So many Celtics fans probably have noticed that Rondo has fallen off the wagon significantly in the past 2-3 seasons. It all started with that ACL tear back in 2013 that more or less was the first step in dismantling the Big Three. He then came back and was not quite himself, with his scoring and assists going down noticeably. Some attribute this to the injury and some to the fact that he wasn’t playing with All Stars anymore.
Many have pegged him as the type of player who is only successful with All-Star teammates. I personally think it is more likely the ACL tear because he played with a great Dallas team this past season and his stats suffered as well as the team's overall play. After being traded to Dallas this season, the Mavericks went from being contenders to barely making the playoffs and a .500 team with Rondo at the helm. I personally witnessed them get ousted by the Phoenix Suns in a December regular season game at US. Airway Center in Phoenix.
Rondo was benched from the playoffs after many altercations with head coach Rick Carlisle and is currently with the Sacramento Kings on a one-year deal, where careers go to die. Despite the recent shortcomings, Rondo was once on the cusp of greatness. He came up short for several reasons and now we have his replacement in Marcus Smart, the second year point guard. Smart, unlike Rondo, will become great and stay great and there are specific reasons for this.
1. Size and Physicality: This one is a no-brainer. Smart has three inches on Rondo and about twenty pounds. Having a 6’4 point guard is a major advantage in this league. It gives a size advantage on offense and defense. He would personally be able to dominate Rondo on both ends of the floor with his size alone.
2. Shooting Touch: Smart may not be Ray Allen, but he doesn’t need to be. He has a decent three point shot and his mechanics are at a point where he can improve. Rondo had and still has a broken shot and that is why his shooting has been terrible for his whole career.
3. His attitude: Although we have seen some fiery moments out of him, ultimately Smart is much more coachable than Rondo ever was. Doc Rivers was able to keep Rondo at bay, but Rick Carlisle was not and that clearly cost him anything close to a respectable contract. Smart’s superior attitude will play a major role in becoming a great NBA point guard.
By Spencer Roush @Spence_BBS