The Boston Celtics cannot complain about the offensive production that point guard Rajon Rondo has provided on the court during the opening round of the 2012 NBA playoffs. He has done a nice job of looking for his offense and setting his teammates up for easy scores. Rondo in fact leads the playoffs in assists per game and is averaging 18 points a game. He has done all that can be asked on the offensive end. However, his most important job for the rest of this series has zero to do with the offensive end. Doc Rivers must call on his point guard to rise to the challenge of stopping Atlanta’s spark plug in Jeff Teague.
Teague has become a pest this playoff series thus far for Boston. The young guard has given the Hawks the third scoring option behind Josh Smith and Joe Johnson that they desperately needed in order for the Hawks to keep up with Boston’s “Big Three” and Rondo. Teague has hit the open shots the Celtics have given him from mid to long range and shown the ability to drive on Boston’s defense. If Rondo can shut him down than Atlanta will be hard pressed even with Smith and Johnson to keep up with Boston’s attack.
The fact is Rondo is more than capable of stopping Teague. He can easily keep up with the athletic guard and being a two time member of the NBA all defensive first team clearly shows the skills are there. A lot of Teague’s offense comes from the fact either Rondo is gambling too much or gets lazy pressuring him. If Rondo mans up on him and dedicates himself to shutting him down, Teague will disappear like Jameer Nelson and Mo Williams did in previous playoff trips when they went up against Rondo.
Game four in this series is huge. Atlanta needs this game with the thought of being down three one being a certain playoff death sentence and will be going all out knowing that and can steal the home court and momentum back. Rondo will need to come up big on Teague to neutralize the Atlanta X factor. My money is on Rondo once again rising to the challenge on the big stage. Remember Go Green Or Go Home!!!!!!