Can the Boston Celtics succeed with Rajon Rondo as the main guy?

Kobe Bryant pointing at Rajon Rondo

Image by Aaron Frutman via Flickr

Just as I feared the NBA decided to keep on its dangerous path of cutting the competing teams down to only single digits. Still making it possible for teams to go after multiple stars and create their own all-star team is going to put some other teams at a real disadvantage and a tough spot. So with that said you now have to look at your favorite team and wonder if they can draw 2 or 3 star players to keep your team relevant and in your state. I am against this move by the NBA because you have 30 teams in the NBA and could have only 5 of them or so will be competing year after year and that will make the NBA boring and more predictable than it already is.

So can Rajon Rondo be the main guy for the Celtics and draw in 2 other star players and lead the Boston Celtics to 18? Can Rondo develop a respectable shot, preferably 3 point shot, and free throw percentage? From the perspective of a shooter, yes he can draw in other players and at least attempt to lead a charge to banner 18. With that being said, can he draw in stars and not just average to above average talent? That I don’t know, it is possible but the chances might be better to draw in highly sought after talent if you had a better scorer at the helm, that way it doesn’t all fall onto their shoulders. As much as players want the ball, more chances to shoot and score and someone who is more than willing to dish it to them, they also want to win. So having a pass-heavy PG on your team puts a lot on the shoulders of the other guys on the team to score and get to the line and do it consistently and efficiently.

So can Rondo develop a jump shot and become a respectable threat to score? Maybe, but he has to work hard at it. The issue now is he is surrounded by Hall Of Famers and might not feel the need to work on it as much as he should and might not work on it until he is “the man” and he is forced to but will it be too late by then? I think of Rondo and I can’t help but think of Jason Kidd and that they are a little alike because both were pass-heavy PG’s who couldn’t shoot but Kidd worked on his shot and has a 3 point shot that has become respectable and one you must defend. Rondo has been worse in his first five seasons at the free throw line than Kidd was and that might be a reason, although Kidd was not Mr. Automatic either in his first five seasons. Rondo’s first five seasons he is about an average of 62% and Kidd was about 68% in his first five seasons. It is possible that he could develop a shot but the questions are always going to be there until he does and the questions hold some value and have weight to them.

The other question is whether or not Rondo was just a product of the Big 3 and not a real talent but I think that is wrong, Rondo is a very talented player and unique and earned his all-star votes. The Celtics are better with him on the team and it would be hard to see him in another uniform but it could happen because Danny wants to be the GM of the Celtics for a long time and waiting for Rondo to eventually develop a dangerous 3 point shot or jumper is just not a risk he might want to take. Would I if I was Danny, wait for Rondo to develop a jumper? No, probably not but I might pull him into my office with Doc and mention that the weight is on him more than ever to become a scoring threat and field calls from teams interested in him. Danny is a smart GM and will do what it takes to win and it sometimes requires trading away players he likes so to try to improve the team.

The thing that you do not want to do if you’re running a team is rent a player by giving up an all-star player. You do not want to trade Rondo to the Hornets for Chris Paul just so Paul can leave Boston next off-season and go to New York and now you are stuck without an all-star player at all. With all the positives and negatives from all of this I think in the end you must keep Rondo and go forward with him for better or worse and see how it plays out. Of course you take calls for him and try to get a young star here to help the Big 3 scoring but you also must remember that Rondo has some great speed and plays better with an open court, running the floor and could be a better PG with young guys surrounding him verses older players. However the Celtics are on the edge of rebuilding and like every other team want Dwight Howard and what is one way to draw him to your team? Chris Paul. Plus if you do grab Howard you almost don’t want Rondo on your team cause now you have two players who are horrible at the line, so do you want 2 out of your starting 5 to be targets for intentional fouls at the end of the game? Definitely not.

Even with all the excitement leading into this season and the potential for some weird and good deals via trade to happen I am still not sure if I’ll watch it. It’s just sad that a team, to stay away from years of mediocrity, has to trade or at least attempt to trade a player who is a very talented star. Current Big 3 getting old? No problem! Trade away the young pieces you have developed and get another Big 3 as soon as possible or be ready for some changes. I don’t know about anyone else but sometimes I forget who some of the other NBA teams are just because they’ve never been a contender, that’s sad.

