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Rajon Rondo’s 2012-13 Final Grade

Here’s a sweeping general statement involving super specific statistics that may or may not mean anything: In the 1423 minutes Rajon Rondo played this season, the Boston Celtics were outscored by 1.3 points per 100 possessions. When he sat (including all contests after he tore his ACL), Boston was better than their opponents by 1.8 points per 100 possessions.

Statistics help satisfy us, and can wonderfully confirm all we think our eyes are seeing. But they can also bend any which way to help support an outrageous argument. In this case, the on/off team point differential figures indicate an infectious train of thought, something about how the Celtics were/are better without Rondo.

As we saw in the playoffs, this is incorrect. Laughably incorrect. Rondo is a brilliant basketball player, capable of on-court magic that draws whispers from the crowd. “What the hell…” while shaking their heads and turning their palms up. Rondo’s ceiling bumps shoulders with the world’s very best; he’s fearless and talented enough to compete with anyone.

He rebounds, he passes, he shoots, he scores, he initiates offense, he’s disruptive on defense. This is him at his absolute best. Unfortunately, his absolute best comes and goes as he sees fit. Rondo’s mercurial play as a major shortcoming is also no longer up for debate, though if you’d like to lob excuses in his defense, have at it.

The inconsistencies have dogged Rondo throughout his career, but the spotlight never shined brighter than right before this season, when smart basketball people expected to see him cure most of his malignant weaknesses and become an everyday, MVP caliber superstar. That never came close to happening.

On Christmas the Celtics were only one game over .500; Rondo’s numbers and play had yet to show any signs of improvement from the previous year. He was making half his total shots, which is wonderful as a vacuum statement. But the volume wasn’t great enough to force any impact. Rondo needed to be aggressive. He needed to attack in transition, push the tempo, or even call the occasional play for himself in the post. Something. Anything.

The Celtics weren’t going fast enough, and their half-court offense looked no different than the past three years—a lot of that was on Rondo.(In 483 minutes with Jeff Green also on the court, Boston’s offense was anemic, scoring 98.7 points per 100 possessions—they finished the season at 101.1.) Nothing was clicking. Nothing looked right, and a lot on offense looked even uglier than Celtics fans have grown accustomed to.

When the going gets tough, Rondo was supposed to take over this year, assume the role of Boston’s dependable star who would whip his body into a mob beneath the basket, take a hit, then get to the line. Lather, soak, rinse, repeat.

He was supposed to be like Tony Parker or Chris Paul or Russell Westbrook or Derrick Rose, able to remove all oxygen from an opponent’s run by wiggling to the basket for a quick layup whenever he wanted. But Rondo didn’t become that guy this season, and it’s created more doubt than ever that he’ll ever make the transformation.

This season he averaged 13.7 points in 37.4 minutes. It was 2.6 more points than his career average in 4.4 more minutes. This is disparaging to the hundredth degree.

On the night he tore his ACL the Celtics lost their sixth straight game. They’d won the previous six before that. This was a rocky ship, and Rondo, the All-Star point guard, couldn’t steer it. Is it unfair to grade a player based on his team’s performance? Well, not when it’s a point guard as talented as Rondo. He’s good enough to have the team’s production reflect on how we view him as an individual piece. It’s the type of responsibility held by only the rarest birds, and for the past couple seasons Rondo has been that elite tier’s most polarizing fledgling.

Speaking of polarizing, let us not forget the almighty assist streak, which was as absurd as the ludicrous discussions it spawned. Was Rondo actually caught up in it? Did he care? Did Magic Johnson care? Would a parade be held on the day he broke it? Would the State of Massachusetts recognize it as a holiday?

One mid-November night it all combusted when Boston went into Detroit and had their jockstraps ripped off, with Rondo on the court in the closing moments for no rational reason other than his attempt to actually keep that damned streak going.

This made more smart basketball people question what an assist even meant, and how significant one player tallying a bunch actually is in the grand scheme of it all. Needless to say, Rondo didn’t look good.

I just spent nearly 800 words nitpicking a player whose absolute 48-minute best is better than everyone else in the world’s not named LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, or Jarrett Jack (glad to see you’re paying attention!). Rondo’s special because he makes the game easier for those around him, an attribute often overlooked despite basketball’s existence as a team sport, last I checked.

But even though that’s true, it’s unclear—leaning on not likely— if a team can be built around him as its best player and legitimately, consistently contend for a championship. Those aforementioned players take over when a game is tied at 95 with four minutes to go. They lead. They score. They get to the line.

