It’s officially his show now. Rajon Rondo is a superstar in his prime, and he’s going to have some new toys to play with when training camp opens this fall. Jared Sullinger. Jeff Green. Jason Terry. He’ll have some familiar faces, too – Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will be there to provide continuity. But above all else, Rondo will be the straw that stirs this drink, the player who makes this team go.
Rondo is alternately unorthodox and unique, and he isn’t the sort of player who fits into a traditional point guard mold. He doesn’t shoot particularly well from the perimeter, and he doesn’t shoot free throws very well, either. And Rondo is also something of a paradox, in that he can fill up a stat sheet while some of his biggest contributions don’t show up in the boxscore. It’s Triple Double Man meets Defensive Irritant.
And for the first time since joining the Celtics, Rondo’s contributions will be absolutely key to how far the Celtics go in the postseason. You could make the same argument this season past, but this season the ante has been upped, and in a big way. Ray Allen plays for the enemy now. The Bulls should have Derrick Rose back for the 2013 playoff push. Any number of other Eastern Conference teams will be standing in Boston’s path to the NBA Finals. Philly is going to be dangerous. Detroit, too. Rondo will need to step up and play even better than he did in this postseason, and to do that he’ll need to play smarter than ever before. He’ll have to control his emotions. He’ll have to get the ball to his new teammates where they’re the most comfortable. Oh, and he’ll be called on to do all of those crazy, spectacularly unbelievable things that he does on such a routine basis.
Not much to ask, is it?
For Rondo, it all comes with the territory of being The Man.