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Celtics Can’t Win A Championship With Rondo

Before Danny Ainge orders the 17th championship banner to lift to the Garden rafters, he might want to address the point guard position.

Currently, the Celtics plan on entering the season with Rajon Rondo at the point with Eddie House and second rounder Gabe Pruitt as backups.

I like Rondo, but he isn’t ready to lead a veteran-laden team to the second round of the playoffs, let alone an Eastern Conference Championship. Rondo is a great dribbler, a good passer and a good defender. The problem is he can’t shoot a lick. It got to the point last season that Celtics commentator Tommy Heinson went crazy when Rondo hit a mid-range jumper with nobody within 5 feet of him.

All I have heard is how with all the shooters on the Celtics, Rondo just has to worry about passing the ball. Unfortunately the NBA doesn’t work that way. When you have two guys on the court that can’t shoot a lick (I’m referring to Kendrick Perkins as well), defenses will find a way to shut your team down. It may not happen in the regular season but it will happen in the playoffs.

To his credit, rumor has it that Rondo has been working tirelessly on his jumper during the offseason. Hopefully, Rondo comes back this season able to hit a foul line jumper, but if not, where is the backup plan? Eddie House can’t dribble, and Pruitt hasn’t shown anything yet. Delonte West would have been a great fit for the remodeled Celtics with his smart play and ability to hit open shots. Unfortunately, he’s in a Sonics uniform.

With a limited window to win a championship, can the Celtics afford to bet the farm on Rondo?

So what do you all think? Can Rondo handle major minutes and lead the Celtics back to the playoffs?

Ballhype: hype it up!

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  1. 31 Comment(s)

  2. By JL on Aug 20, 2007 | Reply

    Joe — awesome post. Rondo is definitely a weak spot, and the C’s really don’t have any cards to play to get some help this year. They’re just going to have to make the best of it.

  3. By greenlove on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Rondo will do just fine.

    The points he makes off of steals and drives pushing the ball will make up for his shot and his shot when wide open will be good enough to require some defense.

  4. By IJMcG on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    I’m willing to bet Rondo has spent more time working on his jumpshot this off-season than any other player in the NBA. So let’s not write him off just yet.

  5. By kozlodoev on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply


    It’s not like there is any point reinventing the wheel. Rondo isn’t Reggie Miller, we knew that this time last year.

    My opinion on the issue? “The rumours of my death are strongly exaggerated”.

  6. By Joe on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    My point was not to write him off but to get him some support. My second point was that they traded away the support he needed in Delonte West.

  7. By Joe on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    His shot when wide open was not good enough last season. Defenders were playing 3-5 feet off of him and he could not hit the shot.

    Secondly, are the Celtics really going to be running up and down the floor with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kendrick Perkins? I know that’s the plan but I just don’t buy it.

  8. By SPACELAZER on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    picking up cassell for the min after hes cut will probably help

  9. By steve on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Rondo is better than you think. His outside shot isn’t great, but he’s a scorer. He’s exceptional when driving to the basket, and fantastic in fast-break situations. And anyone can learn to shoot midrange. In last-shot situations, Ray Allen can play point, and Reggie Miller can play the 2. And Rondo’s defense is much better than his offense.

    Everyone loved Delonte at the point, becuase he could shoot ok, but he was a nightmare at the point becuase he can only dribble & drive with one hand. Delonte’s inability to move with the ball was a bigger problem than any Rondo has at the point guard position. Delonte is a 2 guard.

  10. By rockinrondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    I think the Spur’s have done very well with a certian point guard who “could’nt shoot a lick” his first few years in the NBA. I think they won a championship with that point guard. I am a huge KY. wildcat fan, and never miss one of their games, and I can tell you that Rondo always hit the big shot, he won several games on last second three’s. I think with all the work he has put into his jumper this summer, and with the added confidence from playing with the big three, IMO, Rondo will be fine, and with his speed and handle, if he can shoot 40-45%, watch out! How many point guard’s can stay in front of him, and keep him out of the paint?

  11. By rockinrondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Great point, Steve. West was like having a one armed point, he was no more than a backup two guard. I loved his passion and hustle, but he WAS NOT a point guard. I agree Rondo can drive (left or right) to the basket as well as anyone in the NBA.