Rondo is capable of doing those things but for whatever reason he doesn’t do them enough. If we learned one thing about him this year, it’s that when his current deal runs out in 2015, he won’t be worth the max-contract some general manager will seriously consider lobbing in his direction. And so, at this point, it’s increasingly exhausting to picture a scenario in which Rondo spends his entire career with the Boston Celtics. That’s the reality when your franchise star is so temperamental, and unwilling or unable to improve.

CelticsHub Grade: B-

  • Ben

    Yes he’s frustrating during the regular season, but he’s easily top 3 in the postseason (when it matters), and that alone is worth keeping him around for

  • IBleedGreen

    I was one of the people who thought Celtics are better without Rondo, but I am not so sure after watching the 1st round. But that still doesn't mean he's an elite point guard like every other Celtic fans make him out to be. Think about who's ahead of him at the PG position now (not necessarily in this order)
    1. Chris Paul
    2. Westbrook
    3. Parker
    4. Deron Williams
    5. Rose
    6. Curry
    7. Conley
    8. Irving
    9. Wall

    So you want to build a team around the 10th best point guard in the NBA? Good luck with that.

    • IBleedGreen

      I am not even sure Rondo is better than Lawson, Felton, and Lillard.

    • Frantík

      I´m not sure about the statement that Westbrook and D-Will are PG´s.

    • Mark

      Westbrook, Curry, Rose and Irving are PG in name only. Lets be honest here.

      • IBleedGreen

        Westbrook, Curry, Rose and Irving are all better players. Let's be honest here.

      • Morpheus

        What? They’re not ‘PGs’ cos they don’t average 10apg? Get real pal, they are PGs, get over it.

    • Josh_5

      Rondo > Wall
      Rondo > Conley
      Rondo > Williams

      • Anthony

        Agreed. I can give you CP3 and Parker but I hesitate to put DRose and Westbrook above Rondo for the simple fact of their injuries. Their athleticism and explosiveness are essential to their success so I want to see how they recover from their injuries first.

        I also need to see more from Curry and Kyrie (who is my favorite non-Celtics player btw) before I put them above Rondo. Rondo's playoff success are better or on par with everyone of the players mentioned above.

        I'll even go as far as to say Rondo's a Top 5 player in the playoff.

        • Rav

          Rondo has an injury too. His game isn't AS predicated on athleticism as the other two, but a slower Rondo probably doesn't even score in the double figures, and maybe lops off a couple of assists from dishes in the lane. Not to mention, Rose and Westbrook are starting from a higher level anyway.

    • janos

      gree n we are all frustruate season end but is not truthpost come on you are better this…

    • shikamaru

      How can you put Rose on #5 on your list wherein Rose didn't play for a minute THIS SEASON! your top 4 would be debatable but Rose doesn't deserve to be (on this season only due to injury).

    • GymRat

      CP3, Parker and Conley are the only true point guards on that list.

      And that you have Conley over Irving and Wall shows me I can completely disregard this list as mere sentiment.

      • IBleedGreen

        Did you see I said "not necessarily in this order"? It is not a ranking, It is my list of point guards ahead of Rondo.

      • Rav

        What's a "true" point guard? Rose and Westbrook both average 7 assists a game for their career (both had more than that last season – 2 seasons ago, in Rose's case). Wall averages 8, Williams 9 (more than Rondo!). This season, Curry averaged 7. Over his first two years, Irving's averaged 6.2 per 36 (Rondo averaged 6.0).

        All these players finished well above Conley in AST% (link below). The best stat to measure a "true" point guard is PPR (pure point rating); I couldn't find it anywhere.

        • GymRat

          Since you asked – a "true" point guard is a PG whose role in the offense is to facilitate plays and create shot opportunities for other players. It doesn't rule out scoring, but scoring is secondary, and sometimes tertiary to their responsiblity to take care of the ball and create easy shots. They are more like a typical quarterback calling plays and getting people the ball where they need it.

          Prototype for this is Steve Nash.

          The majority of point guards these days are actually score-first PG's. Their role is to get buckets by any means necessary, which typically means they shoot first and will pass up open looks for other players to take the shot themselves since often they are the best shooter/scorer. It doesn't mean they aren't a point guard. Just the way the majority of Centers these days aren't true Centers (Roy Hibbert, Marc Gasol being examples of a "true" center). It's just how the game has evolved.

          Assist totals don't tell the whole story and are never a fair guage of anything to be honest since they are dependent on another player being able to finish the play, and the league doesn't keep hockey assists so if you make the play but there is another pass before it's finished your effect on the play isn't counted.

