Rajon Rondo: Evaluating His Season and Looking Forward to Next Season
Over the next couple of weeks, I will be grading every player while also looking forward to next year with what they need to improve on and what to expect from them next season. We will start with the point guard: Rajon Rondo.
Every year, especially in the playoffs, Rajon Rondo improves in every aspect of his game. This year was no different, as he elevated his scoring and more importantly, he improved his passing so much so that he was mentioned in conversation with the likes of Bob Cousy and Magic Johnson.
At times, he looked like he could be the league's MVP, particularly in the playoffs. His 44-point, ten assist, eight rebound and three steal performance in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals was one of the best playoff performances in a losing effort, ever.
As a whole, his season was filled with many memorable performances in which he filled the stat sheet, including more triple-doubles than any other player in the league.
However, just as much as he was prone to have great games, he was also no stranger to some poor performances. Usually, he was good at passing the ball, but during some games he would be unable to put the ball in the hoop.
All in all though, it was a great season for Rondo, especially in the playoffs. There, he gave the Celtics all he could, which was almost enough to earn them a Finals berth.
What he must improve on for next year?
What is you grade for Rajon Rondo?
For Rondo, this is always an easy answer--improve his jump shot. More specifically, he needs to get a better mid-range game. At times, he could hit from 15 feet, but for the most part, his shooting just wasn't consistent enough.
If he can improve his mid-range shooting to at least the point where he hits half of his uncontested jumpers, then he will be a drastically different offensive player. First of all, it will allow him to score more, both by hitting the jumpers, and by being able to drive more easily with defenders playing him closely.
Also, with defenders having to play him straight up, they won't be able to sag off and help so easily. Therefore, the Celtics offense will also greatly benefit from a sharp-shooting Rajon Rondo.
In between this season and last, Rondo did make some improvements in his shooting game. During this off-season, he will need to again polish his mid-range game.
Expectations for next year:
Like I said earlier, Rondo ups his game every year. I completely expect to see similar improvements for next season as well.
Of all the elite players in the league, Rondo has by far the most room for improvement, and the most potential. What other great guard can't hit an open 15-footer consistently? Think about it, Rondo scored 12 points a game in the regular season and 17 points a game in the playoffs with virtually no jump shot.
You add a jump shot to his game and you have a scary good scorer. And did I mention that Rondo is the best passer in the league?
So at best, Rondo will come back with a reliable jumper and take the league by storm with both his scoring and passing. Worst case scenario, Rondo makes no improvements, and remains only a decent scorer while an elite passer.
And really, what are the odds that a driven player like Rondo makes no advances in his game?
Rondo will come back better than ever, especially if his favorite target Kevin Garnett returns, and at this time next year, we may be talking about Rajon Rondo as the best point guard in the game.
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