Now I’m not really talking statistically so much as I am visually. Althought it seems like Kevin Garnett has been out for an eternity, he has only been out for 3 games straight, and 4 all year. Therefore my statistics are based off a very small sample of games, but the one stat I will throw out real quick is that with KG in the starting 5 Rondo averages 9.7 assists, and without him in the lineup he averages 8.7. Okay, so that 1 less apg really doesnt meant too much when it stands alone.
Visually, however, he is working his tail off to get the ball to open players. What he usually has is a guy like KG who comes over and sets picks for him giving him more open room to operate, while at the same time gives him the option of a pick and roll or pick and pop. Right now, Rasheed Wallace does not have this kind of chemistry with Rondo.
Not only this, but he knows where KG is going to be. After playing with the same starting five, Rondo can drive to the lane, get shut off, have no idea what he is going to do next, not even really look, but know exactly where KG, Pierce, or Ray is going to be standing. It truly is quite amazing. Now he has no idea where his power forward is going to be. Sheed could be anywhere from right under the basket to 10 feet beyond the 3 point arc.
I guess what I am trying to say is that half the reason Rondo has the assists he has this year, is because of how comfortable he is with the players around him. If you mix that up even so much as 1 player, especially KG, as we have seen, he does not look as fluent. Am I saying he is dependent on the Big 3? No, I am saying he is dependant upon repetition to put up the extreme numbers he has. Remember, 8.7 assists per game is still no slouch by any stretch of the imagination. I just can’t wait to see what this team has to offer with every single player healthy.
(Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)