          For example. A player makes a great pass that would have lead to a layup. The layup is blown or the shooter gets fouled before he makes the shot. In both cases the player who passed got no assist and therefore no statistical validation for their effort. Assists also are affected by how quickly the scoring player shoots. There's no stat to reflect a pass made for an open shot or shot attempt that could have scored – if there was assists would be a more accurate reflection of a players true contribution. As is it just reflects how many times the other players converted a pass into points which is completely out of any PGs control (therefore no indication of his ability).

          It's tough to compare "score-first" and "true" PG's because they serve dramtically different roles. Westbrook and Rose are on the court to attack and score. If they are unable to score or the defense collapses, they pass.

          Conley is a pure point guard as his role is a facilitator. But Memphis plays a post-heavy offense with both Z-Bo and Gasol often holding the ball for several seconds or dribbling for better position (negating an assist) not accurately reflecting his role in getting them the ball where they need to receive it so they can score.

          Tempo and type of offense dramtically effect assists as well. Boston plays a slow grind-out pace with less shots while OKC, LAC and Brooklyn play fast and take mostly jump shots, and while Memphis plays slow with mostly post-up. There are going to be far less potential assists for Conley and Rondo than Williams or CP3 or Westbrook who all play a high-octane offense with quick shots (therefore more potential assists). But yet Rondo still has the highest assist total this season.

          re: PPR rating – IMO there really is no best stat to measure anything, since stats other than scoring are so easily manipulated. Assists being the most distorted of al for the above mentioned reasonsl. Conley is a hugely underrated PG and his numbers aren't good, but he's the key to Memphis' offense.

          • Rav

            I feel that Rondo and Conley are considered as they are because they CAN'T score, not because it's their job to score. In the end, scoring is the most important thing in the game; if your PG is your best scorer you can't let him not take shots.

            Williams is just as much a floor general as Paul (not as good, but with the same vision/"quarterbacking" instinct), Wall's like that too – just because someone drives in and then makes a pass, doesn't make them less of a PG than someone plodding around at the top of the 3-point line.

            I guess I'll give you Rose, Westbrook and Curry. Irving is supposed to be a proper PG, I just think it's the lack of talent around him at Cleveland that's forced him to always look for his own shot.

          • GymRat

            Not sure how you came away with "less of a PG" as I never said (nor would I) that a scoring PG is better or worse. Their just different animals. And IMO a scoring PG doesn't improve the players around them so you wind up lacking a facilitator unless you run it through another position like they do with LeBron in Miami, or Harden in Houston. So you can't fairly compare them to players that do.

            And I never said you shouldn't let them shoot. Irving should take every outside shot for that team. He's phenominal. You're making up an argument here and ingnoring what I actually wrote.

            And Rondo "CAN'T score"

            Rondo lit up the eventual NBA champs with the best post season defense for 44 points. Loss or not…most players in the league wish they "CAN'T score" like that.

            Celtics with Rondo = ECF (1 win away from NBA finals)

            Celtics without Rondo (including a healthy Jeff Green) = bounced in first round.

    • kendall

      You have to put kyrie higher than that he averages more than spots 4-6

    • LOU

      You dont know basketball at all if you think conley and wall are better than Rondo. and youre just a rondo hater if you think, parker, williams, curry and irving are better than rondo. stop being stupid now

    • Zach

      Rose is better than Deron Williams what are you blind?
      Rondo has his ups and downs, but when he is playing good, he is definitely above most of those guys on the list, he just needs to rest up this off season and learn to play more consistent.

    • Tyler M

      Check out the amount of Triple Double Rondo puts down. They guy is a worker. He Makes his team mates around him better. His main weakness is creating his own shot in the set offense. If he can get a shot, He'll be one of the greatest. Im interested to see how he'll do coming back from the injury but if you want to take a look at his current career? I would take Rondo At least top 5 if not top 3….. As well look at all of the people that hated on him in the 08' Championship run (He turns over the ball too much, he can't shoot, he won't be elite etc…) Look at him now… #hatergon'hate #GoCeltics!

  • Jim

    I think we can all agree that Rondo is a really good point guard but when I read the names of others in the leaque I agree with IBleedGreen that he may not even be in the top ten. Where ever you look on this team we have some major problem areas. I think the team will have to get worse before it gets better. Ending up as an 8th or 7th seed in the playoffs only means we will get a middle round draft choice.Ainge needs to make the hard decisions and blow the team up. It is time to rebuild.

