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NBA / Jun 7, 2010 / 12:45 pm

Rajon Rondo: We Are All Witnesses

Five days ago, after a wretched performance from the visitors in the opening game of the NBA Finals, the thought of a Boston Celtics win in Game 2 at the Staples Center was hardly believable. The Celtics had been thoroughly handled by the Lakers in the 102-89 loss – outrebounded 42-31 with zero second-chance points to their name – and they appeared to have lost all semblance of the hustle and desire that marked many of their key wins in the current playoff stretch.

As both teams boarded their flights after Game 2, however, it was those same Celtics who had all the momentum heading back to Boston for the next three games. How did the C’s manage to tie up the series when Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce shot a combined 4-for-16 from the floor? Even on a record-setting night for shooting guard Ray Allen, it was Rajon Rondo who turned in yet another MVP-caliber performance to add to his growing resume.

Even more so than his stat line would indicate (19 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists), Rondo’s triple-double was perhaps the best individual performance of the team’s current playoff run – and maybe even the best of his young career. Three plays in particular demonstrate the versatility of the point guard’s game: the Olajuwon dreamshake on Andrew Bynum, the late block on Derek Fisher, and the elbow jumper with less than two minutes to go.

No play stood out more than the elbow J, as the point guard so often criticized for his poor shooting confidently increased the Celtics lead to five late in the game. Rondo’s extra effort in skying for rebounds led to big transition buckets for the Celtics, who outscored the Lakers in fast break points by an 11-4 margin.

When Rondo plays with as much confidence as he did in Game 2, the Celtics can overcome seemingly anything – including poor performances from two of the Big Three. With the extra help of Rasheed Wallace and Glen Davis, who combined for 15 points and 14 rebounds off the bench, Rondo was able to stay aggressive even without some of his most crucial weapons as early whistles against Garnett ended the Big Ticket’s night with more fouls (5) than rebounds (4), and Pierce had an invisible Game 2, shooting 2-for-11 in over 40 minutes on the floor.

And though Allen knocked down endless three-pointers in the first half, keeping the Celtics in front and tying an NBA Finals record in the process, it was the second-half performance from Rondo that pushed the Celtics over the edge. The six consecutive points on lay-ups to keep the game even in the fourth, the late steal on Kobe, the block on D-Fish. All are plays that have become increasingly commonplace for the talented point guard, but are nonetheless game-deciding factors in such tightly contested playoff match-ups. And now, for his efforts, the Celtics are headed back to Boston with all the confidence in the world and perhaps the best point guard in the League at their helm. Far cry from five days ago, isn’t it?

What do you think?

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  • Claw

    Don’t forget the 3 with the clock winding down, that was huge. Is he a great PG like Nash, Deron, or CP3? No, but does alot of things very well and uses his athleticism to make plays.

    He’s in a perfect system with the Cs, he doesn’t have to take over offensively, just manage the system.

  • KeithG

    UnderHyped! UnderHyped! UnderHyped!

    But not according to…

    http://www.sportsgrid.com/power-grid/nba-players/rajon-rondo/

  • Celticsdada

    Man, get that picture out of here. Rondo don’t need a picture resemble of LeChoke like that.That is a disgrace to him

  • s.bucketz

    that jumper was the most impressive shot he’s hit this whole post-season no bs…much more career defining for HIM than that bs dive/travel against J-will’s come outta retirement ankles..if he can start hittin that J (and his FTs which he did miss a few of in the crunch) i’ll start respecting his game…but for now, no love for a all-star pg that shoots less than 70% from the free throw line and is a liability on offense from 13 feet away.

  • JAY

    @Celtsdada
    Are you forgetting we’re on DIME?? Lol. Most of these writers floss with Lebron’s pubes that they collected from LBJ’s jock after games.

  • control

    Apparently Rondo just dropped the first triple double in NBA Play Off history! People complain about LeBron getting a shit tun of lipplay (or LeMom GIVING lipplay) but it’s cool to anoint Rondo the greatest point guard to ever have lived?

    This article is one of the biggest pieces of shit I’ve seen.

  • Ian

    this article will bring out the best in control

  • Ian

    oh shit lol i was reading the article when control was typin his comment. that was the kind of answer i was expecting.

