“Is Rajon Rondo a player you can build your team around? Or should the Celtics look to trade to rebuild for the future?”
-Jared (Clinton, MA)
To answer both questions, yes and yes.
There is no denying that Rondo is arguably the best point guard in the league right now. If you do not believe me, a quick glance at his stat line might convince you otherwise.
In 20 games this season, the 26-year-old is averaging 12.9 points, 12.1 assists, 5.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 37.9 minutes per game. Furthermore, he is shooting at a career-high 51.1 percent from the floor.
Among point guards, Rondo leads the field in shooting percentage, rebounds, assists and double-doubles (14). He also ranks fourth in steals.
Who would not want to build a team around a player like Rondo?
Sure, he might have a few random bouts of immaturity and attitude problems to deal with—most recently his bout with Kris Humphries in defense of Kevin Garnett. But who doesn’t have those sort of issues at the age of 26?
Besides, compared to other players who are at the center of their teams, such as Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony, Rondo comes off as an angel.
But while Boston should definitely stick to building around Rondo, that doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t look to trade to bring in one more superstar.
If you look at the other elite point guards in the league, Russell Westbrook has Kevin Durant, while Chris Paul has Blake Griffin.
Who does Rondo have? Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce?
Yeah, maybe back in 2008. But with both players in decline, and on the wrong side of 30, the Celtics need to look elsewhere to bring in that second superstar.
Rondo cannot do it alone.
“Does the defense get any better once Avery Bradley is healthy?”
-Matt (Boston, MA)
Yes, no doubt about it.
The Celtics are currently struggling to find an identity on the defensive end of the floor this season.
Through the first 14 games of the season, Boston went 8-6 and ranked No. 22 in the league, allowing opponents an average of 100.1 points per game. During that span, the team gave up 100-plus points seven times—a feat they only allowed opponents to accomplish nine times all of last season.
During the team’s next six games, the Celtics seemed to figure things out, allowing opponents an average of 88.7 points per game. Surprisingly, the team was only 3-3 during that stretch.
In their past three games, Boston has returned to their old ways, allowing opponents an average of 103.6 points per game. After going six games without giving up 100 points, the team has given up 100-plus in each of their last three.
The Celtics currently rank No. 16 in the league, allowing opponents an average of 97.9 points per game. Furthermore, Boston ranks No. 19 in opponent field goal percentage (45.0 percent) and No. 17 in opponent three-point percentage (35.0 percent).
Bradley’s presence will surely aid the defense.
With Bradley on the court last season, the Celtics ranked No. 2 in the league in defense, allowing opponents only 89.3 points per game. During the 28 games that Bradley started, opponents only managed 84.7 points per game.
Those five points could have been the difference between the team’s current 12-11 record and a possible 16-7 mark.
Then there is Bradley’s excellent perimeter defense.
His on-ball defense would allow far less dribble penetration from opposing guards. Which in return would limit the amount of time the big men would have to rotate, thus eliminating some of the costly points in the paint that the Celtics have been giving out like candy as of late.
While Bradley’s return definitely gives fans much to be optimistic about, a patient approach is suggested. After missing seven months of playing time, it will take the youngster a while to get reacquainted to the flow of the game.
But once he does, watch out.
Also check out: 4 Players the Celtics Must Pursue Before the Trade Deadline
Comments, suggestions or just want to get your question posted in next week's edition? Just send them along to Sebastian on Twitter at @SP7988