FanPost

Why the Celtics need Rajon Rondo

Jared Wickerham

I'm not really an advanced stats person, but I've heard from a few people that they believe Rondo makes this team worse. I decided to dig a bit and see what evidence I could find of the stats backing up that claim. Unsurprisingly, the evidence I did find only explains our current shooting drought in the playoff and why Rondo is important to our team now more than ever.

If this series has proved anything so far, it's that Rondo is not overrated, but underrated. Yes, he absolutely does take games off in the regular season, and yes his defense was atrocious. But there's no doubt our Playoff success these past 4-5 years can be attributed in large part to Rondo.

First, let's look at his playoff stats. (Sidescroll to see the full statline)

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2007-08 21 BOS NBA PG 26 26 32.0 4.1 10.1 .407 0.2 0.8 .250 1.8 2.6 .691 1.5 2.6 4.1 6.6 1.7 0.3 1.8 2.8 10.2
2008-09 22 BOS NBA PG 14 14 41.2 6.6 15.9 .417 0.4 1.7 .250 3.1 4.8 .657 2.3 7.4 9.7 9.8 2.5 0.2 2.7 3.4 16.9
2009-10 23 BOS NBA PG 24 24 40.6 6.3 13.6 .463 0.4 1.0 .375 2.8 4.8 .596 1.6 4.0 5.6 9.3 1.9 0.1 3.0 2.4 15.8
2010-11 24 BOS NBA PG 9 9 38.3 5.7 11.9 .477 0.0 0.3 .000 2.7 4.2 .632 1.2 4.2 5.4 9.6 1.1 0.0 3.7 1.8 14.0
2011-12 25 BOS NBA PG 19 19 42.6 7.4 15.8 .468 0.4 1.6 .267 2.1 2.9 .696 1.8 4.9 6.7 11.9 2.4 0.1 3.8 2.1 17.3
Career NBA 92 92 38.5 5.9 13.3 .445 0.3 1.1 .277 2.4 3.7 .647 1.7 4.3 6.0 9.2 2.0 0.2 2.8 2.5 14.5

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Rondo has been a consistent playoff performer. That should come as no surprise. Here's the surprise for all off you who thinks Rondo stops the offense. Here's his +/- data from last year's playoffs.

Team Opponent Difference
Split Tm MP eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% ORtg eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% ORtg eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% ORtg
On Court BOS 811 .476 20.5 75.6 48.6 59.0 9.2 7.1 14.2 102.2 .476 24.4 79.5 51.4 55.7 7.5 7.3 15.4 101.1 .000 -3.9 -3.9 -2.7 +58.4 +9.2 +7.0 +14.0 +1.1
Off Court BOS 164 .428 18.0 73.1 48.2 55.9 9.2 13.2 16.8 92.3 .408 26.9 82.0 51.8 46.5 6.7 6.6 15.2 92.6 +.020 -9.0 -9.0 -3.5 +55.4 +9.2 +13.1 +16.7 -0.3
On − Off BOS 83% +.048 +2.5 +2.5 +0.4 +3.1 +0.0 -6.1 -2.6 +9.9 +.068 -2.5 -2.5 -0.4 +9.2 +0.8 +0.7 +0.2 +8.5 -.020 +5.1 +5.1 +0.8 +3.0 +0.0 -6.1 -2.7 +1.4

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Check out the Assist Percentage, eFG, and Offensive Rating. We were almost 10+ ORTG with him on the court than without him. We also assisted at a higher rate with him on the court. Those a reason we succeeded as much as we did last year in the playoffs. Rondo ran our offense, and ran it efficiently. He broke down defenses like no other PG in the league. Now check out how Ray Allen and PP did during the playoffs. First regular stats, and then advanced.

Rk Player Age G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
2 Paul Pierce 34 20 20 38.9 6.0 15.6 .386 1.4 4.4 .310 5.5 6.2 .894 0.7 5.4 6.1 3.1 1.5 0.9 2.8 3.4 18.9
5 Ray Allen 36 18 10 34.2 3.7 9.3 .395 1.6 5.1 .304 1.8 2.5 .711 0.4 3.7 4.1 1.0 0.9 0.1 0.9 2.3 10.7

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

Rk Player Age G MP PER TS% eFG% ORB% DRB% TRB% AST% STL% BLK% TOV% USG% ORtg DRtg OWS DWS WS WS/48
4 Paul Pierce 34 20 778 16.1 .516 .429 2.2 15.8 9.2 14.8 2.1 1.9 13.3 26.5 98 98 0.3 1.3 1.7 .102
5 Ray Allen 36 18 616 10.0 .514 .479 1.6 12.3 7.1 5.0 1.5 0.3 8.3 16.2 99 102 0.2 0.8 1.0 .077

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/24/2013.

It's especially shocking to see how we got so far with Ray and PP's shooting percentage. Rondo has a higher ORTG than both of them. Also keep in mind our offense during the regular season was even WORSE than this regular season. If you recall, we dealt with a lot of the same problems at the beginning of last season as we did at the beginning of this season. Our defense and offense picked up after the all-star break, which is around the time Rondo got hurt.

I could dig a lot deeper into these stats, but I think you get my point. For all the criticism Rondo gets during the regular season (and he does deserve some of it), he is the one who runs our offense, and does a good job of it in the playoffs. We're struggling to score because we're missing Rondo. Pierce can't get his sweet spots, and KG can't get enough wide open pick-and-pops.

When the playoffs come, it's a different game. It slows down, and execution is key. And right now, we can't execute. Unfortunately we're in for a very rough series without him.

For some extended analysis (although I don't agree with all of it) along with video evidence, check out this link http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1615429-the-rajon-rondo-effect-how-star-point-guards-absence-is-killing-boston-celtics

Be respectful and keep it clean. Thanks.

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