If you remember, back in 2010 Derrick Rose started off the year asking "why can't I be the MVP?" Most rolled their eyes or assumed it was just bravado. But he then went out and backed it up with an MVP year.
Similar rolling of the eyes occurs when Rondo states that he's the best point guard in the league. I wonder if he just knows something that most others don't. At least one writer at ESPN is wondering if he could be the MVP.
If you watched the Eastern Conference finals last year and nothing else, you'd think Rondo was the league's second-best player and that the Celtics' "Big Three" referred to the numbers in Rondo's points, rebounds and assists columns. His 20.9 points, 11.3 assists, 6.9 rebounds and 49 percent shooting against Miami left the Celtics just one win away from a shocking Finals appearance. So why, exactly, can't we expect similar production from Rondo throughout this upcoming season? We've heard others say Rondo's focus tends to drift when the games aren't as critical. But with Ray Allen gone, Paul Pierce losing some of his scoring touch and Kevin Garnett always a medical mystery, Rondo might just be the star in Boston. If he responds to that responsibility and puts up numbers similar to his playoff averages (17.3 points, 11.9 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 47 percent shooting), not only will the Celtics be threatening to come out of the East again, but Rondo will be legitimately in the mix for MVP. The question is, does Rondo want that, or is he fine just turning it on when necessary?
If you are wondering, his stats last year were 11.9 pts, 11.7 ast, 4.9 reb, and 49% shooting. So basically what we're talking about here is more points per game and a few more rebounds. Call me crazy, but I think that's possible. Especially if they get out on the break and get some more easy baskets in transition. Of course, as usual, the MVP debate mostly ignores defense, but that's another rant for another time.
Personally I'm not sure I really care if he wins the MVP so long as the team is contending for a title. If he scores more points without sacrificing his assist numbers, that's probably a good thing for the team because it will mean he's being aggressive with the offense. But with a deeper bench capable of scoring more as a team, they may not need Rondo to be a primary scorer yet. Besides, I think the writer might be dismissing Pierce and KG a little too quickly.
Still, it would be nice to see Rondo's name at least in the running for the MVP race. What do you think? Can he do it?