  • http://dimemag.com/ Camron Ghorbi

    This was not to anoint Rajon Rondo the best point guard to ever have lived (not does it attempt to), but rather stress his evident importance to (and fantastic play for) a team who was able to notch a Finals road win when two of the team’s top offensive threats were invisible.

  • JAY

    Watching Rondo closely for the last year, I see a bit of Gary Payton in him. Other than the Glove’s shooting, their styles are very similar.

  • control

    Ian

    I went tame…haha.

    It IS a stupid article though, even if I liked the guy. The guy had a good game, his last like 4-5 games haven’t really been that good. He had that earlier triple double in the play offs against Cleveland, it was a good statline no doubt, but people were calling it one of the greatest statlines in history…

    If people gave me blowjobs as much as they seem to be on Rondo’s jock, my cock would fall off. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  • Heckler

    NOBODY has been playing defense on him.

    Rondo is good, but if the Lakers played some defense on him, he wouldnt be able to have games like game 2.

    they are sagging off of him way too much. there is absolutely NO ball pressure on him when has to make passes in the halfcourt.

    whether its Kobe or Fisher, they gotta get up on him more. who cares if he drives by you?…you still have Artest and TWO 7ftrs as your backline of defense.

    LA should run him through some picks and screens ad beat Rondos body up a little bit.

    this guy is playing way to freely

  • srb

    the “invisible” performance by Pierce included two buckets when the score was close in the third, really good defense, big rebounds in the 4th and some assists when it was close.

  • http://diaryofamiseducatedblackman.com Cal

    I’m feelin this for sure, somebody’s gotta step up in the absence of Kevin Garnott

    http://diaryofamiseducatedblackman.com/2010/06/07/kevin-garnott-shout-out-to-skip-bayless/

  • Ian

    control
    yup u did hehe u appear to have diff levels of hate. manu and rondo at least get a break with you every now and then but varejao isnt that lucky.

  • 45%

    very true. atleast you get it not like the guy who said tony allen was the key.

  • LMNOP

    Rondo gets so much space because of his Broken Jumper, it almost helps his game, its weird, but if players respected his shot he wouldn’t get half as much room to operate.
    He does get his dick slobbered way too much by media people, no one mentions that he was invisible during the Orlando series and in Game one, but as soon as he has a good game people are callin him the greatest PG in the history of the Celtics or shit like that.

    I think he’s kinda like a PG version of David Lee, works hard and uses hustle and energy to overcome all the millions of holes in his game.
    He may sometimes be playing the best on his team, but he will never be the best player on his team.

  • control

    Ian

    Rondo and Manu both have at least some basketball skill. Manu is just a flopping pussy most of the time, and Rondo really isn’t that great and is one of the worst shooters in the NBA. Valgina is just pure utter shit, no skills at all worth mentioning…and he’s getting 50 million for it.

  • shiptar

    yeah, this article is control’s nightmare… haha
    Boston’s big three this year is pierce, allen and rondo. Garnett is just a role players these days and Wallace plays better D on gasol.

  • JD

    Control, you are as incorrect and “full of shit” as your comment indicates. First, the article never comes close to anointing Rondo as the greatest point guard ever, you seething idiot. It is pointing out that Rondo is playing fantastic, effective, and the fact that it was the first Finals triple double since 2003 (a special achievement, no doubt) and the first from the Celtics since Larry Bird’s triple double in 1986. Quit shitting out of your mouth control, you’re a well-spoken dumbass.

  • control

    JD

    Thanks for noticing I am well spoken.

  • JD

    Control

    You’re welcome. In order to be a complete retard, you would have to have no respect for the English language. But since you show no respect for Rondo’s game (and apparently Manu Ginobli’s as well) you fit the description of “idiot” just fine.

  • control

    JD

    You are entitled to your opinion, and your opinion about me means about as much to me as my opinion of Rondo means to him: nothing.

    You talk about me not respecting his game, and I don’t really…but look at the way people guard him. Kobe is giving the guy 10ft to hit open jumpers, you think he’s showing Rondo respect? You notice how Rondo usually has good games when someone else is having a good game as well? Rondo can’t be a force by himself, he doesn’t have the ability to take over like one of the elite point guards.

