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Rondo Riles, Reminds in Return to Boston.
- Updated: January 3, 2015
Leave it to the enigmatic accidental star point guard Rajon Rondo to rock Boston’s boat upon his return to the land he ruled for 8 and a half seasons. First the big show.
Rondo rolled on the parquet court he once ruled. Lighting up his former mates for 29 points (12-19 shooting including a crazy 5-7 from 3pt land where he’s a career .261 shooter) 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Here witness his magic for yourself.
That was memorable but his words at the morning shoot around? Well, let’s call this the neb-NBA’s “Boston Say-WHAT! Party”. THIS is the quote heard round the roundball realm, at Friday’s shoot around prior to Rondo’s much-anticipated first game back since he was traded to Dallas on December 18th.
“I haven’t played defense in a couple years,” Rondo said. “I’ve been able to hide a lot with Avery Bradley on the ball. He’s helped out, the young guy. But [in Dallas] they expect me to play defense and, in the West, if you don’t play defense you’ll get embarrassed every night at the point guard position.”
Well that’s what those who’ve watched the Celtics in recent years have speculated. Once Boston ceased to be a contender, Rondo ceased to push himself on the “stop side” of the court. He’s certainly doing it in Big D. After Friday’s win in Boston the Mavs are 5-2 since picking up Rondo AND the Mavs D has dipped 4.5 pts (per 100 possessions) in those 7 games. Boston’s defense to no one’s surprise has also improved since RR bounced. The Celtics defensive rating has bumped up, from 16th to 6th in the numbers prior to Friday night’s loss to Dallas.
7 weeks shy of his 29th birthday the Mavs are getting (assuming they can sign the free agent-to-be to a new deal) a point guard who when he pushes himself, is among the elite at his position. His length and uncanny anticipation in the passing lanes helps make him a tough defender at the point position. The Mavs no doubt envisioning a Rondo-Tony Parker matchup come playoff time. Or Chris Paul, or Steff Curry, or Russell Westbrook or Damain Lillard. You get the picture. Like Rondo says “In the West,if you don’t play defense you’ll get embarrassed every night at the point guard position.”