    • check12check

      i do not agree that rondo is a really good point guard

  • High Rollers

    I’m going to remember that KG was tirelessly defending his youngin’ and constantly, cryptically referring to the fact that Rondo plays through so much more than people know about. I think 9, like the other high character stars in the league, will suffer inconsistencies and rough stretches silently rather than whip out long lists of actual physical reasons, real ailments that hold back production any given night. No excuses, keep pushing. You could say, well just don’t play if you’re hurt, but it can’t be that simple. Fact is, even beyond the stuff he was likely playing through physically, there were plenty of reasons the ship was at risk of capsizing under his (and KG’s and Paul’s) watch this season. The numbers aren’t great, the reasoning for the assist streak was convoluted, the year was a hot mess, but the youngin’ was big in the locker room and fairly stoic with the outside world. Let him make his comeback before you strip his Celtic ID badge.

  • check12check

    i have been possibly the biggest advocate of the "ship rondo" campaign for a number of seasons now. i typically like pass first guys, but now when it's done just to get assist numbers. also, i get so made watching him botch layups. To me, rondo has always been, and will always be, a C+ player. He will show flashes of A ball; it's part of his nature as a player, but i don't think he can ever be more than a B- player over the course of a season. move him. his value on the market is way higher than his real value to a team. please, for the love of tommy, move rondo.

    • Mark

      Rondo has led the Celtics since 2009 for scoring in the paint. This season he led the team with 3 makes per game. The only other PG's that had more than him this season were Westbrook, Parker and Lawson. He's been an elite level scorer in the paint. Problem is the refs constantly allow Rondo to be manhandled by opponents without fouls being called. Before it gets mentioned the lack of calls in Rondo's favor has been an issue long before he's had his "issues" with refs.

    • check12check


      it seems espn agrees with my C+

  • I just laugh every single time I see/hear comments about Rondo not being a top PG, oh he's a C+ player lol. Rondo became my favorite player for 2 reasons; his personality and his mental fortitude. The guy just doesn't care what people think about him and I love it. The only opinion that should matter to him with regards to his game is his and his coach. He does things his way.

    He plays his best when the light shines brightest. If that's a negative for u, then u need to revisit what u consider to be a superstar. What separates Rondo from the rest of these PG's is his mental edge. CP3 who is the so called best PG can't even get his team past round 1? The same LAC team that were contenders a few months ago when they were on winning streaks? lol. DWill, hmmm DWill lmao..Westbrook, not only did he not show up in 2012 NBA Finals but he has zero clue how to run a team..The only PG in the league on Rondo's mental level is Parker and Kidd because guess what, they're the only ones who have rings in u guys top 10 list..If Lebron James was criticized for yrs for his mental weakness why isn't CP3 and these other PG's not getting criticized? Aren't they better than Rondo?

    To me a player is as good as his ability to take his game up a notch when it matters most. Rondo has shown that's his build. The more pressure he has the better he is and if that's not enough then sad for u. Enjoy watching ur faves choke under pressure. Is Rondo perfect? far from it..but is he the best PG? Definitely, not because he has a ring and they don't AllTime greats say it.. If u can say in the same sentence when at his best he's up there top 5 with Lebron, KD and then say he's a C+ player then ur a moron..The guy has carried this team in the post season for yrs now and that's not good enough..2009 basically averaged triple double..2010 carried team to NBA Finals, 2012 brought team to brink of NBA Finals..What the heck have ur fave PG's done lately..don't worry I'll wait

    • Josh_5


    • Anthony

      Agreed with everything you said except for the Westbrook not showing up for the 2012 Finals comment. The guy averaged 27 a game that series and almost single-handedly won Game 4 for OKC with 43 pts. While he's not a prototypical PG like Rondo, they guy is a definitely an elite player.

      I said it above but I also think playoff Rondo is a Top 5 player in the league.

      • He did but I was leaning more towards his decision making..its like with Carmelo Anthony. ? He's putting up the ppg but what is he doing to get his teammates involved..is he taking 30 shots to get those numbers cause one that inefficient and two what's the poimt when u can't even stop the opposing team from matching u point for point

        • Anthony

          I'm not disagreeing with you about Westbrook's decision making but sometimes it's better to get yourself going first. Just compare OKC's performance this playoff without Westbrook.

          I've said in the past that OKC could win a championship and would be a better team if they had Rondo instead of Westbrook. But that's just a matter of opinion.

    • GymRat

      Say it!!

      I echo Anthony's opinion though Westbrook can ball. He just needs to raise his BB IQ (same for Durant) and realize a bad shot is pretty much a turnover. But if I could move that fast and drain pull up threes from anywhere I'd probably jack them up to.

