Without Paul Pierce, the Boston Celtics have a decent look into the future of the franchise. Rajon Rondo (30 points, 3 rebounds, 15 assists, 11-18 shooting, 7-9 from the line), looked to be a man on a mission to rebut his late game free throw misses in the Celtics loss to the Clippers a night earlier.
Rondo, in the last three outings, has given Celtics fans a glimpse into the post big three era. He seemed to be doing everything, even hitting a buzzer beating three pointer to close out the third quarter last night.
Combining 30 points and 15 assists is certainly newsworthy as Rondo shared the ESPN headline with, none other then, Kobe Bryant today. Both players dominated opponents yet both player's couldn't do enough to avoid their team's loss.
Rondo, who's perimeter shooting has drastically improved over the last ten games (40 percent from 15-20 feet, 57.7 percent overall), is now taking more of a offensive leadership role with the team and it couldn't come at a better time. Paul Pierce is out for (at least) another week with his knee infection and that leaves Boston with a lack of offensive player's who can create their own shots.
Rondo is the lone starter who is consistently able to do so and he has successfully accepted the challenge. Rondo has averaged 22.3 points, shooting nearly 52 percent (27-52) and averaging 6 rebounds and nearly 10 assists since Peirce's exodus-- can anyone say all-star?