The Boston Celtics won in 2008 because of the trio that became known as The Big 3. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen are all possible future hall of famers. However it is Rajon Rondo, the young kid from Kentucky, that seems to carry the fate of the Celtics in this year's NBA Finals.
In 2008 he was a weaker option on the Celtics championship team. He was young and inconsistent, but he showed potential talent. That talent is now unmistakable. Rondo now must be considered an elite point guard of the NBA. He is among Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Steve Nash.
He has been the key to Boston's success in the 2010 playoffs. The all out hustle that he plays with produced some amazing plays against the Magic. He was so good against the Cavs that LeBron James himself demanded that he guard Rondo. Nothing has stopped him.
It is hard to imagine the aging Derek Fisher doing what Jameer Nelson, LeBron James, Mo Williams and others could not. If the Celtics win a championship this year, Rajon Rondo will be the Finals MVP. If he does not have that kind of series, it will not go the Celtics way.
Kobe, Ron Artest, Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol provide tough assignments for Boston, but Rondo gives them a undeniable advantage at point guard. If Kobe demands to take over the defensive assignment as LeBron did, then Ray Allen will be ready to make the Lakers pay.
Rondo will need to show the ability to force turnovers and score on the break as he has all season. His play can elevate the game of the other 4 players on the floor. He demands defensive attention, leaving any one of the big 3 for the open shot.
If the Lakers find a way to do what nobody has so far, stop Rondo, they will win. Either way this series will be determined by the play of a young guard who was along for the ride two years ago. Rajon Rondo is ready to win one of his own.