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Tale of Two Default Starters

Matt Richardson of BSMW Full Court Press opines:

Second, a couple of thoughts on Rondo and Perkins. What a position to suddenly find themselves in, default starters on a team variously ticketed to the playoffs, the Eastern Conference Finals, and even the NBA finals. The way I see it though, these guys are in very different situations. Perk, to me, is in a no lose situation. His name was never bandied about in trade talks, and certainly no trades that I'm aware of broke down or hit a snag due to the Celtics unwillingness to part with their "Center of the future". Heading into his 5th year, Perk is faced with extremely low expectations. Rebound. Play defense. Throw his body around. That is pretty much it. The upside there is huge. He should be able to do the above, but in addition to that, can you imagine how many easy looks he is going to get down low when the defense collapses on Garnett in the post or Pierce and Rondo on drives? How many uncontested dunks is he looking at a game? 4? 7? Not to mention easy offensive rebounds/putbacks. I would not be surprised at all to be reading a "Kendrick Perkins: The Overnight Success" feature come January.

Rondo, on the other hand, faces considerably tougher sledding. First, he was declared all but untouchable by Danny Ainge. No pressure there. Second, while Perk is flying very much under the radar, Rondo enjoys no such anonymity. It's up to him to make sure the offense hums along efficiently, and oh by the way live up to his reputation as a defensive stopper on the other end of the floor. If this team isn't clicking offensively after 3-4 weeks, a lot of people are going to be looking at Rondo and suggesting he isn't up to the task; shades of Dustin Pedroia during the first 3-4 weeks of the Sox season. Turned out OK for Pedroia, lets hope for the same from Rondo.

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