5 Reasons We Should Expect a Huge Season from Star PG Rajon Rondo
Rest assured, he will grace the game with his greatness in the 2012-13 season.
Whether it's his skill offensively, clutch free-agency acquisitions in Jason Terry and Courtney Lee or 2012 quality playoff basketball, as of late Rondo is truly showing the world what he's made of. The best part is, Rondo is only getting better.
His top-notch postseason had the Celtics up 3-2 over the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals, and it will take that experience to get this team over the hump next season.
These are the five reasons why Rondo is in for one of the most productive seasons of his career.
The Doc Rivers State of Mind
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Doc Rivers might be a leader on the sidelines, but he also played point guard and has been essential to Rajon Rondo's career.
Time and time again Rivers has made it a point of emphasis that Rondo needs to attack the basket and play fearlessly. He isn't the greatest free-throw shooter, but it is still integral for Rondo to utilize his quickness and get to the rim to put pressure on opposing defenses.
According to an ESPN.com piece by Chris Forsberg, Rivers is a firm believer that this is the guy to lead this team going forward, and continues to voice this to the public. There is no doubt the support for this star is there.
"They understand Rondo is the leader of the team. Everybody else plays with Rondo. Kevin is still a great player. Paul is still our best scorer. They've kind of gotten out of each other's way with roles."
For Rivers to continue to drill this into Rondo's head and allow him the freedom to guide the troops is exactly what will help Rondo have a tremendous 2012-13 campaign.
Jason Terry-Courtney Lee Combo to Work with
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The Boston Celtics were able to acquire two fantastic scoring threats at the shooting guard spot in efforts to relieve Rondo's offensive responsibilities.
This is not to say Rondo shouldn't step up the scoring, but he will have the help offensively in both the starting and bench rotations.
Avery Bradley is a tremendous asset defensively and proved himself to be a solid scorer last season, but Courtney Lee and Jason Terry are certainly more solid in this regard.
Lee averaged 11.4 points per game in just over 30 minutes per contest, and Terry was the fourth-best scorer off the bench last season.Terry's 15.1 points in just 31.7 minutes per game were certainly impressive. He is a clutch scoring threat who can beat his defender from three and attacking the cup.
Rondo will need this added versatility and offensive boost to help lead the Ray Allen-less Celtics next season. Yet the truth is, these two may very well better serve this Celtics team than did Allen last season.
Kevin Garnett Remains a Celtic
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Keeping Kevin Garnett in green and white was easily the most significant move off the offseason for these Boston Celtics.
"The Big Ticket" stepped up his game during the second half of the season, and it had a direct affect on both Rondo's game and the Celtics' season. Prior to the All-Star break, a stretch where Garnett had just nine double-digit rebound games, the Celtics were just 15-17.
Following the slump to start things off, Garnett followed that with five double-digit rebound games in his first eight back from the weekend, and helped Boston to a 24-10 record to close out the season.
Talk about an impact.
He is the leader of this team defensively and has helped Beantown boast a top-five defense each of the last five seasons. With Garnett suiting up next season for the team, expect just as strong a defensive unit as ever.
Showing Glimpses of Scoring Greatness
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It's a photo that perfectly resembles the Game 2 of epic proportions against the Miami Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals.
It was as if Rajon Rondo was the only player out there for the Celtics, scoring a game-high 44 points and 10 assists while also cashing in eight rebounds and three steals.
He shot a remarkable 16-for-24 from the field and hit both of his three-point attempts. He was taking tough mid-range jumpers and hitting them when given the room. And the performance came at no surprise, either. He averaged a whopping 20.9 points per game against Miami and posted four games with at least 21 points.
There is no doubt Rondo is on the rise scoring-wise, and it will certainly come in handy when the rest of the team is failing to hit shots.
Only Becoming a More Dominant Passer
He is improving in his passing game with each season, and has now officially claimed the top spot in this area.
Rajon Rondo led the NBA in assists per game in the 2011-12 season after recording an outright impressive career-high 11.9 assists per game.
But the mind-blowing part about last season was how he ended the campaign. Rondo posted 39 double-digit assist games in the final 42 he played, including the playoffs. Twenty-four of them came in consecutive games.
Rondo's game is predicated on the way he helps others around him get better at what they do. His ability to facilitate an offense and get others to fulfill their roles exceptionally is what makes this talent so unique. This particular talent is criticized for his lack of scoring, but in reality it is the one part of his game that isn't as vital to his team's title chances.
When Rondo is at his best, so are these Celtics. And when Rondo is passing the ball, he is undoubtedly producing his best basketball.