Rajon Rondo was all over the floor on Sunday striking fear into the hearts of the New York Knicks each time he sprinted up the court. Toney Douglass was so afraid of getting beat that he actually made it easier for Rondo to score by simply playing on his heels allowing Rondo to run right by him.
Rajon Rondo’s 11 trips to the line on Sunday were his most of the series. Rondo’s struggles at the line continued calling into question why teams fail to out right foul him as much as humanly possible? The theory seems like one of the only ways to shut or at the very least slow Rondo down. Rondo devastated the Knicks with his willingness and determination to drive to the hoop on virtually every possession. Opposing teams need to work to keep Rondo out of the paint in order to increase their odds of hoping to contain him. Rondo is not going to beat teams with his jump shot, he is the most deadly driving to the lane and either laying it in or handing the ball off for an easy bucket.
The Celtics offense is only as effective as Rondo makes it. His tentativeness over the last few weeks grew apparent as he was not driving to the hoop as much and even when he did, he looked to pass first. This sluggish stretch is what many Boston fans like to refer to as the time when Rondo was dealing with the sadness of losing his BFF Kendrick Perkins.
This sudden wake up call in the playoffs has opposing coaches freaking out as to how they are going to stop the 2010-2011 Boston Celtics. At at least one point in the Knicks series, each member of the starting five was unstoppable and that can only lead to good things this post season. As of right now, a major weakness for the team is Rondo’s inability to convert from the free thrown line and coaches may begin to hone in on this looking to exploit it to their advantage.
On the series, Rondo was 14-for-26 or 53.9% from the line.