I simply don’t see the need to defend Rajon Rondo, it is a game, watch his play, he is what he is. Sure, he does stupid stuff. He is “difficult” etc. The point of this endless Rondo rant is he a “build around” star?
Can Ainge build another team that exploits Rondo to the fullest? Who the he%$ cares if he gets in fights? Can the GM get three, not two, but three elite scorers? Can two of these elite scorers play elite defense?
Rondo is average on defense. Rondo is an average outside scorer who other teams “leave alone” on the offensive end. As a great player, Rondo has gotten around his weaknesses and is near the top of the point guard list.
I feel the Rondo discussion for Ainge is about weaknesses simply because, in order to best use Rondo, Ainge needs shooters who will use his brilliant court vision and passing ability plus Ainge needs defenders who balance his average defensive ability. Can it be done? Obviously, Ainge has already done it. Can he do it again?
When Rondo has the ball on the offensive it is a different dynamic than when Bob Cousy or Chris Paul have it. These two excellent passers are also offensive threats from the outside. These two guards change(d) opposing team’s defensive sets.
Spoelstra, Thibodeau…etc collapse off of Rondo and dare him to shoot. They know his strengths and weaknesses and choose to commit energy to the other threats. In Rondo’s case, he had three of the greatest scorers in NBA history to pass to. Look at Celtic’s win/loss stats. No one cares how many triple doubles Rondo has. When Rondo puts up crazy numbers the team is under .500. Go look it up. It is not Rondo against the world, it is a team sport.
Rondo and Avery Bradley are a good match for one reason and a poor match for another. Bradley is not an adequate offensive threat to balance Rondo’s weakness from the outside, Ray Allen was. Bradley spends all of his money on defense making the Celtic’s back court defense elite when he is on the court and, thus, complements Rondo.
I insist that Avery and Rajon are not a good match unless they have at least two elite players at work in the front court.
Creating this scenario is up to Ainge. Can he find the people he needs to use Rondo’s talents? Brooks and Kelly O are elite outside shooters…are they elite defenders? Green is proven at both ends, Bradley is an elite defender, is this the right mix?
No, it is not. Ainge must find a star big. Without Kevin Love or Howard or Garnett there is nothing to “build around.”
If Ainge can get his big by keeping Rondo? He most certainly will…if not, he will trade him in a New York minute.
Rivers game planning used what he had. He knew his roster could “over play” on defense and create breaks and transition points for three of the best outside shooters in NBA history. None of this era was about Rajon Rondo, it was about the team.