The Boston Celtics have once again opened up a new season with shaky performances, bringing doubt to the fans and analysts on the defense, the role players and the chemistry of the team.
Boston showed improvement in the third game of the season against the Washington Wizards, but many questions still remain about the identity of the redesigned team. The only thing that is consistent and certain is the dynamic star point guard, Rajon Rondo.
One of the biggest complaints about Rondo in the past has been his inconsistency and his tendency to completely disappear on occasion. However, this year has started with an entirely different tune for Rondo, as he has put together the only consistently strong performances each and every game for Boston.
Through three games Rondo is averaging 15.3 points on 55.6 percent shooting, as well as 12 assists with only 2.7 turnovers, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals over 41.7 minutes per game. He has recorded a double-double on points and assists in each of the first three games and has managed to get the entire team involved with his strong passing ability.
Even a controversial flagrant-one foul called on Rondo during the opener against Miami hasn't appeared to affect him, as he has consistently been concentrated and aggressive in each game.
No one doubted that Rajon Rondo would be registering double-digit assists in most games, but Rondo has performed better than many expected by scoring 15.3 points per game.
He is looking to score a lot more than he did last year and his mid-range jumper is no longer inconsistent, forcing opponents to pay much more attention to him at the top of the key. In turn, this is allowing his teammates to find space of their own, and with Rondo managing the offense, the team knows he can get them the ball at any time for a great shot.
The only criticism Rondo is deserving of is the fact that his defense has yet to reach the level that he produced at the end of last year. He has at times appeared to be a bit disengaged and lacked the effort necessary to make the plays early in the game, but it has been improving with each game.
If Rondo can continue to remain a consistent threat to score and orchestrate the offense with the efficiency we have seen so far, the Celtics will be in a great place once the rest of the team starts to come together.
The Boston Celtics may be off to a 1-2 start, but Rondo's consistency and performance suggests that this team will quickly recover and compete at the highest level in the near future.