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Posts Tagged ‘Rajon Rondo’

Essay: An Insight Into The Celtics Offense

January 4, 2013 Leave a comment

“Defense wins championships” is the old adage that everyone knows by heart, but a little offense never hurt anyone. The ultimate example of this has been the Boston Celtics, a team that regularly has an elite defense and a terrible offense. In fact, since the Kevin Garnett era started in 2008, the Celtics offensive ratings have ranked like this: 10th, 6th, 15th, 18th, 27th, and, currently, 24th.

An obvious decline has occurred in every season after 2008-09, and many interesting theories have risen to explain the cause. One theory that seems to be growing in popularity is the idea that the emergence of Rajon Rondo has led to the collapse of the Celtics offense. While this sounds reasonable, it seems to be a case of “correlation does not equal causation” in my eyes. Rondo has not exactly helped due to his lack of scoring ability, but the Celtics offensive problems stem from much larger issues. Read more…

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Essay: The Value Of An Assist

November 23, 2012 1 comment

 

The assist. A stat that people usually correlate with good passing and playmaking, its true value seems to have blurred over the years. Due to the nature of scorekeeping and the simplicity of the stat itself, assists are one of the most subjective basic metrics we have. Is a high-assist player a good offensive option? Are all assists worth the same?

Rajon Rondo, the current NBA leader in assists per game (13.3), seems to be a perfect example of how the value of assists seems to have changed. Read more…

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Essay: Gambling On The MVP

October 16, 2012 Leave a comment

On the surface, predicting who will win the NBA’s MVP award is extremely easy. Select a really good player on a really good team, then call it a day. But, unfortunately, as we travel through each new season, a subjective investigation is given to the word “valuable,” and all hell breaks loose. Is it designed to reward the league’s best player? Or should it go to whomever is most important to their specific team—the player most obviously carrying his team towards the playoffs.

If the world we lived in were strictly based on facts and statistics as a means to present logical evidence, the 2012-13 MVP discussion would contain seven players. Here they are, in no particular order: LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, and Andrew Bynum. Read more…

Shook Ankes: Is This A Flop? Or A Sweet Move?

April 25, 2012 Leave a comment

 

A little over a week ago, DeShawn Stevenson put a behind the back dribble move on reigning First Team All-Defender Rajon Rondo. There was nothing special about it—no crazy shoulder juke or undecipherable speed—and yet Rondo, one of the most underrated false manufacturers of contact that the league has, fell to the floor, clutching of all things his head. As he was executing the move, Stevenson appears to steady himself by placing his hand on Rondo’s hip; what followed may or may not have been a gentle push. Nothing strong enough to send a grown man flying, but just a little something to afford him some breathing room. My consensus on the outcome here is that while Stevenson is not known for his ball-handling expertise, Rondo IS known for a) flopping (but mostly on the offensive end) and b) playing hellacious defense. For him to fall over just doesn’t make much sense, and the ultimate result is a non gift-wrapped whistle from the refs, coupled with an embarrassing moment that’s now on Youtube. Shame on you, Rondo.

Analyzing The Anomalous: Rajon Rondo vs. Chicago

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

 

When compiling a list of the league’s most polarizing players, with thoughts based purely on skill and not off the court intangibles, Rajon Rondo must be near the top. If not first, then second or third. The jumper is a tired subject of conversation. His struggles are well documented in that area and he’s become too good of a player to have it outweigh his many strengths when discussing what he does and does not bring to a basketball team. This season Rondo’s great dichotomy has come more from overall inconsistent play. It’s gotten so bad that comparing him to Chris Paul, a player who ALWAYS seems to come through for his team in the fourth quarter, and Derrick Rose, a walking stick of 20 point dynamite (on an off night), has become a futile argument. Still, he’s the most promising triple double candidate since Jason Kidd, and, despite the shafting he received due to missing a few games with that wrist injury, a perennial All-Star in the Eastern Conference.

If I look like a flip-flopper in discussing Rondo’s skill, that’s the entire point. At times he’s GREAT, but sometimes Boston fans are left wondering whether trading him is really such a bad idea.

Let’s look at what he did Thursday night against Chicago. Read more…

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Power Ranking: Sorting The All-Star Reserves

February 8, 2012 1 comment

This week I’ll be ranking who I believe deserves to be a reserve in the 2012 All-Star game. All 14 players, from both conferences, will be lumped together and placed in order—from “totally obvious” (1) to “I guess he could maybe be an All-Star?” (14). Read more…

Essay: Getting Creative With Avery Bradley

January 27, 2012 Leave a comment

Isn’t this nice? Just as the Celtics are left for dead—with Danny Ainge at his desk, knuckles cracked, frantically placing calls all over the country with his heart set on finding a most affordable casket for his beloved Big 3—a mysterious, oft-forgotten adolescent with the borne name Avery Antonio Bradley Jr., pounds an adrenaline-filled syringe deep in their chest, bringing them back to consciousness, and, quite possibly, relevance as a basketball team.

