With Rondo being featured in the Herald today, I thought it would be a good time to post this piece from Derrenmatts over on Celtics Green. Telfair has truly shone when the pressure and the lights were on him. He is definitely under the microscope here in Boston and so hopefully he will shine brighter than ever. If he does, expect great things from Boston and some exciting basketball being played. And if not, Rondo will be waiting in the wings to take over. We definitely seem to be in a good place with our PG situation.
Bassy may not have the big time height advantage for an NBA PG like Magic used to have, nor does he have the dead on shooting ability like Kevin Johnson did for Phoenix a decade ago. But one thing Telfair does appear to have, like many of the good ones before him had, is the ability to shine when the lights are on and when the intensity rises.
If you've ever watched his documentary, "Through the Fire", in which cameras followed him throughout his senior year playing for Lincoln High, you see him stepping up his leadership and his play on the court when the lights went on. His eyes would be intently focused on the game and his body language just oozed determination. If you watched him in the Vegas Summer League, particularly the Denver game, he practically carried the team on his back in the closing minutes of a very tight game (we lost that game, but I give the credit to a better Denver team). The commentator for that game noted how Telfair won't win a three point shooting contest in practice, but with the game on the line, Telfair steps up to the occasion and nails a clutch three pointer with no hesitation on his shot.
And though his first 2 years at Portland have been pretty unspectacular, he has had some shining moments.
Against Cleveland late last year, he came off the bench and poured in 24 pts. You know that playing against Lebron probably had something to do with it.
The very next night, he was given the starting nod for the first time in 3 months, against Milwaukee's tough PG duo, TJ Ford and Mo Williams, he attacked for 21 pts and 5 assists.
Earlier in the year, going back to New York to play the Knicks (he's from Coney Island), and against his cousin Stephon, Telfair put up his best stat line of the year with 27 pts, 7 assts, 6 boards and 3 stls, shooting 67% from the field, 60% from beyond the arc and 8 - 11 from the free throw line.
He's had to battle a lot of criticism since coming to the NBA because he's under 6 feet and he has a shaky jumper. But this kid puts in the time after hours to improve his game and his conditioning. He's definitely a hard worker.
The good ones could step up their games when the game was on the line and when the spotlight narrowed down on them. That's where they made their marks and proved to be special players. Telfair has a long, long, long ways to go before being mentioned in this group, and in the same sentence as Isaiah Thomas and Magic Johnson. But what he has shown early in his playing career as a high schooler and a 2 year NBA PG is that when the stakes are high, he steps up to the plate and will not whither under the heat of the spotlight.
He set numerous New York high school scoring records, often turning up the scoring dial when his team needed it most, and he led his Lincoln High team to 3 PSL titles, something that no team has ever done before. And in the McDonald's All-American game, he set out to set the all time assist mark, and he had a legit shot at doing it.
The spotlight is going to be much brighter in Boston than it ever was in Portland. And this could be what Telfair needs; he thrives in such situations. source: Celtics Green - Derrenmatts
Truth be told, Rondo caught my eye more than Telfair did in that McD's game back in '04. But now that we know that Telfair made it his priority to break the assist record for the game, it sheds some light as to why he didn't look all that spectacular then.
I'm still very high on Rondo. He's got magic in his game and he does many little things that don't show up on stats (like harrass ball handlers to take up more time on the shot clock and make it difficult for them to set up on offense). But Telfair is still a guy who can explode at any time and become this big hit. He's certainly got the personality of a star player.
I think we'll see a more impactful Telfair in Boston than the one we've seen or heard about in Portland.