Remember when we were all wondering whether Rajon Rondo could handle being the starting point guard of the new and improved Boston Celtics?
Remember when we were asking ourselves how he'd be able to handle directing the offense with three future Hall of Famers?
Remember when we thought he would be the major question mark in terms of the success of the starting five?
What a difference two years makes.
Rajon Rondo has become the perfect point guard to run the Boston Celtics' offense. He has a pass-first mentality that allows him to get his teammates into the perfect scoring position, while his explosiveness enables him to get to loose balls and drive by defenders in the blink of an eye.
He has become the kind of leader that every team wants from their point guard. He's not afraid to get in the ear of a player that messed up on a play, regardless of that player's stature. Rondo's also not afraid to lead by example, as he gives up his body numerous times a game for the good of the team.
Rondo's teammates have said countless times that he makes the entire team go.
The problem is, the guy needs a rest every once in a while.
And that's where the issues come into play. Boston's been looking for a point guard to back up Rondo since the Big Three arrived and, in turn, have left behind an impressive carnage of backups.
After acquiring Kevin Garnett, the Celtics brought in veteran Eddie House to back up Rondo. They soon realized House wasn't close to a true point, but instead was a guy that you give the ball to and watch him jack it up.
Later that season, they traded for Sam Cassell. He was sort of like House, except he handled the ball more and couldn't shoot it as well.
They drafted Gabe Pruitt in the second round in 2007 and have used him sparingly over the past two seasons, but he hasn't really shown much of anything since joining the team.
Tony Allen, who is more of a slashing shooting guard, was used at the point for brief periods over the past two seasons as well. Unfortunately, the Celtics found out the hard way that Allen has a lower basketball IQ than Paris Hilton, and they abruptly ended that experiment.
This past season, they signed Stephon Marbury after his buyout from the Knicks. He played terribly for the majority of the season as he tried to get back into basketball shape after a year away from the game.
The only player who has had success at the point when Rondo is sitting is Paul Pierce, which is not good for a team that's looking to reduce the number of minutes Pierce plays this season. While Pierce plays a very effective point-forward, asking him to do double duty all season long is going to put a good amount of strain on an already aging body.
So what do the C's do now? Looking at their roster, they have four guys who are classified as point guards: Pruitt, Marquis Daniels, J.R. Giddens, and Lester Hudson.
I'm still not sold on Pruitt as the permanent backup. The Celtics gave him a chance to prove his worth last season, and they felt that a rusty Marbury was more valuable at the position. Now Pruitt's fighting for a roster spot.
Daniels is cut in the mold of Allen, except he's not dumb as a brick. He's a slasher and can get to the basket at ease, but he likes to create his own shot, and he's not much of a facilitator. Besides, Daniels will probably be coming off the bench for Pierce or Ray Allen more often than not.
Giddens and Hudson are unproven. We saw nothing meaningful from Giddens last season and the word on Hudson is that he's more of a combo guard, not the true point guard the C's are looking for.
The Celtics could still find a guy in the free agent market who could step in for 10 to 15 minutes a game while Rondo's taking a breather. Whether it's someone like Tyronn Lue or Brevin Knight, adding a true point guard to a team that's been adding depth to their bench this offseason would help prevent any type of letdown when Rondo heads off for a few minutes.
But I think it's obvious something needs to be done.
It's time to stop the point guard merry-go-round.