Rajon Rondo May Be Regressing

(AP Photo/Darren Hauck)

(AP Photo/Darren Hauck)

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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27 Responses

  1. to drunk to type last night…… Few things i saw, teams are going to start gaurding rondo like he is eric snow. powe needs the ball more, eddie likes to shoot, TA still looks clueless, sometimes, and scallie looked pretty good (still buzzed why I typed this so may have typos)

  2. I love that you left that comment at 9:30 am. you’re an animal

  3. I’d love to see a little action from Gabe Pruitt, not gonna lie… Doc should give him some minutes, damn!

  4. In my opinion, an dit sure as hell is not an educated one, Both Rondo and Perkins are playing the way the world expected them to play LAST year. 4 shots between the two of them last night in 60 some minutes played. These are starters on the NBA Champions. They need to play like it.
    I know Doc has a ton of patience, but someone is going to have to light a fire under some butts soon. Perkins was an embarrassment against Denver the other night, he only needed a red cape to complete the matador defense with Nene. Rondo looks like it will physically hurt him if he takes a shot. I have to agree that he seems to have really taken a step backwards.

    Both these guys, again in my opinion, are playing like reserves. 6th and 7th men who come in to give a little energy on defense and move the ball some. Not starters for the Champs, who instill some level of fear in the opposition.

    Start House and Powe for a couple games and bring Perkins and Rondo 1 and 2 off the bench.

    Sure we are on a 64 win pace, but everyone else is or has gotten better, and we have (temporarily I hope) gotten worse.



  6. Who can argue with that logic?

    Jp, you’re right about Perk and Rondo playing like they were expected to last year. They’ve had their flashses… but they need to be more consistent.

  7. I think Perk has played better than last year.

  8. Really? I’m not seeing it, really. He’s shown flashes of it, to me, but I haven’t seen it consistently.

  9. nor am I, He is still very Mark West like in his game

  10. In terms of shot-blocking and pick-setting…. and those are the only two things he is paid to do.

    And he still sucks at setting picks, but he’s getting better.

  11. Rondo was taking it to the hole earlier in the season, and he was hitting the deck hard multiple times per game. I think that he is scared of getting hit. Bigs down low are still looking to block his shots when he drives and Rondo has no other option than to kick it out (good think Eddie and Ray are shooting well). He needs to learn how to take it strong and not get hammered.

    At this point, I doubt he’ll ever have an effective jump shot, so taking it strong is his only choice.

  12. I don’t mind the kick outs when he’s drawn defenders, that has a lot of merit. The things that drive me crazy are the times he is open inside of 8 feet and he passes out. I know you have all seen it happen. I know some of my opinion is knee jerk, I was so high on Rondo after last season. I hoped he would have hit the gym shooting all summer. I thought I even read somewhere that at one point Ray was working with him on it. Sure it’s nice to have House, Pierce and Allen to toss the ball too, but he won’t always have them on his team. He better learn to score now. I am willing to bet everyone on the team would like to see 5 more shots a night out of him.

    As for Perkins, no way he is better than last year. He has more minutes, less points, less productive shooting, more turn overs and more fouls. One more rebound per which you would expect from his increased minutes and more blocks, but an extra block every two games is not too exciting to me. Seeing as how as a team we are shooting far worse than last year and are even holding opponents to a lower shooting percent, there are plenty of more rebounds available for our starting center to grab. This last part is purely speculative, but does anyone have a deep down feeling that Perk is actually a bit on the sissy side? Something about watching him makes me think he looks for more excuses than motivation. The game against Denver when he was getting embarrassed, right after he had the ball stripped I remember seeing him poking at his shoulder. Not like a shoulder that is hurting, more like a shoulder that could be hurting and if someone was watching they might see you and say “oh must be his shoulder acting up, that’s why he lost the ball.” Again, just speculation, but you know how sometimes you just get a feeling? Has anyone heard about his shoulder lately? I thought he was 100%.

