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The Celtics lit up the winless Detroit Pistons last night, 109-86, but that wasn’t the real story of the night. All eyes were on point guard Rajon Rondo and his borderline flawless 17-assist, zero turnover performance. Uh, ya. We said 17:0 … that is just ridiculous. To put things in perspective, the Pistons' team collectively tallied 13 assists. Tack on 9 points and 4 steals and you can see why Pierce commented that Rajon had “the perfect floor game”.
Rondo entered the game, coming off of last Friday night’s triple-double performance (the 5th in his career) against the NY Knicks, as the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. RR had an astonishing 24 assists, 10 points and 10 rebounds in the 105-101 Celtics’ win. By the end of that game, he had tied John Stockton for the best three-game start in NBA history with 50 assists (a feat never accomplished in Boston before). He became only the second player in League history to rack up 24 assists in addition to a triple-double (the first was Isaiah Thomas) and he earned a spot in Boston’s record books with the second-highest single-game assist total (behind Bob Cousy, who dropped 28 in 1959).
Through four games of play, Rondo has averaged 10.3 points per game, 5.5 rebounds per game and 16.8 assists per game. With a total of 67 assists thus far, he is the clear leader in the League in that category. Trailing, in a distant second, is Jason Kidd with 42 assists (also through 4 games).
Rondo has been making it look easy with behind-the-back dribbles, faked passes and no-look dishes – it’s no wonder no one can stop him. An intelligent player, Rondo benefits from his ability to think ahead and see the court with an uncanny vision for where players will move as the play develops. He is capable of responding instantly when challenged, allowing for an organic style of play to develop on the court. According to John Hollinger (ESPN’s basketball stat turbo-nerd), Rondo is “on par for a career high usage … destined to average close to 40 minutes a game”. He went on to assess that “if Rondo was going to bust out, this would seem to be the year”.
My only reaction to that last statement is “ … and then I found $5 …”. Good Lord, guy. People actually pay you for that kind of ‘no-shit’ assessment? I mean, sweet that he made your “All-Breakout Team” list this season but I don’t think your saying anything that a drunk fan stumbling down Canal Street after a home game couldn’t tell you.
The 3-1 Boston Celtics return to action tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Garden. Hopefully C’s fan will be in for another 48 minutes of the Rajon Rondo show. Keep an eye on Paul Pierce as well, as he is just 23 points away from his 20,000th career-point milestone.
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