Rondo: The good with the bad? | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Rondo: The good with the bad?

Rondo and varejao

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?

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  • Ara

    We should think about what the numbers mean. Rajon accounts for 44% of the turnovers in transition. But he probably handles the ball more than 50% of the time. So proportional to the amount of time he handles the ball in transition, he actually turns over the ball less than his teammates. According to one of the comments in Zach’s article, Rajon turns the ball over in transition an average of once per game. I don’t know if that’s enough for us to conclude that Rondo’s the person most responsible for our high turnover rate or that his transition game needs to significantly improve…

  • I agree with Ara. You can read stats like that in so many ways.

  • Celtix

    I think its just about not being careful with the ball lol. Sometimes the celtics do predictable passes.

  • Dino Roger

    Remembering the days of J.R. Bremer (who once took an 18-footer on a two-on-one fast break) and countless other forgotten Celtic point guards over the last 15 years who couldn’t execute a fast break if you vaporized the opponents, I will take Rondo and his occasional turnover any day of the week.

  • Rondo still needs to be more of the primary threat on the basket when he has the ball. He has made good progress in this area since his first couple of years when there were many instances of him just passing up layups to make ridiculous passes. The first objective is to attack the rim and make the defense stop that.
    BTW, someone tell Von Wafer to never drive to the basket ever again.

  • i like that he points out that rondo’s best on fast break when he drives in and kicks back out to a three point shooter. obviously.
    look at the wings on the team the last couple of years. ray allen, paul pierce, eddie house, james posey, tony allen, marqius daniels, etc.
    tony allen is pretty much the only guy that could be considered a plus at finishing at the rim, and even he is shaky most of the time
    so what rondo is doing is adapting his game to the team around him, im sure if he had a team of ultra athletes and non shooters his high percentage play would be to get the guy that has an open dunk
    that being said rondo does get careless at times with the ball

  • Here is my theory on the turnovers: The Celtics offense is based primarily on ball movement. It involves everyone moving without the ball and getting the ball to the open man. In the playoffs this is necessary because teams lock down on the defensive end more, and by that time the team is so in sync with each other that they operate almost as one.
    In the regular season though, they simply are not as sharp as they need to be, they are integrating new pieces and guys haven’t gotten into the rhythm offensively. Im actually confident that are offense would be 10x better right now if we just gave paul or ray the ball and said go score as many as you can.
    However, overall it would hurt the offense come playoff time, because in the playoffs team basketball wins.
    So basically the turnovers are a byproduct of the combination of running a complex offense, being out hustled, and checking out mentally at points, which the Celtics have a tendency to do at points.

  • 24/8

    Is the risk worth the reward? Of course. In the last three years, since the Celtics have had Rondo and the Big Three, they’ve been to the Finals twice, won one and lost one. Any team would want that average. Teams that have better point guards wish they had that average.