  12. By rockinrondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    I think Tony Parker is the perfect player to compare Rondo to. Rondo’s sophomore year at UK, he averaged 11.2 pts. 6.1 reb. 4.9 ast. 2.0 st. with a .482 fg%. Last year (rondo’s rookie) in the last five games when he was getting starter min.38 per ga., he averaged 13.8 pts. on .511% from the field to go along with 3.8 reb. and 5.8 ast. and 2.4 st. and hit .920% from the ft. line. I, for one will take that from my point any day. Tony Parker in 2001 (his rookie) he averaged 29.44 min. 9.16 pts. on .419 fg%, with 3.3 reb. and 4.3 ast. and hit .675% of his ft’s. For the season Rondo made .418% from the field. Tony raised his fg% each year, all the way to a career high of .548 in 2005, but fell back to .520% last year. I expect Rondo to improve his fg% each year. Relax, Rondo will be fine

  13. By Casperian on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply


    I like your TP-comparison,although i think he is a bit mor Kidd-type…

    I believe in 5 years Rondo wil be the face of this franchise.Doing the math for Rondo`s spg on 48 mpg,he was the leagues best stealer,by far.

    What did you all thought about Deron Williams same time last year?(Me included)
    Now he`s on Team USA,and labeled as the PG of the future.PG`s are like good wine,they become better with age…

  14. By Joe on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    I disagree with your analysis of Delonte West. West is a very good shooter and a slightly above average passer. He suffered this season precisely because the Celtics did not have a competent point guard. At the start of the season he was told to be more agressive and shoot more. By mid-year, he was back running the point most nights with Al Jefferson and a collection of stiffs (Pierce was out).

    This wasn’t Delonte’s fault. It was Ainge’s fault for trading for a bum like Telfair. Secondly, it was Doc’s fault for not letting Rondo play earlier. To Rondo’s credit he is 10 times the player Telfair is. He might have actually developed his game some if he played more and had a halfway descent coach.

    West may not be a star, but he’ll be a damn good player once he finishes his rookie contract and signs with a legitimate team. No offense to the Sonics, but your owner is throwing this season.

  15. By OhioGreen on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Just a couple of comments:

    1-if healthly, our big three could play with two blind guys, and not be shut down! Take that back, if all three were doubled at the same time–maybe–of course that would require the opposition playing with 6 guys

    2-G Pruitt hasn’t shown anything yet?? Actually he responded pretty well when given considerable minutes in SL, showing nice composure, a smooth shot, and some explosiveness! Other than SL, when else was he supposed to “show us”?? You make it sound like he’s played half a season with poor results! I really think the kid is going to be a player, with he and Rondo being our PG duo for some time!

    3-as pointed out previously TParker was a horrible shooter when he first came into the league, and is decent now. He and Rondo are IMO, basically the same player, with RR being better on D, and Tony better at taking it to the hole. Let’s see what RR is doing when he, like Tony, has been in the league for five years.

  16. By rockinrondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Great post, OhioGreen. I think Pruitt will be a solid backup to Rondo, for many years. He showed very well in short min. in SL. I know it’s just SL, but what else can we judge him on other than college?

  17. By rockinrondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Hey Joe, (love that song) don’t get me wrong, I love west and will miss him. I just don’t think he is a point guard. If you think West would have been a better last year if Doc had played Rondo earlier, then how can you say “the Celtic’s can’t win a championship with Rondo”? I also bet you didn’t think, Rondo was, 10 times the player Telfair was at the start of last year.

  18. By rockinrondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Sorry, I ment, been a better player last year.

  19. By Freeease1 on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    I bet on rondo over west who coulc not distribute the ball or guard the ball effectively. I admit we need a veteran point guard but west was no way the man. that is why he is in seattle and rondo is still in green.

  20. By stillaceltsfan on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    If the Celts don’t win the East this year it won’t be Rondo’s fault. With Allen, Pierce, and Garnett, they should be able to overcome their other shortcomings. If not, Danny and Doc should be fired immediately.

  21. By BillC15 on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Idiot post. It is small minded to factor in only outside shooting as your criteria for a point guard. For a shooting guard perhaps but of course that will not be a problem with Ray Allen, the best shooter in the game, at that position. Rondo can play defense and rebound with the best of them. He is lightning quick driving to the hole. If he needs to get a shoot of simply pass to Ray and he can shoot for him.

  22. By Joe on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    RockinRondo, I thought Rondo was 3 times the player Telfair was at the start of last year. Telfair was even worse than I imagined because he couldn’t even shoot. I knew from his Portland days he couldn’t pass or defend.

    I questioned Rondo’s shooting AND passing before the season. I was 100% right about his shooting and 100% wrong about his passing.