    • Rav

      I think his teammates' opinions of his play are important, too. A lot of reports seem to say he doesn't think that way.

  • Mark

    It's been said before and should be said again. If you're planning on building around ANY PG as your #1 then you are doomed to NEVER win a championship. The NBA has been and will always be a big mans league. In modern terms a "big man" is now 6-7 to 6-9 instead of 7 footers. I'll give you a guess as to how tall Lebron, Durant and Melo are. Now, go ahead, name one modern #1 PG that has gone on to win a championship?

    • Daniel

      isiah thomas, chauncy billups (see Finals MVP)

    • tbunny

      Uh, Magic Johnson played PG?

      • janos

        hi bunny

    • Josh_5

      Billups and Parker (both Finals MVP)

    • Anthony

      I would also put Jason Kidd and Allen Iverson up there since players led their very weak teams to the Finals. The respective roster of those teams were pretty horrendous.

    • Mark

      You guys to realize that Thomas and Johnson played over 20 years ago. They haven't played in the modern NBA game folks. Also, Billups was not the #1 guy on the Pistons and Parker has been arguably the Spurs best player in the last 5 years BUT has that led to a championship?

      Point is if your #1 guy is 6-7 or 6-8 and taller, and talented, and surrounded by other quality players you have a much better shot at a title than if your #1 guy is 6-3 or smaller. That is the reason the Bulls, Clippers and other PG led teams will NEVER win the title. Hell, the Clippers success depends on whether or not Griffen EVER develops an offensive game beyond dunking.

      • leeboo1211

        Funny, this was the exact same point Rick Fox was making yesterday on the Hangtime Podcast. Teams with a PG as their #1 player will make it to the playoffs, but not a title. The latest I think essentially would be Magic, and as stated that was awhile ago. Even Magic was a hybrid, a forward body with PG skills. All the other championship teams have either had a dominant big man+dynamic wing player, or 2 dynamic wing players+serviceable rotation of 4s and 5s down low to do the dirty work.

  • IBleedGreen

    Any time Rondo is compared to other "point guards", the excuse is always "they are not real point guards". This is really getting lame and old. Ok they'are not point guards but the bottom line is they're better "players" than Rondo.

    • Josh_5

      That awkward moment when Rondo leads the league in triple doubles and misses half the season….

      • Rav

        That awkward moment his team leads the league in wins. Oh.

        I'll agree with you that he's the best triple-double collector in the league (by far!). Doesn't make him the best PG.

    • John V

      Does defense count for anything in your world?

      • IBleedGreen

        Yes, and Rondo is bad at defense if you actually watch games.

  • IBleedGreen

    According to Celtic fans there are only two point guards in the NBA – CP3 and Rondo. So by default Rondo is the worst point guard in the NBA.

    • No according to Celtics fans there's only one PG whose consistently led his team during playoffs..he averaged basically a triple double in 2009, led his team to 2010 NBA finals and led his team to the brink of 2012 NBA Finals..and his name doesn't sound like Chris/Russell/Deron or all the other pretenders thats out there..taking over regular season but when playoffs come they crumble under expectation..lol smh

      • IBleedGreen

        Bring up all the history if you want, but the fact is Rondo has one ring when he was the 4th option behind the big 3. When the big 3 started declining he's not good enough to lead them to another championship. Rondo has not won anything in this league.

        • Yea u right he hasnt won another ring but his accomplishments sure beats what these so called better PG have done in the career..ur just hating on Rondo and got zero basis for what ur saying other than "he's not an elite player" while ignoring the facts..he's far and above the best PG when he plays his best..deal with it

        • Josh_5

          Yes he hasn't carried the team as the #1 option, but he was our best player in 2010 and came pretty damn close to a ring.

          • Rav

            Looking at the playoff Win Shares numbers for that season, Rondo does lead the team, but with 2.7 WS, while Pierce has 2.5, Ray and KG both 2.4.

            So, Rondo was the best player, but not by much. It was more of a "by committee" thing that season.

            He was a clear-er leader in Win Shares last playoffs, but KG was actually pretty close (KG averaged 19 & 10, on 50% shooting, in the playoffs at age 35).

