The Boston Celtics finally have their star player back in full swing. Rajon Rondo has looked like his old self in his first 10 games back since his ACL tear last season. Rondo is averaging 9.8 points, 7.1 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game since his return to the lineup. It doesn’t look that impressive for some people, but just bear in mind that he was on 20 minutes limitation for the first few games. His first six games were pretty much his preseason because of his minutes restriction and he hadn’t seen live basketball action in a year. His last four games, he looked much more of an all-around player than I’ve ever seen over the years in Boston. Rondo has averaged 14.5 points, 9.3 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game during that four game span and that resembles the All-Star Rajon Rondo that we all know in Boston.
Brad Stevens is only the second coach that Rondo has played for in the past decade and some of the things that he has done is something we haven’t seen in his seven years with the Celtics. In the past, defenses have sagged off Rondo and daring him to shoot outside shots instead of making him work towards the basket. Rondo’s mid-range shot has improved drastically and that is what’s going to make him even more deadly to defenders than usual. One interesting thing that I’ve been noticing is that Brad Stevens is making Rondo move around the court without the ball to start off certain plays, basically having him run the floor and creating openings for himself. Once he gets himself free, it gives him options to either take a jump shot or do what he does best the find another open player for an easy bucket.
Rajon Rondo set his own career record last Wednesday against the San Antonio Spurs and hit four 3-point shots, which is more than he has ever made in his career. Rondo is looking more and more confident to take any open shooting opportunities he is getting, including the most recent game against the Spurs.
Based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s pretty obvious that the Celtics need to hold on to Rajon Rondo for as long as they possibly can. Rondo has played like a beast since his minutes restriction has been lifted. We are constantly learning something new with Rajon Rondo every game and it makes a defenses job a living nightmare trying to guard him. Rondo’s average assist opportunities are one of the best in the league and that includes his initial minutes restriction. What is going to make Rajon Rondo more dangerous is when the Celtics add another key piece to their roster and make them a real formidable team in the future.