Rondo kinda sorta playing 5-on-5

Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

In the Twitter bedlam between Derrick Rose's season-ending surgery and Kobe Bryant's $48.5 two-year extension with the Lakers, the Globe's Gary Washburn tweeted that Rondo has been participating in some 5-on-0 drills.

And if you didn't catch RR running sprints with MarShon Brooks and going one-on-one with Courtney Lee pre-game in Atlanta:

Rondo Races MarShon Brooks (via mrtripledouble10)

Dare I say he's close?  But like Big Red says in the video, the biggest hurdle will be decelerating and side-to-side movement.  As great as this news is, I'm more curious about GWash's second tweet and quote from Brad Stevens: "we're doing some things that fit him better than anybody else."

What does that mean?  So far, the Celtics have been running sets without a true point guard.  Ultimately, Stevens is gearing every play to put his scorers in position to score.  Sounds simple enough, but without a true point guard like Rondo, the team seems to be running less action off-the-ball for a guy like Rondo to find shooters and rather opting to create offense for duos and trios.  According to SynergySports.com, the Celtics run 15% of their plays for spot ups and 4.4% off screens.  Without a playmaker like Rondo, Paul Pierce, or even Kevin Garnett, much of the first fifteen games have featured Jordan Crawford-Brandon Bass pick-and-pops, Jared Sullinger in the low post, Avery Bradley coming off a screen for a mid-range jumper, or Jeff Green going one-on-one on the wing.  It should be no surprise that the Celtics rank dead last in assists and 5th in scoring.

With the addition of Rondo, that will change.  When he returns, I think what we'll see is Rondo in space at the free throw line extended.  Crawford's done very well when he's gotten freed up with a pick and is given the option to either take the 15-footer or drive the basket, but Rondo in that role will be absolutely different.  There isn't a better player in the league at probing defenses, attracting opposing players with a head fake or a hard dribble, and finding open players for easy shots.  The dud's a pocket knife.

And I'm throwing in this tweet from Andy Gray over at Sports Illustrated's photo vault just because it's awesome:

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