  • janos

    rondos make legcys on playof but was not give opprtune due of foot break ; i tell you pina if he was play us, he is not let knick do that on game 6 that is for godam sure ok

  • jman

    Rondo is a good player but not one to build a team around. Why was he good is the question. Unlike Paul whocan make his own shot and is consistent, rondo is not consistent. Building a team around a Paul or Williams type pg is understandable. But to build around someone who is highly inconsistent is not the right idea. He was good for shit I'd be good to if I played with 3 Hof's plus people like Rasheed, shaq and others of that magnitude. Rondo is a hell of a passer and good at running when he wants to be. It was the team who made Rondo special, put him on a shit team and what do you have? A 500 club like we were going. Rondo needs to flash back to plain Rondo not So-called all-star Rondo, and we'll see a hell of a team again. There was plenty of speed this year, it was Rondo who didn't use the talent around him and Doc as well. But more on Rondo for you could see the frustrations Doc had when Rondo went against his schemes.

    • OMG CP3 is such a guy to build a team around..that's why he's gone out in round 2 and round 1 last two yrs..lets not even start about his Hornets success..Oh oh DWill got an injury depleted Bulls and still couldn't lead his team past round 1.. Rondo is consistent during regular season..GET THAT STRAIGHT..U may be ok with players playing great during regular season but come playoff time they crumble under expectation but I'm not. The NBA is built on regular season superstars but playoff chokers..Thats why the playoffs has been such a bust last few yrs..The only PG in this league not name Rondo who has consistently stepped up to lead their team in playoffs is Parker and Kidd..Put CP3 on a shit team, they suck..Put him on a better team they still suck lol..classic..

      • Anthony

        I love Rondo as much as the next fan but in all honesty, CP3 is a better player. He didn't choke, they just played a better Memphis team. Clippers suck and are all highlights and have no game plan. I thought Rondo surpassed CP3 last year but partially it was because CP3 was returning from injury. CP3's New Orleans teams weren't stacked but they still did pretty good.

        If it was a 1 for 1 Rondo for CP3 swap, I think even the most die-hard Celts fan would make that trade.

        • Nope just u..some of us actually want to get out round 1

          • Anthony

            You're certainly entitled to your opinion but Rondo has had better teammates than CP3. Blake and Deandre are way overrated while KG and Pierce are truly underrated. Even the so-call experts have stated many times that the Clippers couldn't get out of the first round because they have no offensive sets. Whenever they need a score, it's give the ball to CP3 and see what he can create. That has to more to do with Del Negro than CP3.

          • well that's not the hype I recall hearing..I specifically recall that CP3 is the best PG and Blake is an AllStar..they went on a 17game where they were the best team in the NBA..They can beat the Maimi Heat I heard..they had to best bench..

            Seriously the problem with fans and media is that they hype something up so much that when its not what they thought it was they change tones and start making excuse instead of acknowledging they were wrong. And just like how lebron was criticized for not being able to take his team to a title after all the hype cavs got during regular season then CP3 should get criticized as well. He has continually underachieved and don't give me he has a bad team nonsense..they werent bad when they were the best team in the NBA at want point were they..CP3 like DWill and Joe Johnson are overrated stars

          • GymRat

            Really hard to agree with you here Anthony. Do you really think this years squad was better than the Clippers? I love our team, but no way you can say CP3 didn't have all the support he needed to pull out the win if he's as good as you say.

            Nate Robinson, Curry, Parker and Conley all had or are having better post seasons (so was Westbrook before he got Beverly'd).

            He's a helluva a player but superstars have big games when it counts…and find a way to win. Not lots of excuses when they lose.

    • Jonathan

      CP3 can be as consistent as he wants in the regular season, but he choked this year. Rondo is inconsistent in the regular season, but come playoff time, Rondo shows up
      2009: Almost averages a triple double in both series
      2010: Leads Celtics to the finals vs the Lakers
      2011: Averaged 17.3 ppg, 11.9 ast, 6.7 RPG and 2.4 SPG.

      • IBleedGreen

        WAKE UP MAN!!!

  • John V

    I don't think anyone is building a team around Rondo. Ainge tries to trade him every summer. I think, rather, they're trying to build a team around a defensive identity, personified by KG, but which will continue even after KG is gone. For that system, Rondo is not the 10th best pg; he's probably the 2nd best, after Paul.

    I guess I don't really understand what the argument is about. Ainge is pretty forthright about being willing to trade anyone. I'm sure if Chris Paul says he wants to come here, and forces the Clippers to do a sign-and-trade, Ainge would give up Rondo in a second. In fact, he would trade Rondo for any player who could better help the Cs win another championship. But I don't think any such trades are available. Are they?

    • tbunny

      No they're not. Ainge would need a top 15 guy back. Clippers might actually do that trade because at least they get a top 20 guy back and maybe it would work better with their roster even, but it doesn't seem like Chris Paul wants to come here.

