Second in the series on our current players. Rondo had a very solid showing in Summer League and was impressive with his defense as well as his ability to lead the team under control.
Rajon Rondo will wear #9 for Boston this year. He was drafted with the 21st pick by Phoenix and then traded to the Celtics on Draft night. Danny said afterward that Rondo was his man all along and when he saw him slipping he started to make calls to get a team to pick him for the Celtics.
It is interesting that Rondo joined the Celtics along with Sebastian Telfair on draft night because they have a somewhat strange history together. Telfair was recruited to play for Kentucky but decided to declare for the draft instead and Rondo was given the spot that Telfair would have had if he had gone to college. Rondo left Kentucky after 2 years and was drafted by Boston while Telfair was part of a draft day trade.
Rondo was invited to participate in the 2005 U21 USA Basketball World Championship Team Trials. He made the Team, which traveled to Argentina for the FIBA World Championships. He averaged 11.0 ppg and 4.5 apg in the eight-game tournament, garnering much attention from NBA scouts. The USA U-21 team won a gold medal at the Global Games held in Texas in late July.
Rondo is extremely fast. He's got a blinding first step that is tough to stop. His long arms and athleticism make him a terrific perimeter defender. He's an amazing rebounder for his size. He plays with poise, sees the floor well and really excels in the open court. In watching him, I would say he plays more under control than Telfair. He is capable of running the pick and roll quite well. He also has huge hands that help him to control the ball and to get steals.
He is constantly getting into the passing lanes and forcing turnovers. At Kentucky, he rewrote the UK single-season record for steals with 87 in 2004-05. He also owns the single season record of steals per game and tied the Kentucky all-time single-game record for steals with eight versus Mississippi State. (2/19/05). In summer league he showed his defensive prowess by averaging 2.2 steals per game.
As a slasher, Rondo has plenty of potential but he didn't get to show all he can do at Kentucky because of their slow it down style of play. He is extremely difficult to stay in front of and should be able to get to the hoop where he is capable of an array of moves to finish the play. Despite his size he is very capable of finishing with a dunk as well.
He is a tough player who has no problem getting physical to get the job done. He also isn't afraid to take a charge to prevent a score. Defensively, he can change the complexion of a game because of his long arms and huge hands and his penchant for getting steals that lead to easy baskets.
The one knock against him is that he can't shoot. In summer league he did pass up open shots to set up a teammate. That could be unselfishness or it could be lack of confidence in his shot. Although when he did take the shot, it really didn't look that bad. I think that he can work on his shot and become a good enough shooter to make the defense have to pay attention to him.
On the personal side, Rajon is the son of Amber Rondo and has three siblings: Dymon, William, and Anton. He has a prized shoe collection and was majoring in social work. Rondo is very close to former Wildcat Derek Anderson and drives a car licensed to him.
After watching Rondo play in the summer league I am very excited about what he can do for the Celtics. He plays under control and best of all he plays stifling DEFENSE!!! I see great things for Rondo and also for the Celtics with him at the helm.
His work ethic is reportedly very strong as is his character. He should fit this Celtics team like a "Glove."
Rondo is fun to watch. Awesome ball handling and penetrator. He's going to be a terrific finisher near the basket. Creative and he's a thinker on his feet. Extremely good hands on defense, and he plays excellent cover defense. He's a pest because he's always poking at the ball (though he needs to be careful of picking up ticky tack fouls).
His jump shot remains the only negative in his game.
In many ways, he's like a young Tony Parker. Parker is more offensive minded, but their games are both built around speed and excellent penetrating ability. And like Rondo, TP wasn't a good shooter early on.
i feel that in three years rondo might be third best pg in the league behind chris paul and kirk hinrich. which would be pretty much dream come true. backed up by sebastian telfair - now that's a combo for the next decade for the celts