Rajon Rondo is not your average point guard. This much is a given. In fact, that might be the only definitive thing I can say about him at this point.
He's a great passer but he sometimes looks to pass to a fault. He can be an elite defender but he gambles too much. He's a poor shooter but he'll still take a shot from time to time. He's incredibly bright by all accounts, but also terribly stubborn. He has a stoic face but you can see the fire in him. He's utterly fearless and plays through pain, yet he sometimes slacks off and may have too thin of a skin for his own good.
To me, these are the reasons why Rondo is becoming the most polarizing player for fans. He's either totally mesmerizing or completely infuriating, sometimes in the same game.
If, like me, you focus on the positives, you'll see a 2 time All Star pass-first point guard with triple double potential who has proven that he can take his game to the highest levels when it matters most. On the other hand, if you choose to focus on the negative, you'll see an inconsistent, moody, potentially fatally flawed enigma of a player that may not be worth building around. Neither opinion is wrong or right, they are opinions.
Here's the thing that keeps me coming back for more and makes me want to sign up for at least a few more years of Rondo after this year. He's never been in a situation at the pro level tailor made to accentuate his talents. Sure, as a pass first guy he's blessed with 3 Hall of Famers to pass to, but they do almost all their work in the half court. As you may have heard, Rondo's lack of jumper creates a sagging defense that dares him to shoot at the expense of other guys getting open.
Rondo needs to run but he doesn't have the horses to gallop with. He's a young black stallion that has grown up hitched to a team of clydesdales. He gets the job done, but you get the feeling that if he was ever unbridled he'd be something incredible to behold.
I'm not saying that we need to blow this thing up now. But when the season is over, I'd like Danny to think long and hard about bringing in some runners and gunners (who are willing to play a little defense as well). Imagine an athletic big man pulling down a board, outlletting to Rondo, who pushes the ball down the defenses throat and leaves the ball off for one of two streaking wing players who finishes with a flush. Or perhaps the next time down he draws the defenders to himself but kicks it out beyond the arc for an open look at the 3. This happens in dribs and drabs with this group (see the back to back alley-oops to JJJ and Wilcox), but not often enough to utilize Rondo's talent.
He'll need to be surrounded by shooters that can get open without having the ball in their hands (a reason to keep Ray Allen around for as long as is fiscally possible). He'll also need some bigs to bang and board down low. Imagine a Varejao type roaming the paint, gobbling up missed Rondo jumpers and putting them back for scores. It would be like a modified assist.
It wouldn't be easy, but it could certainly be done. Danny would have to stop dangling Rondo in trades and start making a concerted effort to build around the guy. That might mean taking a pass on the "best player available" in free agency or the draft if that guy was a bad fit.
Of course you could determine that it isn't worth building a whole team around one enigmatic player. Maybe it would be easier with a "normal" point guard and a more traditional offense. But what would be the fun in that? Personally I'm all in on Rondo. I want to see him retire a Celtic if possible. On the other hand, I get it if you have reservations and wouldn't mind "selling high" on him right now. He's just a different kind of guy and he's not for everyone.
Still, I would argue that his uniqueness is what makes him so special. You don't get rid of a Monet because it doesn't match your furniture. You buy new furniture and look to add more Monets to compliment it. At least that's what I'd do if I were a filthy rich art collector. Danny's going to have a lot of money to spend this summer. Here's hoping that he spends it like a filthy rich art collector.