    • GymRat

      Why has CP3 ever done to show he's the key to another championship. Has he even ever lead a team to the conference finals? I just don't get the hype around him.

      Rondo leads an over the hill and banged up squad to nearly upset the Heat last season in their title run while CP3 got knocked out in the 2nd round with a younger and deeper team.

      I just don't get the hype around him.

  • asdf

    i don't think rondo was the reason we sucked early in the regular season, it's clearly on Doc. Lets see if we play spread offense when rondos back

    • johnny

      blee blee butt face

  • hax

    Only point guard that is a double double waiting to happen, now that Nash is out of his prime.
    the 1st round showed us how terrible the team is without him. pierce isolation vs quadruple team defense was the whole offense.

  • Josh_5

    1) Paul
    2) Parker
    3) Westbrook
    4) Rondo
    5) Rose
    6) Curry
    7) Irving
    8) Williams
    9) Lilliard
    10) Holiday

    • Josh_5

      Notables were Lawson, Vasquez, Rubio and Conley.

    • IBleedGreen

      Rondo ahead of Rose, Curry and Irivng? Wow, just wow. Proves again how delusional fans are. Wake the hell up.

      • GymRat

        It's all your opinion and you've been pushing it hard all season. We get it. You hate Rondo, but nobody on your list has won anything (save for Parker – and this season Curry). D-Rose is too afraid to even take the court while Rondo played with a torn ACL and a hyper extended arm. So yes, I agree with Josh_5…Rondo will play with one arm while Rose sat in a suit and watched his undermanned team kill themselves despite being cleared to play and healthy enough to practice.

        Rondo is a proven winner come playoff time. Show me the highlights for any of those guys winning games that count (again save for Parker and Curry). They don't exist since most haven't made it past the first round of the playoffs and two haven't ever seen a playoff game.

        Far as the post season has shown, CP3 might be the most overrated point guard in the game. He had an excuse with the Hornets, but this season he had more than enough to win a series if he showed up like the star you claim he is.

        Ball don't lie.

        • Thank u..they got no more excuses for CP3..he had a good team, the same team when they were on this long streak morons said were potential champs..now he can't lead them past round 1 they're no good..it was same thing with Lebron with Cavs..the team is top seed but when they lost pple wanna defend his lack of mental toughness as having a bad team..its was the same top seeded team..nothing changed call a spade a spade..call CP3 a choker, that's what he is

          • Mark

            Heck, CP3 had the best, deepest bench in the league and they still flamed out.

  • Guest


    With that being said, Rondo is the best passer in the league. In a league where teams that have their point guards as their leading scorers fail year after year, why as a celtics fan, would you want anyone else?

  • thebostonfan

    He can still be better if he tried to trust his teammates more beside from KG and Paul Pierce. When he had the ACL injury, Jeff Green and other players really had a very good contribution. There was a team spirit.

    Being a point guard he needs to make his teammates better and not unproductive. This should be an eye opener for him. The problem with Rondo is that he is a control freak which is likely good if we are talking about against their opponents and bad if we are talking about the production of his teammates.

  • GymRat

    Can you build a team with Rondo as the superstar…no. But is there a better point guard out there come playoff time that this team can trade him for…


    And to all you putting CP3 at the top of your list, I guess you don't care about winning. He's underachieved both seasons with the Clippers and based on the ease with which his teams all get bounced out of the playoffs he might be the most overrated player of all time. Not impressed.

    Steph Curry this post season…that's a superstar. Meanwhile CP3 is fishing….again.

    My list is based on who delivers when it counts and will bleed the court to take you to the next level:

    Rose (based on not being able to stay healthy)

    * (Westbrook has more potential than Rondo – but Boston played the eventual NBA champ much tougher than OKC did and that was all Rondo)

    D-Will doesn't deserve a mention since he can't win with one of the most expensive rosters in the league and an organization that bled money and bought a new stadium just to make him happy, and lost to a 6 man team playing mostly thier 3rd string.

    • I'm not putting Curry above Rondo at this point..one playoff don't make u, it has to be done on a yrly basis.? Rondo got 6yrs of resume material..give me 2 more yrs of performances like that and I'll gladly put him up there but until now only Parker and Kidd got those ranks imo..we've seen several one hit wonders in our time

      • GymRat

        Can't argue with your reasoning or raising Rondo up a notch. Though Curry has been this good for some time. Injuries hobled him last season, and this season, being in a small market and the all-star snub has kept him out of the spotlight so most people are just finally getting to see how good he is.

