The only shot Rajon Rondo hit last night was the shot he delivered to Paul Pierce’s temple. And at this point, his offensive production is hurting the Celtics almost as much as nearly taking out the captain.
The Celtics are currently averaging 6 points less per game on offense this year. Their point differential is half of what it was last year. And a huge reason for that is Rajon Rondo’s lack of willingness to take the open shots he was taking last season.
Let me get one thing straight: Rondo is still a defensive menace and he has shown no drop off in his ability to find his open teammates. He’s getting the ball to guys in spots all over the floor where they can finish. But he won’t do that for much longer if he doesn’t show a willingness to shoot.
No one is expecting a string of 20 point games from Rondo, but he’s got to keep defenses honest. At this point, I know every time he drives baseline, he’s just going to dribble straight through and look for the pass. And how many times is he going to get to the rim only to pass out to someone for an 18 footer?
Rajon NEEDS to take shots. One shot in 35 minutes last night is unacceptable. Averaging less than 6 shots per game is detrimental to the team. If he’s truly going to lead this team on the floor, he’s going to have to take more shots to keep the defense from completely sagging off him in the clutch. He’s going to have to take it to the hole and finish a few times so he can draw the defenders away from other players. He’s going to have to start scoring a few points to take the pressure off the Big 3.
I love Rajon Rondo and I think he can be in the upper echelon of NBA point guards. But he won’t do it playing the way he has on offense this season. If he doesn’t start scoring at least a few points soon, he’s going to see his assist totals suffer as teams dare him beat them. He’s got to start burning a few teams to make sure that doesn’t happen.
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