Rajon Rondo is the triple double king of the NBA. Well, six triple doubles during a shortened season make you that this time around, with no one else having more than two triple doubles. A lost art, indeed. But Rondo’s abilities aren’t enough to make the Boston Celtics a title contender in the East ,despite their recent wins.
Rondo shot terribly. Awfully. He finished with 3-16 from the field, 10 points, but also added 10 points, 20 assists and 10 rebounds as the Celtics clawed their way to a 88-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Boston didn’t score for over 3 minutes in overtime, but Atlanta managed only two points in overtime. Rondo is pulling some impressive numbers, including 19 straight games of double figure assists, but Boston’s defense has won them 11 of their last 14 games.
Still, it doesn’t feel like an NBA title kind of team. Although this shortened season has its weird things coming along with it – The Oklahoma City Thunder unable to implement its dominance over the West, with the Clippers, Lakers, Grizlies and Spurs all looking like legitimate threats to the Western crown of late. The Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls’ problems as the season winds down.
It’s been very different for the Celtics in the last couple of season – fading away as the season ended instead of rising. This season was different, and after a terrible start are now 34-24, just like the Pacers and the falling apart Orlando Magic, in the 4-6 spot in the Eastern conference. For everyone in the East except for Chicago, with the best road record in the NBA, home advantage is more than crucial.
And again to Rondo. He is amazing, but he won’t take this team on his back. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce shine from time to time, but aren’t consistent offensively. There’s no one else to carry the load. If Rondo can’t produce good and solid shooting night in and out in the postseason, and I don’t believe he can, this isn’t a team that can topple the Bulls. Maybe the Heat at their current situation, but I doubt it. Rondo just doesn’t have what Rose, Paul, Westbrook and Williams have in the scoring department.
It’s great seeing a team playing this kind of basketball, this kind of defense. The best in the league at the moment, better than the Heat, Bulls and Thunder. But it’s a phase, a trend, a fading thing. Rondo’s assists are impressive, but won’t win them an NBA title in yet another year as this crew under Doc Rivers tries to pull through. Not enough trustworthy firepower from the bench. Not enough talent on the offensive end.