The point guard is arguably the most important player on his team for the simple fact that he's the glue that keeps everything together. As floor general, his stats usually correlate with the success or failure of the team.
Will his stat line in 2012-13 back up his claim to be the best?
As of now, Rondo does not have a true backup point guard this season. For that reason, he needs to be on the court more than the average time. Without him on the court, the offense will have trouble staying organized.
Last season, the veteran Keyon Dooling did a good job holding down the second-string point guard role. He brought the spark of energy to the court that the bench needed. With his departure, they have little to no experience in another floor general.
Former Sixth Man of the Year Jason Terry is the closest person to another point guard until Avery Bradley's mid-season return. Therefore, Rondo's minutes will continue to be high.
Rondo will need to increase his scoring and attack rate in order for the Celtics to remain a top-tier team in the NBA. Most teams back off and give him a lot of time and space to see the floor. If he uses that space to look for his shot a little bit more, it would put pressure on the opposing defense to respect him.
By doing so, more players would be open, especially through his swift penetration to the basket. At this point for the Celtics, they don't have a player who can get them 25+ points per night besides Paul Pierce at times.
Most teams that go the furthest in the playoffs have a dynamic scoring threat, like Oklahoma City and Miami. For that reason, the Celtics have to beat other teams by using smarter, veteran-like and balanced play, which is similar to the San Antonio Spurs style of play.
Rajon Rondo led the league in assists last season, so he will remain in the top five for this category. The addition of Jason Terry will make it a little similar to passing the ball to Ray Allen.
Rookie Jared Sullinger gives Rondo another great post threat besides Kevin Garnett to pass to. Jeff Green's emergence will be very interesting to watch. Green is a slasher who runs the floor and can also spot up and become a deep threat all in one. Paul Pierce will also come through for Rondo also.
With that being said, Rondo's assist rate will be very similar to last season's; at the top he remains.
Rajon Rondo is a great rebounder for his size and position. However, he simply doesn't have to focus on rebounding for the fact that he has strong forces in the paint that dominate the boards, including: Kevin Garnett who averaged 8.2 last season and Brandon Bass who averaged 6.2.
Paul Pierce and Jeff Green can both get you around five to six rebounds per game. Newly acquired rookie Jared Sullinger is a hard-working power forward who will get a good amount of rebounds off the bench as well.
With that being said, Rondo will average a little under five rebounds because his cast will do most of the dirty work.
Rondo will remain as one of the top steals leaders in the NBA. He is a sneaky yet intelligent player who always has an eye for where the ball is. His court vision allows him to do this very well without picking up fouls.
Rondo gets many steals off the help defense when he waits for the center to put the ball down to dribble; once they do that he often picks up steals. Often a big risk, he leaves his man and tries to steal the ball once another offensive player turns his head away and doesn't see him approaching.
Besides Jason Terry, who averages 1.5 steals per game for his career and a healthy Avery Bradley, the Celtics do not have any players who play the passing lane even close to as well as Rondo does.
Rondo can be careless with the ball and had an average of 3.7 turnovers in the regular and post season. He needs to be under control a little bit more and be the great floor general that he is.
Turnovers can be a skewed stat because some turnovers may not have been his fault due to player miscommunication, other players running the wrong play, etc. However, that is still not an excuse.
Rondo will become more efficient because he plays with a chip on his shoulder. He knows he is one of best in his position, but he doesn't get enough credit for his play on the court.