Rondo's unfairly criticized as "taking games off", walking the ball too much, and playing bad defense against players such as Harris, Nash, Brooks and Ellis. He plays over 40 minutes a game because he has not had a proper back up this season. Delonte has barely played this season. Nate did a commendable job on defense but our offense disappeared with Nate's shot, which forced Rondo right back on the floor. Bradley is simply too raw and runs the offense even worse than Nate.
While Brooks and Nash are excellent players they played half a game each while Rondo was forced to stay on the floor for most of the game. Bradley lost 15 points off the lead in the few minutes he was in the game. He was visibly winded in the final stretches these last few games most noticably against a fresh Brooks in the fourth against the suns. Ellis played 45 minutes when he put 41 points, but he had much more energy because he only plays half the court.
This highlights Rondo's greatest flaw, his unwillingness to score the basketball with regularity. Most point guards give Rondo all the room he wants and only defend when they double the big three. Rondo has to continue to punish these guys with a jumpshot or he will allow other point guards to get away with playing only half the court.
The return of West would go a long way towards improving the quality of Rondo's minutes. He can push the ball more with the increased rest, and he will have his lungs to defend well down the stretch. However he needs to become a greater scoring threat before the playoffs or he will find himself running out of gas. He needs to find a good rhythm on his jumper to force the other guards to play defense. He also needs to be able to knock down free throws so the other team cannot bailout by fouling him when he attacks the basket.
Meanwhile let us stop attacking him when he's playing over forty minutes against rested point guards. Instead lets cheer for every jump shot he takes. Let's cheer every time he's at the free throw line. Make or miss, they will push him towards becoming the MVP that he is destined to be.