With the Boston Celtics' Big Three of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen all appearing to lose a step, point guard Rajon Rondo's new-found offensive aggressiveness will help the Celtics remain competitive.
Rondo, a sixth-year guard who balled at University of Kentucky, has exploded with an offensive killer instinct that hasn't shown up in his previous seasons. Rondo has averaged 26.5 points on 52.9 percent shooting in his first two games this season, which were against strong defensive teams in the Miami Heat and New York Knicks.
This has been surprising as Rondo has never averaged more than 14 points in a season before, deferring more to being a true point guard.
However, Rondo has shown an ability to score, as he has been a career 48 percent shooter.
This new killer instinct has not affected Rondo from being a great facilitator of the Celtics offense. He has dished out 12.5 assists a game, which is even higher than last year's career-high 11.7 per night.
Boston has collected 105.5 points a night, even without top scorer Pierce. This is a testament to both Rondo's scoring and passing abilities.
The Celtics need Rondo to be a big-time scorer if they are going to compete, as the Big Three is showing their age.
Garnett is 35 and has seen his offensive production steadily decline the past three seasons. He is still a strong defensive force, but he can't be counted on as an offensive force he once was with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Allen is 36 and can still score in bunches. However, Allen is also prone to having horrible shooting nights where he will not even break 10 points.
Pierce, who is 34 and the Celtics' leader, is out right now with a heel injury and has also experienced lower offensive production the last few years. When Pierce comes back from his injury, it will be interesting to see how his driving ability will be affected.
With the Big Three slowing down and Pierce with a significant injury, the Celtics need Rondo to keep his offensive firepower on high if they are to compete in a stacked Eastern Conference.