The Celtics have 39 turnovers in 2 games.
That's a lot. Too many. And Zach Lowe (in his new role on SI's "Point Forward") finds one person largely responsible: Rajon Rondo
After watching all 197 of Boston’s transition turnovers (no, really. I did. And it was torture) from last season, there is one uncomfortable yet inescapable conclusion:
It is largely Rajon Rondo’s fault. To be clear, he is a fantastic player whose creativity fuels just about all of Boston’s half-court offense, and he is excellent at one specific transition play — dribbling into the foul line area and shoveling the ball to a trailing three-point shooter. His expertise on this play could single-handedly prolong Ray Allen’s career. But the rest of his transition game needs lots and lots of work.
The overall Synergy stats back me up: Rondo produced just 0.99 points per possession on fast breaks he finished (with a turnover or a shot, mostly), a mark that ranked 245th in the league. Official scorers blamed Rondo for 73 of those 197 turnovers (37 percent), but it was really worse than that. Many turnovers assigned to others were actually Rondo’s fault.
Zach goes on to lay out his argument, so read the whole thing before you react. And Zach does also make a point to mention that in the halfcourt, Rondo can be as good as anyone. So to be fair to Zach, this is definitely a critique of Rondo's game rather than a slam on his turnovers.
But do you notice something lacking in Rajon's transition game? And if something is lacking with Rondo in the transition game… how much of it is his fault? Is he expecting too much from older players… or maybe players who aren't as athletic (like Kendrick Perkins).
The bottom line here is Rondo is still young and developing. He does take chances. He takes them on both ends of the court. But is the risk worth the reward?