        I agree he has a lot still to prove, but my thinking is he's an incredible passer, with a great handle to go along with being one of the best shooters in the game and his ability to stretch the floor with the 3 and nail an elite percentage of his free throws gives him the edge. Rondo on the free throw line is still scary, and though he's a much better defender and better on the break, his jumper has improved considerably but still isn't to the point where I would want him taking the final shot.

        Curry with the ball in crunch time is a threat (possibly more so than Durant) from anywhere on the court.

        • Josh_5

          Great points here. I completely agree with your rationale gymrat, but I gotta side with crimson. Rondo has way too much of a playoff resume to put Curry ahead of him. In time Curry may pass but I gotta lean Rondo at this point.

  • GymRat


  • 2cents

    I don't know about anyone else, but I like the idea of a Celtics team with Rondo, Green, Bradley and the surprise of Sullinger on it. If Courtney Lee can play again the way he did with Orlando, Ainge hasn't done a bad job.

    I still miss Perkins and what he did for the team, but getting back someone like Green instead of nothing IMO was a hell of a deal.

    As a Celtic's fan I love everything that Pierce and Garnett have done for this team, but can the rebuild truly begin while they are still with the team? Even KG said as much, this team is still a few players away from competing at an elite level again, but with KG and Pierce on the payroll what options does Ainge really have?

  • paul

    This grading of Rondo is just ludicrously over the top. Sure, if you take every fault a player has – and every player has faults – and stare at them fixedly, they become enormous. No doubt. Rondo has earned the right to receive constructive criticism, not this kind of rip down tear up, spit out hate.

  • all this critisism is total bs rondo delivers wen it counts and he has plenty of heart show me anyone who can play 2 minutes with a torn acl…..yup u cant n summing up his play this season he led the nba in tripple doubles yet he played less than half of the games….rondo is amazing and all u haters shud shut the hell up!

  • mwCszFan

    I’m super confused as to how everyone keeps saying Rondo never led the team. I will admit I am team Rondo but I can also admit homeboy has some serious consistency issues. That no withstanding, I seem to vividly recall everyone in green BSing that he was the leader,.and before the guy could get situated in the drivers seat well, his coach and teammates started back peddling three first few games into the season. All the guys who couldn’t wait to play with him bitched and moaned that they weren’t getting enough touches, and the media in Boston with Bob Ryan leading the way absolutely ripped him to shreds. To me at least, that train wreck was the recipe for a dish called disaster.

  • mwCszFan

    Like i said i don’t think number 9 of completely blameless, but i do think he tried harder than he gets credit for. And if the likes of KG would publicly say Rondo was dealing with injuries that should have sidelined him, to me says a helluvs lot. Aside from KG Danny Ainge really seemed to be the only person in the organization to consistently support him.

  • CG12

    Rondo is unquestionably a great talent. But what he does, or fails to do, with that talent drives me nuts. Here is what I would love to see from Rajon next year:

    1. Play some real defense for the first time in five years. No cheating for poke steals, no getting stuck on weak picks, no letting opponents dictate by getting easy switches and mismatches.
    2. Dominate the ball less. Rondo is obviously the C's best ball-handler, but a system where one guy controls the ball so decisively simply does not work. Just look at how Jeff Green struggled with Rondo and flourished when he was able to actually handle the rock a bit.
    3. Get over the unnecessary and unhelpful prickliness and become a real leader. The chip on Rondo's shoulder has helped him get here, but he needs to get beyond that and be responsible to for establishing a cohesive team culture.
    4. Play fewer minutes. This relates to #1 and #2. It will be better for Rajon and everyone else if he carries less of the load and other guys get the chance to develop some confidence.

    I love Rajon and hope he comes back looking to show everyone he can and has grown. Whether that will happen is a fascinating question.

    • Josh_5

      5) Establish a good free-throw shooting percentage. If he can get this in the 70s that would be lovely.

  • alex

    yall sleeping on my dog rondo. he is one of the best. he rebounds and he pass and he can score. he has it all in his game. wait to next year yall will see. # true Boston fan.

  • Bird

    Rondo in last years playoffs: 17 points 14 assists per game. Nearly led the Celtics to an upset of the Heat. Stfu.

    • Ray

      17 & 12, actually. KG had 19 & 10.

  • Heatle

    Grass is always greener with celtics fans…rondo killed us last year.

  • Renzo

    "Rondo’s special because he makes the game easier for those around him"

    OK, that's pretty, but he's still stuck with that shaky shooting. If he finally gets rid of that issue, the sky is the limit. Otherwise, he'll be playing elsewhere in 2 seasons.