Note: this post was written before Danny Ainge announced on WEEI that Rondo would be out for a couple of weeks. More on that will be posted shortly.
I will argue until I'm blue in the face about Rajon Rondo belonging in the discussion of today's greatest NBA point guards. But one thing continues to keep him from being THE best: He routinely passes up scoring opportunities to make passes for what seem to be lower percentage shots.
Many times it works. Sometimes he's drawn so much attention a kick out to Ray for 3 or KG for an 18 footer is a great option. Sometimes you've just got to spread the wealth to make sure everyone is happy.
It's very admirable and it shows he's one of the ultimate team players out there. But sometimes he's almost selfishly unselfish. He's almost the Dennis Rodman of point guards. Rodman would take himself completely out of the offense and simply get himself into rebounding position. Even when he had a chance for a putback… he'd sometimes kick it out and wait for another rebound to pad his stats. Sometimes, it seems like Rondo is trying to prove that he can be great without scoring.
Last night, Rondo took it to perplexing levels.
The most egregious one comes at the :33 mark. Rondo gets it under the hoop (pictured at the top of the post, via Mike Prada) and instead of just flipping it up off the rim, he fakes and pulls it out.
Every one of those instances is an instance where Rondo has shot the ball before. Some are worse than others. Some would have been contested. But regardless… Rondo is taking the passing of layups to feed a teammate to new levels.
Some question whether it was because he's hurt. Plantar fasciitis and a hamstring problem are limiting Rondo right now. And if that's why he didn't take those shots, then he shouldn't be playing. If Rondo is so hurt that he has to pass up open shots for fear of being blocked, then he is a detriment to this team and needs to sit until he's well enough to play again. End of story.
If he's healthy and doing that, then Doc needs to sit him down and explain that he's putting his teammates in bad spots. KG's 3 second call… a KG missed dunk… balls flying off of guys' hands. That's not good ball. That's not where Rondo needs to be.
Personally, I think it's all about the injuries. And as much as Rondo is a game changer out there, this Rondo was part of the reason why the Knicks had a lead for so much of the game.
Sit Rajon Rondo. Get him healthy. I want our Rondo back… not this guy that is afraid to even take an open layup. This hurts more than helps. And it's not going to get him any healthier.