  13. scal looked pretty strong the other night…maybe he deserves a couple more minutes

  14. The Celtics are gonna be just fine, we are speculating on a much smaller sample and putting it up against the masterpiece that was last year. We are not going to have the same type of year we did last year, only maybe 10 teams in NBA history have had 66+ wins in a season, and I don’t expect it out of them this year. They are still working through some kinks but it’s a long season and we are atop our conference while working through kinks, can you ask for anything more? We’ll be fine!!

  15. Bill-

    I couldn’t disagree more. Rondo came into last year proving so many people wrong by knocking down open uncontested jump shots. It seemed like every time a commentator mentioned it, he’d bury one. I think he ABSOLUTELY can hit those jump shots at least consistently enough to keep the defense honest. He’s just got to do it. It’s like he forgot about the things he was doing last season …

  16. The only bench player I’m happy with is Powe, Big baby needs to stop shooting 18foot jumpers and get his big ass in the paint, Tony allen needs to drive to the hoop like he did early in the season and House just needs to keep shooting cause thats what he is a shooter. I would also like to see Gabe get some time at the end of quarters, he has a lot of promise. Also let see some Walker, I feel like he can make Tony work for his minutes if he can be productive while he’s on the floor.

  17. […] that Bruce Bowen? – Bust a Bucket – Maybe what Greg Oden needs most is some room to breathe. – Red’s Army – Rajon Rondo’s scoring (and shooting) drought has some worried. – The Sports Culture – NBA […]

  18. Personally, I can’t stand his Antoine-esque, one handed flick the ball at the basket shot when he gets close. Do a jump stop and actually use your other hand to guide the ball please. Or use the backboard. Do SOMETHING other than an uncontrolled floater. He could take some cues from Tony Parker, another high-FG%-drive-to-the-hoop-can’t-shoot-3’s PG. I like hyphens.

  19. Perk has been great, except for his foul trouble. All year. Both this year and last year. I can’t believe anyone would criticize his game.

    Rondo has definitely regressed. I don’t know if it’s a coaching decision for him to drive and dish even when he’s wide open under the hoop, or if he’s just gun shy because every time he drives the lane he hits the floor hard.

  20. I’m with you double P, I think this team takes the title again while winning fewer regular season games. The Celtics will be untouchable in May, we’re just doing what Boston fans do best: overanalyzing the shit out of everything.

  21. “we’re just doing what Boston fans do best: overanalyzing the shit out of everything.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

  22. The turnovers on offense are killing us nad part of that has to fall on Rondomore importantly im feeling the Posey effect, it seems that tony isnt gonna get enough minutes and when he gets minutes he is going to suck, the C’s are going to have to find a backup wing at some point where ray ray and pierce wont be dead by the all star break with all the minutes they are playing

  23. Yeah Bill… you might be right. But it’s a story line right now… and we’ve got to cover something.

  24. JP you have got to be kidding me.. Perk on the sissy side?? This is the same guy that played 2 nights after dislocating his shoulder in the championship… the same guy who nearly played an entire season with plantar fashitis(spell check) on a bad team with nothing to gain. You have got to be kidding me.

  25. Could any of his hesitance be traced to the difference in his previous two offseasons?

    Two years ago, Rondo had 2 extra months to practice his jumpshot, this past offseason, although he did show up early, he spent a lot of time celebrating the title.

    Also, having put on 9 or so pounds in his upper body has possibly altered the form of his shot. This is obvious in his free throw shooting as his shoulders and arms are much bigger and stronger so could he still be finding his comfort zone from the field?

    If he shoots from the floor like he does from the free throw line right now, I say keep dishing it. When he starts sinking the free throws, look for more shots.

  26. […] Rondo is clearly a Red’s Army reader.  After looking tentative on offense all year long, we called him out a little… and he responded by shooting 7-11 and scoring 15 points.   Hell of a game from Rondo.  […]

  27. […] the way, on November 16, I wrote Rajon Rondo might be regressing.  At that point, he was averaging 7 points a game and he’d only taken 10 shots once.   […]

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