  23. By Rajon Rondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    I can shoot now

  24. By steve on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    you celtic fans are crazy. i would be ecstatic about my team if i had any 2 of the 3 superstars you guys have on your roster. your team is gonna stomp thru the east with minor setbacks at most. look at what you got. on every level it is a perfect fit on the court and off (basketball and character/ego’s)……… its absolutely perfect. all 3 of these guys have done it all except win a ring, and all 3 have been close (took teams to conference finals)…. all 3 been top 10 for mvp, all 3 are in their prime and the next 4 or 5 years that team is gonna be SPECIAL. ON EVERY LEVEL. YOU LUCKY NEGATIVE BASTARDS DONT DESERVE IT. but im happy for ray paul and kevin cuz they sure do deserve it. all the loyalty theyve shown in their careers is paying off now bigtime. 3 franchise players that are great players and greater people. you may not win a title year 1 but you’ll come close (win the east), and definitely win at least 1 ring in the next 5 years that your celts will be a powerhouse. you’ll probably win it in year 2 when the roster is filled out around these 3 amazing players. (i cant believe how perfect of a fit it is on the court with those 3. all elite at their positions and complement each other beautifully)….. im rooting for ray kevin and paul…. thats why i will also be rooting for your celtics on league pass.

  25. By steve on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    joe why wouldnt they run? theyre not gonna be phoenix by any means but that lineup can definitely run. only perk i see havin trouble with that but he’ll be fine hard as he supposedly works…… you guys are insane. do you know how happy i would be if my bobcats landed ray allen kevin garnett and paul pierce?

  26. By steve on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    west is a backup at best. thats all he is. an undersized backup 2guard that can only go left. he makes the most of his potential, and i love him for that…. but that is all he will ever be.

  27. By steve on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    stillaceltsfan why the hell would danny be fired? he is most likely gonna win executive of the year….. if they underachieve its doc that will be fired. definitely not danny, he did an unbelievable job for you guys. best job of any gm in the nba by far. look at whos on your team right now compared to when he took over. he did all that and kept pierce thru it all. kg, ray and pierce. WOW. danny got a job for a long time hate to be the one to break it to ya…… doc on the other hand youre right about if they dont make it to the finals (which they should easily do).

  28. By Joe on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Umm Steve, have you watched Celtics basketball over the last 5 years. There aren’t too many of us, but the real Celtics fans who have watched this team through thick and thin deserve a winner.

    Not only did we have to deal with M.L. Carr and Rick Pitino, but the one year we had a good team (losing to the Nets in the Eastern Conference Finals), Celtics owner Paul Gaston destroyed our team. He traded for a washed up alcoholic in Vin Baker and then let the rival Nets sign Rodney Rogers who was a perfect fit for Jim Rogers 3 point-thon offensive system. Oh yeah, who did we trade for Rodney Rogers? That would be Joe Johnson. It was alright though. Who needs players like Joe Johnson or Chauncey Billups when you have Wally Sczerbiak?

    I will save my rant about watching Doc Rivers coach for another column.

  29. By Joe on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Sorry that’s Jim O’Brien, wrong decade.

    I believe the Celtics will have trouble running with Perkins, Allen and Pierce on the court at the same time. I can see them running when Tony Allen checks in. That way Pierce can trail the play and shoot open 3’s. He did that a lot last season.

  30. By rockinrondo on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Steve, I was going to rebut some of the unreal posts on here, but I think you summed it up quite well. I could’nt have said it better, and I’ve been a celtic fan for nearly 30 years.

    PS, are you sure your not a Celtic fan?

  31. By Billy R on Aug 21, 2007 | Reply

    Rondo and others will hit open jumpers, I’m sure of that. I mean, really, it’s not that hard to learn esp with some focus over the off season.

    Here’s what we need to seal the deal, a defensive point guard. Tyronn Lue is available and should be brought on board, ASAP. That’s effectively, a two man rotation with Lue as the perimeter showstopper for the opponent’s transition game which translates into fewer Q3 comebacks and allows us to perform at our best during the final 8-10 minutes of the game when the big three plus Rondo/Perks have their A game on. Otherwise, we’ll have a sluggish final quarter where defenses will continually break up pick ‘n rolls with KG-PP or PP-RA and essentially, bring the team to its knees.

  32. By Dave on Aug 28, 2007 | Reply

    Ridiculous. To complain about Rondo’s J, then to mention West as a point guard? I loved West, but he was a horrible point guard. He would just give the ball to Pierce at the 3pt line.

    Anyone can rant and spew generalizations withour data. But when we look at winners like Parker and Kidd, we see that passing from a PG can be sufficient to win.

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