In basketball, everyone loves stats. It's just one of the few sports where you can get a good indication of what exactly happened in a game, season or career just based on a box score or an individual stat line.
Oftentimes, I have been guilty of overindulging in stats, looking up box scores from long ago or taking another look at Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson's ridiculous stat lines from the 1985-86 season and playoffs.
Now though, instead of looking to the past of statistics, I am going to try to do the near-impossible: predict the future. Over the next couple weeks, I will predict the season stat-line for every rotation player on the Celtics, then back my prediction up with an article.
I will start with the point guard: Rajon Rondo.
(Note: I will not be doing it for players that won't make the rotation like Kris Joseph. If you really want to see my predictions for any omitted player, just let me know.)
Stat predictions for 2012-13 season:
15.5 PPG, 12.0 APG, 5.4 RPG, 46 FGP, 68 FTP
Rajon Rondo boldly appointed himself the best point guard in the league in an offseason interview. Now, he will have to go out and back it up. In order to truly prove himself as the best one in the league, he will need to put up some gaudy numbers.
But as we all know after his huge postseason, this triple-double machine is more than capable of filling up the stat sheet. Really, if he put his mind to it, he could probably come close to averaging a triple-double. Something he not done since Oscar Robertson did it in the 1961-62 season.
Although, I would argue that Magic Johnson technically did it in the 1981-82 season with 18.6 PPG, 9.5 APG and 9.6 RPG (did I mention that I’m a stat nerd?). I was always taught in elementary math class: five and above give it a shove, four and below, let it go. Based on those advanced principals, Magic Johnson did average a triple-double in 1982.
But that’s neither here nor there.
What’s important here is that Rajon Rondo will average just a double-double and account for over half of the Celtics points between his points scored and assists.
He has seen improvements statistically every year, especially passing. Next season will be no exception. He will make a big jump scoring wise (from 12 to 15 PPG) with a hopefully improved mid-range jump shot and continue to take the league by storm with his passing and surprising rebounding ability for a guard.
Along the way, he will again lead the league in triple-doubles (more than even LeBron James) and continue to dominate in prime-time games.
As the on-court leader for the Celtics, his continued dominance will more often than not inspire his teammates and lead the C’s to a lot of wins.
By season’s end, he will without a doubt be the MVP for the Celtics and will even be in the discussion for league MVP. He’s a dark horse candidate sure, but come the end of next season, he will justify himself as one of the best players in the league, point guard or not.