What was up with Rondo passing up open shots? | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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What was up with Rondo passing up open shots?

Rondo open 

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.

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  • tim

    thank u im not the only one who notices this ive been saying this sicne the beggining of the season why is he putting up monster assist games??? bc he passes up on layups way too many times in order to make a crazy pass and put some in a bad postion. im not tellign rondo to shoot the ball all the time or even take forced layups but when ur wide open ur wide open and ur an nba point guard you should be able to finish layups

  • JD

    Yeah, he does not look explosive at all. Go look at highlights from earlier in the season or last year and it looks like Rondo has aged 10 years in these last two weeks. He needs to sit, for as long as possible, even if the team drops a couple extra games. We need a healthy, athletic Rondo who is dunking on Chris Bosh, not gimpy Rondo who is afraid to shoot with Danillo Gallinari in the area.

  • theW

    Agreed. Injuries have changed his game. He was beaten more than a few times by the likes of Ty Lawson and Raymond Felton off the dribble in the last few games. This doesn’t happen earlier in the season. His explosiveness is as much a staple of his D as it is his offense. Get healthy Rondo. See you in a couple of weeks.

  • theW

    Man, I miss D.West.

  • Steve

    I could not agree more. Its admirable to want to lead the league in assists…but the easiest shot on the court is always the best one.

  • cmoney

    He’s been passing up shots his whole career. Even in ’08, he’d toss out passes when he was 1″ from the rim so KG could shoot an 18′ jumper.
    This year it’s worse because he’s chasing an assist title. It’s obvious. He passes up layups just to get assists. He was doing this well before any foot, hamstring, or ankle issues came up. So let’s not blame it on injuries.
    He’s clearly a great PG, nay, a great player. One of the best in the league. But let’s not make excuses for when he does stupid stuff.