    If Rondo was defended like he was respected, then his passing lanes would close (he wouldn’t have 7-10ft of space between him and primary defender), his rebounds would go down (he might be boxed out for once) and his scoring would go up slightly (he’s quick enough to burn most people off dribble and make layups). The guy has a very serious flaw in his game, that is undeniable. Once he fixes it and is played conventionally, we’ll see how good of a point guard he is.

  • http://www.haywoodplanning.com D.H.

    Lakers fans make me fucking sick! You criticize their God, Kobe, and all you hear is, “Stop talking crazy shit” or “Kobe is the GOAT” or “Kobe is the best facilitator, look at how he’s matured” . . . barf, gag, throw-up, and gag some more. Any other player gets a bit of praise and all we hear is, “this article is shit” “this guy sucks (cause he ‘aint on the Lakers), or “Shannon Brown can jump higher than him”.

    And then there is the whole free throw debacle last night where the refs were trying so hard to get any Laker to the line they lost track and sent them over 20 times, thats more than every 3 minutes for the whole fucking game. Then what do we hear all day from these dumb-ass Laker’s fans; “The refs gave the Celtics the game.” Are you fucking kidding me?!? Get you Gold tinted glasses off, pull your head out from between Kobe’s legs and watch the fucking game.

    I’ll now step down off my soap box.

  • JD

    Control

    Every point guard needs capable teammates to rack up assists. As great as Ray Allen was, Pierce and KG were equally horrible. Perkins and Big Baby can’t finish around the rim. Its not like Rondo’s standing around getting all of his assists by waiting for guys to come off of screens. All but three of his assists last night came off of him driving to the hoop, if I remember correctly.

    And why are you looking at it like “Well the only reason Rondo is having a good game is because another guy is stepping up”? Rondo has been easily, far and away, the most consistent player on the Celtics the entire postseason. Rondo is the constant, the other guys are the variables, and thats why people are correctly saying that the Celtics have become more Rondo’s team than anyone else.

    Finally, why does a guy have to be a great jumpshooter to be a great player? Sure, he’s still not a great shooter (but better than people give him credit for), but he is so good at everything else (driving, finishing, passing, defending, hustling), that he is still a great player. Dwight Howard has less offensive skills than Rondo, but you could call him a great player because he can still dominate games with the outstanding skills that he already has.

    And Rondo’s a great rebounder mostly due to the fact that he has an incredible knack for the ball, he has a 6’9 wingspan and he can jump out of the building. 8 of his rebounds were defensive rebounds last night. It has very little to do with not being boxed out. Give the guy some credit.

    Finally, I just don’t get how you can hate Rondo? Its not like he’s a cocky bastard who pounds his chest and screams after every dunk or made shot. The media doubted him for so long, this should be a guy that everybody roots for. And his hustle is off the charts, why wouldn’t you like this guy?

  • deucedeuce

    JD… I totally agree with you. Its about time we had some educated folk comment on this site[period]

  • shiptar

    well written JD, I completely agree with you!
    Come on Control, u gotta give Rondo some credit, don’t you think?

  • hoopla

    Rondo is what you call a true pg. Manages the game well. And gets everyone involved. He does play out of his element. Very high bball IQ.

  • got beef?

    Control just haz a full cup of haterade… when did this article ever anoint rondo as the best point guard? And since when did rondo need another player to step up for him to play well, remember his triple double against cleveland? He dominated the whole game. Dwight Howard has less offensive skill then rondo, but i dont hear the hate towards that dude, Rondo has a lil J Kidd in him and u cant deny it no longer man (btw, u say everyone on dime luvs rondo, i think u have that backwards dude, everyone here hates rondo 4 no reason, like u)

  • JAY
  • bola

    dime should be paying control.. heck! rondo, manu and varejao should pay him.. his comments really does bring out a lot of response.. and quite a lot of fans for those three..

  • GMC

    C’mon man you try taking out those eight 3’s and see what happens. Allen bailed them out so many times when rondo and Perkins were trapped and had to fling it to him. rondo definitely deserves praise but no way can you say hes the MVP of the night

  • JAY

    @GMC… i think we’re saying Rondo he’s been the consistent Celtic of the play-offs. There’s no denying that.