Tell me that this isn't a bizarre twist. Rondo is out of the World Championships!!?? A week ago, I read extremely complimentary comments from Coach K about Rondo intelligence and ability to defend. I've read Doc River's in some recent interviews say that Rondo's "basketball IQ" (Gotta love this term, best one since "Length") was off the charts and that he's the smartest player that he's coached. Yes, I realize Doc isn't coaching, but he visited USAB practices in Vegas. He must've spoke to Colangelo and Coach K. Things were good, right?
I really don't know. None of do right now. I know this, none of the kids that USAB selected has Rondo's ability. Yes, they are all skilled and have tremendous ability. They are all fine players, but to take Eric Gordon or Westbrook over Rondo is ridiculous. I understand the value of shooting. Rondo is a 50.8% career field goal man, with a 46.3% playoff average last year. He was even a 54.1% with a 20.7 ppg in the conference semis versus Cleveland (I believe a certain King even took a swipe at him defensively). Eric Gordon is a 45.3% career shooter. hell, Derrick Rose is a 48.3% shooter on his career and a 24.2% 3-point shooter. Rondo is a career 24.4% 3-pointer bomber. What's the point? Rose is not statistically much better than Rondo. Neither is Gordon.
Now, the USAB squad isn't selected based on stats. It shouldn't be. The fact is that these guys are terrifically different on production scale. However, I am certain after watching Rondo for the last few years, that his smarts are far greater than the rest of them. I defy any of the internet commenters that I've read today to prove to me, or themselves, that shooting is the problem. Granted the Lithuania game was a zero for him, but wasn't Spain a zero for Gordon? To say Rondo sucks and can't shoot is ignorant. This kid is a once-in-a-lifetime player. I can't understand how a guy who was so celebrated in the playoffs (Remember th 18 rebound game and all of the offense that flowed from it??) now isn't a top five guard in the pool. I could understand not making it witht he Bejing squad and throw in Chris Paul, but with this group it's preposterous. The team has little height and rebounding. The plan now is to sit Chandler in favor of Odom. Super. Good luck. Watch what Greece will be able to do tomorrow.
Look, I want USA to win, but something is wrong here. I don't buy the "I got stuff to do" bit. Man up and say you didn't want him. Although, maybe they did, and he got pissed with the Spain DNP. In any case, this team will have moments of "forced raggedness" (ugly word, eh?). Billups will be a steady hand, but I've seen every game to date for this squad, and they fall into the turnover frenzy. It is likely to be their undoing. I think the shooter dominant approach will cost them. They will want that steady hand and the rebounding that Rondo can bring. If they cut him on shooting, then they are missing the point. This squad should be all about effective fast break play. The have Durant, Gay (who looks ready), Iguodala (a beast on the wing), Grainger, Odom, and throw in Billups or Curry (pure shooters). What else do you need? Rondo lives to share the ball.
I am reading Coach K's "Gold Standard" book on the 2008 team. I will tell you this, he's missing the boat with Rondo. This kid is team first. He may be hard headed, perhaps that's what did him in, but he knows how to get the team on the floor moving the right way. If K didn't like the fit, it's the staff's fault for not figuring out how best to use him. Doc did it, why can't they?
I know one thing. God help those guards when they square off with Boston. It's a good thing for Coach K that we don't play Duke.
Did USAB make the wrong choice by "excusing" (er, cutting) Rondo?
Yes (86 votes)
No (33 votes)
119 total votes