The Boston Celtics are officially through with their Big Three era and have moved on to usher in a new one–the Rondo era.
This team is now officially his. Of course, people are going to call Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Rajon Rondo a big three. There will even be some who say that its still either Paul or Kevin’s team–Rondo himself may be included in that group. However, the writing is on the wall with this group. The former two players named above are in the twilights of their careers. Without Rondo, they’d probably have little effect on the game offensively.
For this team to move forward and continue to have postseason success they’ll need to lean heavily on Rajon. He’ll need to show us what he did when he closed out the 76ers on a more consistent basis. Or his amazing effort against the Miami Heat where he dropped 44 points in a playoff game that Boston probably should have won. He’s shown that he can do this, but it hasn’t been consistent at all throughout his career.
The reason why is because of the way teams guard him. Generally, teams will play Rondo 5 to 10 feet away. They’ll give him enough space to where he can take an open jumper every time. That benefits his passing because they give him so many lanes of vision–however, it also gives an extra defender the opportunity to defend another player. For Rajon Rondo to take his game to the next level, he needs to be able to take and make those jump shots. According to Hoopdata.com Rondo only takes about three shots per game from 16-23 feet on the floor. He makes 39% of those shots, which is a good rate, but he should have at least four or five per game.
With the way that the Celtics are going to lean on Rondo next season, he’s going to need to become more of a scorer with the ball. Not a pure scorer, but a selective one. If he knocks down his jumper on a consistent basis and takes it on that same consistent basis as well, he’ll be the best point guard in the game easily. He does everything well except shoot the ball. There is a reason why teams fear him; once he starts knocking that jumper down he’s almost unstoppable with the ball.
Its going to be interesting to see what Rondo’s role will be for majority of next season. We know he’ll be a facilitator–and rightfully so with all of the Celtics new weapons in stock. However, I’m sure there will be stretches where Doc needs Rondo to dominate the ball and score it more often. To be the best, Rondo has to simply shoot it. Make teams respect your jumper. Then we could see another banner or two hanging in Boston.