Boston Celtics captain Rajon Rondo, who returned from an torn ACL, has only played in eight games in the 2013-14 season. After an expected slow and rusty start, Rondo has shown flashes of what he used to be in the last two games. While it is unlikely that he can stay consistent, Rondo is showing that he can be a star-caliber player again.
Against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, the 27-year-old point guard scored eight points, with nine rebounds, two steals, and dished out 11 assists. It is his second-straight game in which he had double-digit assists and multiple steals, and his rebounding numbers have been excellent as well. The fact that Rondo has been able to record such numbers in two consecutive games is telling and shows that it is no fluke.
When watching Rondo, he looks like he has some of his quickness back. Of course, it is unfair to expect him to be at full speed, but he has proven that he is making progress. The four-time All-Star looks smooth running the offense and is creating opportunities for his player. Rondo makes his teammates better; Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradly and Brandon Bass can attest to that. Green had himself a monster night with 36 points, Sullinger has scored 21-and-19 the last two games, while Bass has scored 19-and-18. Rondo is creating open looks for these guys, setting them up beautifully for easy opportunities. There were countless instances where Rondo was able to find the guy cutting to the basket.
Bradley and Rondo have also shown to be a compatible back court, which may be key to making free agent and trade decisions.
When Rondo plays like he has, he clearly makes the team better and puts them in a great situation. The only downside to his recent groove is that it may not coincide with Boston’s draft plans. In a weak conference, Rondo could essentially put the Celtics over the top and carry them into the playoffs. If that is the case, it’ll only hurt the Celtics’ future and ability to obtain top-end player. Danny Ainge needs to stick with his plan and make some moves if the Celtics start winning too many games. It sounds crazy, but it is only beneficial for the future of this team.
The Celtics play the Sacremento Kings on Friday night, so let’s see if Rondo can put together a fourth straight solid performance.