With the game-changing perimeter defender Ainge promised us these last 16 months finally beginning to bloom (we always knew he could act, but ball? Things were beginning to look bleak), all of a sudden the Celtics have a pool full of options. It appears one of them is Doc changing the second unit’s offense to make Bradley more comfortable, but what I suggest is a more radical, pseudo-Wally Pipp situation. Are we discussing the permanent replacement of everyone’s favorite mercurial muskrat, Rajon Rondo? Dear LORD no. What I propose is a bit more creative, and a roster move that could inject exuberance into Boston’s aching extremities. What if the Celtics coupled Rondo with Bradley at the opening tip? What if Ray Allen came off the bench—playing about 5 fewer minutes per game—and became a focal point on the Celtics’ offensively hindered second unit? There are so many obvious negative issues with this scenario, such as a major spacing restriction for Rondo and Pierce’s driving lanes, but let’s forget about those and talk about the big picture positives for a moment. Read more…

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Christmas Day Analysis: Celtics 104 vs. Knicks 106

December 25, 2011 Leave a comment

(Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

First things first. It’s absolutely fantastic to have the NBA back in our lives. Today’s game at Madison Square Garden between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks paints a beautiful, gritty picture explaining why. Heading in, both teams had major questions to answer, and both—one would assume—are poised for a bloody battle over the Atlantic Division’s crown. In what will be a new feature coming to Shaky Ankles this season, here are some quick hit points of interest delivered in the always awesome, easily readable bullet point format. Merry Christmas! Read more…

Essay: The Superstar Swap

December 4, 2011 Leave a comment

A couple weeks ago, at this time, everyone was crying about BRI splits and mid-level exception particulars. Once that ended, and an agreement was made, floodgates were opened, allowing unexpected rumors involving high profile players switching cities to smack us all in the face. The most prominent and reputable rumor so far has Rajon Rondo headed to New Orleans in exchange for Chris Paul. The deal would create ripples throughout the league for obvious reasons, but before it was even made a reality, an obscene number of questions were spawned: Who is the better point guard? Who is the better player? Whose fan base would be happier if it happened? Which team would be more improved? Which GM would come to regret it more? Who would win the deal?

This all appears for naught now, as Paul appears to have his sites set on New York, and would reportedly (I’m beginning to hate this word) refuse to resign in Boston after this season.

What happens if Chris Paul goes to the Celtics? For starters, the way defenses have long challenged a sometimes stagnant Boston offense would no longer work. The basic strategy employed by teams with the proper personnel was to sag off of Rondo, pack the paint, and force him to shoot. Chris Paul’s shot isn’t like Rondo’s in that once the ball is released, people expect it to go in.

It got me thinking about what would happen if some of the league’s great players happened to trade places. Would there be a clear winner or clear loser in each instance? Superstars like these are usually acquired in one of two ways: the draft and free agency. For several key reasons, superstars are rarely, if ever, traded for one another.The primary one being no GM wants to be known as the person who traded Future Hall of Fame member X, no matter what they’re getting in return. (In the case of Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks chose to place all their eggs in one man’s basket, and throw half their roster on a plane to Denver. It’s a prayer that could either end in a championship or a disheveled front office, axed head coach, and all-time fed up fan base.) Superstars are so rare in this league that once a GM has one, he’s probably already begun building around that player’s strengths. A great example here is the Orlando Magic. They acquired three-point shooters, a couple guys who could beat their man off the dribble, and didn’t worry about defense (knowing good ol’ Dwight would act as their very own Beware of Dog sign hanging from the rim). That was their model to win basketball games, and if they dealt him for an elite shooting guard, the kingdom would crumble.

Here are six very intriguing, straight up trades that will probably never happen, but would stop beating hearts if they did. In these hypothetical situations, we’re strictly talking about a one year swap. Pretend these deals were made in a lockout free offseason, obliging the players with plenty of time to blend beside their new teammates with a full, intensive training camp. To halt any confusion regarding what would happen after that one season we’re also looking at this under the assumption that after this year, an ACTUAL nuclear winter captures the NBA and there are no professional basketball games for the next five seasons.

Read more…

Essay: Looking At The NBA’s Salary Scale From A Different Angle

October 28, 2011 Leave a comment

In the grand scheme of what’s altruistically important in life, I believe it’s fair to suggest all teachers, doctors, surgeons, and members of the armed forces should be given financial compensation of equal or greater value to that of which is awarded professional athletes. Their actual impact on human life is indisputably greater, more important, and further reaching. Of course, they don’t (and never will) because the businesses they’re in don’t create the billions upon billions of dollars in gross revenue that the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL produce on an annual basis. They also have an uncountable number of members in their labor force, making each worker’s slice of pie much smaller than that of the athlete. Call it sad. Call it unfair. Call it horribly disproportionate. Call it the real world. Read more…

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