Rajon Rondo has played a lot of minutes. That’s probably because, as usual, there isn’t a reliable option behind him to run the Celtics offense.
We knew going into this season that Rondo would play a lot of minutes. But there have been way too many instances of Rondo slacking off. The most egregious examples come from the Milwaukee game, where a lot of guys were coasting on the front-end of a back-to-back.
Jay, our the Jedi Master of our video department, put together a little compilation of the Celtics horrid pick-and-roll defense from that game. Here’s a video with two of Rondo’s worst moments.
Rondo lazily trails Brandon Jennings in the first play off the top, forcing KG to step out on him. Then, Rondo just sort of hangs around, never gets back into any sort of defensive position, nor does he rush to pick up KG’s man. At :30, Rondo ends up sort of getting screened by own guy, Jared Sullinger, but he makes no effort to get between Jennings and the basket, leading to an easy dish and foul on Sullinger. (Sullinger, by the way, played that poorly. Also on the video, Jason Terry getting smoked at :17 and at :49).
Those plays by Rondo were simple laziness. Or rather, it was a conservation of his own energy for later in the game, and for a game the next night. But Doc Rivers isn’t a fan of it, and said today that he’ll take care of saving Rondo, so Rondo doesn’t have to do it himself.
“I’m concerned but not as far as him getting tired but I don’t want him to save himself on the floor,” Rivers said. “There’s a minutes number for him. We don’t know what it is yet. We’ll figure it out where he can play his minutes at full pace instead of knowing he’s going to be on the floor too long and then he starts pacing himself. We need him to be a fast, quick, aggressive player.”
And the number?
“I think it’s 39, 38 but it’s not much lower than 40 but it’s in that area,” Rivers added.
There’s an added focus on Rondo this year. He’s the catalyst on the offensive end. He’s the first line of attack. And he’s at his best when he’s aggressively attacking and picking teams apart.
I’ve said this a million times, but Rondo thrives in chaos. HE is the one that needs to be causing it.
KG likes to compare the team to Hyenas? I like to compare them to Killer Whales… who create an organized chaos to accomplish their goal.
That’s what Rondo need to do to succeed. Create chaos, and get the defense confused, chasing, and out of position. He can only do that when he’s full speed. If he’s saving himself, then he, and the rest of his teammates, will miss their chance to succeed.