One of the keys to this season is going to be the play of Rajon Rondo at the point. His play will in a large degree determine how the team develops and how quickly they can mesh into the dominant team that we expect them to be. The point guard position is very key on any team and this year's Celtics will be no exception. But can Rondo do the job in just his second season?
Rondo has all the physical attributes it will take to be a top point guard. He is a phenomenal athlete with an incredibly quick first step, awesome foot-speed, and terrific leaping ability. He also has a gigantic wingspan and huge hands, which allows him to play much bigger than his 6'1" size.
He also possesses the intangibles that are key to success as a point guard. Rondo is a pass first point guard, being highly unselfish and featuring excellent court vision and passing ability. Rondo possesses a high level of basketball IQ and shows great poise with the ball in his hands. He has great ball-handling skills and a natural talent to find the open man. Rondo is great on the drive and dish, being able to get into the lane almost at will thanks to his terrific speed and ball-handling ability. Rondo is also an excellent defender because of his excellent lateral quickness and very quick hands. He has the potential to develop into a smothering perimeter defender. He’s not afraid to step in the lane and take a charge if the situation calls for it. Many times last season we would see Rondo go flying to the floor after taking a charge. He has taken some hard hits but always gets right back up and goes at it again. Rondo is also a terrific rebounder and he led his college team in rebounding from the PG position.
If we look at a couple of other PGs in the league we can see that it isn't impossible for a PG as talented as Rondo to make a leap from the first season to the second season. Deron Williams is one of the best examples I can think of. In his first season he averaged 10.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and .8 steals in 28 minutes. His second season, he made a leap to 16.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 36.9 minutes per game and led the Jazz with poise in the playoffs. Another example is Monta Ellis. He averaged 6.8 points, 2.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and .6 steals in 18.1 minutes in his first season. In his second season he averaged 16.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 steals in 34 minutes on his way to the Most Improved Player award. Rondo was impressive in Summer League and gives every indication that he will be able to make the same kind of leap this season.
The one knock against Rondo is that he didn't have a jumper. He has a very strong work ethic and has worked hard on his jumper, taking over a thousand shots a day. From all reports, his shot is looking good and he should be able to keep defenses honest this season. He is a pass first point guard, which will be a great asset with KG, Pierce and Ray Allen on the floor to provide the offense, but he can also drive to the hoop at will because of his quickness and this season, he should be able to shoot well enough to keep his defender at home.
In case you need a refresher course in Rondoism, Here is a video to help you out. Experience Rondoism... experience Giddyupidness... and get very excited.