Another Rondo post. Another Ray Post. I'm sure the regulars are loving these topics.
However, I think it's a good time to look back at the feud, and ask the question, was Ray right? Now I know we don't know exactly what they were fighting about, but I think it’s clear that Ray wanted the ball moving more, getting more touches for himself in the flow of the game. Again, there is no real documented reason for the feud, but this is a pretty safe assumption.
Let me preface this by saying, I love Rondo, and currently hate Ray Allen. When the "feud" became public, I jumped all over Rondo's side. Ray Allen is bitter. Ray doesn't want to share the spot light with this kid. Ray is old and washed up. Just shut up Ray.
I thought this because I was caught up in the Rondo movement. I love his savant like command of passing angles, creating lanes and angles so he could thread a beautiful, side spinning bounce pass to a cutting KG. Loved it.
However, as this year progressed, it was clear that Rondo was becoming obsessed with leading the league in assists. He knew he was a great passer, and was riding that ability to greatness. It started with the passes to teammates when he had open layups, and got worse with over-passing and making poor pass / shot decisions.
As this was happening, I was wondering if maybe Ray was right. Maybe the ball didn't move enough. Maybe Rondo pounding the air out of the ball wasn't conducive to proper team play, and the lack of touches people were getting was leading to poor overall offensive execution. The numbers certainly back up this premise. We shot the ball well, (one of the leaders in FG%) but our offense numbers are some of the worst in the league.
Then the ACL happened. At the time, I was "Break it up! We are going to miss the playoffs!" But as the Miami game moved along, I started realizing that the ball was moving more. Could we win this game without Rondo? As well as the ball moving more, the defense was also much better. We didn't have the opposing point guard living in our lane. I wondered, "Can we actually be better without Rondo?"
So this brings me back to the original question? Was Ray right?
I don't think it’s any secret that we are playing better without Rondo. Does this mean that we should get rid of Rondo? Absolutely not. He is a top 10 talent in this league, and that doesn't come around often. But I think it begs a different question; Do we get rid of Doc? Rondo plays the way he does because Doc allows him to play that way. Maybe he has to allow "The Rondo Way" because he would lose Rondo if not, and the locker room couldn't handle another Rondo - Doc blow up. Doc also knows that this is probably the quickest way for him to go out the door. So he lets Rondo be Rondo.
So when the ACL happened, and I was "blow it up!", and boy was I wrong. In my opinion, what the ACL has done, is save the Celtics. Not in the way that you think - because we are BETTER with Rondo. But I think what this will do is save the Celtics from Doc. What this current surge is showing, is that Rondo needs to move the ball better. He needs to learn to play off the ball more. He needs to be ready to give it up, and attack the basket when the ball gets passed back to him on the second phase. I think that the ACL has shown both Doc and Rondo that the way to play the game is to move the ball and get everyone involved.
In my opinion, the ACL has helped the Celtics in more ways than one. And to answer the original question, I think the answer is obvious. Ray was right. Rondo has to change the way he plays. But don't mistake this for we are better without Rondo - we aren't. But Rondo needs to change.