Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
But after being at the helm for an NBA Championship and a trip to the NBA Finals two years later, his teammates notice a difference in their point guard. Rondo, now 24, has grown up.
"A lot has to do with maturity," Pierce explained to CSNNE.com. "He's been around the block a few times now. He understands the coaching staff, he understands the players around him, whereas before he probably bumped heads with a few people or reacted a certain way. But now he understands who he is, he understands the system, he understands everything around him and what's needed for him."
Allen echoed Pierce's sentiments.
"He's more settled in," he said. "I've noticed a maturity in him this year that I haven't seen. It's things that he says during games. During the preseason, he's focused on his help defense, he's zoned in more, and he knows that a lot of what's going on starts with him. It's been great encouragement for me to see him because a lot of things that I would say, he's saying them now. So I believe that it's mostly brought on through him because those are things that he wants. He's setting that tone."
Rondo is 24.
Let that sink in.
He's still not even really in the prime of his career… he's still figuring things out… and he's still a top 3 point guard in the league.
A lot of these guys are crediting Rondo…. but these guys need to get credit too… because any one of these future Hall of Famers could have tried to impose his will on this team. But none of them have… and none of them are going to. Everyone has been unselfish, allowing Rondo to become who he is.
So Rondo's development, as well as the team's success, is truly a full team effort. Now we've got ourselves a special point guard who is happy to run the team first, and look for his own offense second.
And he's just getting started.
On Page 2… Rondo's getting down on the blocks
“We’re posting everybody, even Rondo,” said Rivers. “We told them on the first day [of training camp], ‘We've got to get back to being an in-and-out team.’ We want to run and get easy baskets, but we also want to look early to post. [Friday vs. Toronto], [Kevin Garnett] had five of them where he sprinted down the floor, beat everybody, and got into the deep post. Last year he was the last guy down the floor, dragging his leg. So we did what we had to do [last season].
“It’s nice, it allows you to stop runs. When you have a post team and teams are on an 8-0 run, you can call timeout and usually you get something out of that. When you don’t have that, you have to hope you’re making shots.”
I like Rondo in the post. He's so ridiculously quick that he can spin off his guy and get into the middle of the lane. From there, he can thread the needle and find someone else down low… kick it out… or spin one of his crazy, trick-shot layups off the backboard.
But beyond that, the offensive aspect of basketball, executed properly, includes the ball getting deep into the defense either by dribble penetration or by getting it into the post. If you're posting effectively, and THAT includes having a person in the post who can actually do something down there, then you're drawing defenders out of position. When the defense is out of position, guys can move without the ball to open spots. If the ball goes there, then they even have open shots, or the defense has overreacted and another person will be even more open.
So Doc is right on with that last comment. If you can get a good post game going, then you can stop runs and manage the pace of the game more effectively. You can slow down your offense late in the game when you're up 8 without just holding the ball until there are 8 seconds left on the clock and trying an isolation or pick and roll. You can dump the ball into the post and get a good shot off.
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