrine running at full speed with a defender in close pursuit, you are basically working as the NBA equivalent of Brett Favre throwing into traffic. A turnover is likely.
That sounds about right actually. Because he's so skilled with the ball, sometimes he gets a little fancy with things counting on his teammates (who may not be as skilled with the ball) to make difficult plays.
Now, before you rush to Rondo's defense, don't get me (or Zach) wrong. The positives far outweigh the negatives. But you have to understand what you are getting with Rondo. A guy who likes to push the envelope and take chances. The reason he makes spectacular plays because he tries spectacular things - which don't always work out. That's probably not changing any time soon - but that's ok with me. I'll take a few extra turnovers if the assists keep piling up.
By the way, he makes several other points and his whole post is definitely worth reading. Check it out here.