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Did Albert Haynesworth need to play more?

Tennessee Titans Albert Haynesworth man the le...

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Albert Haynesworth, who was recently released by the New England Patriots, said in an interview that he wished that he played more, practiced more, implying that he could have and that any physical limitation he had were assumed by Bill Belichick and the coaching staff. So who was right? Could Haynesworth play more and have made a bigger impact? Or he is just late in seeing what Belichick already knew?

Well he was right at least about one thing and that’s his time was limited because of all the personnel that the Patriots have at his position. You have Kyle Love, Ron Brace, Gerard Warren, and Brandon Deaderick who all rotate in and play during games and Haynesworth was once part of that rotation. So why the rotation? Not making use of Haynesworth talent? Well you see that’s just it, Belichick did make the most of Albert I believe. The team had to have and will continue to have a rotation at that position and other weaker positions just because, as said, they are weaker. The only difference being that usually it’s 1-2 areas and the rest has a solid, consistent starter covering that area. The Patriots lack that at more than 2 positions so they will continue to rotate talent in and out since the players that fill that position are average to above average talent who have already reached their ceiling. Bottomline is that Haynesworth was wrong, he was just saying what he was supposed to say to the media and selling himself, which is smart for someone who probably doesn’t have it anymore.
As I said, they will always have a revolving door at weaker positions until they can find someone who can stand in and be a solid contributor and be an actual player with a high ceiling. Players like Love, Brace, Warren, Deaderick, and even others in different positions like Rob Ninkovich, Kyle Arrington, James Ihedigbo, and Sergio Brown have already hit whatever ceiling they had in terms of potential and will be needed if they do not have someone who is a real starter. Belichick has missed in the draft a lot and now has to make the best out of his current situation and he has. Haynesworth had some physical limitations and the Patriots got the most out of him.

Did Albert Haynesworth indeed need more playing time to be effective? No. They couldn’t play him more with his injuries and his size. Did Albert want to play more? Maybe, however I don’t think it would have helped or made him better, if anything it would have led to him getting an injury. Honestly what else did you think he’d say in the interview? “No they played me enough and my 3 tackles states what I have left in the tank?” That’s not being a good salesman and he’d be dumb to paint himself that way, so he painted the picture that he did. He tried to take advantage of the Patriots situation with the lack of potential stars, or at least solid starters, that they have and that’s what he does, he did it when he arrived here and will again next season. I believe Haynesworth could be a force in the NFL and a name that would not be forgotten if he just turned up the energy and tried his hardest on every play but he is what he is until proven otherwise. At this point in his career I think I have a better chance of seeing Patriots finish a season 0-16 with Brady at QB than Haynesworth becoming the player he could have been.

Does the new CBA need to introduce a new NBA?

Photo of game between Boston Celtics and Miami...

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The NBA games have become hard to watch and just like the MLB you can pretty accurately predict who will win it all and who will have a tough time. The new Big 3 in Miami just proves the point that small market teams will always have a disadvantage unless this new CBA changes that. What in my eyes makes the NFL so much better than the NBA? It’s because I feel that anything can happen, a small market team can win the Super Bowl and a big market team can go 0-16 cause it’s more equal and more difficult really to get an all-star cast all on one roster. The NBA needs competitiveness so that it creates a stir and creates more change and the feeling that if you don’t watch, you actually might miss something. Instead of now where you can predict that the NBA Finals would probably be Heat Vs Lakers but wouldn’t it be more interesting if it could be any team. You could argue that the smaller market teams could play at the top of their game and come out on top but really, when you have all-star casts running to bigger markets to “play together” it seems unlikely and honestly not appealing. I’m a huge Celtics fan, but I do think it would be nice if for once it’d be more equal, can you imagine if it was a 76ers Vs Grizzles, I know sounds like a yawn fest but with the talent spread out equally who knows who could on those teams.

I find it sad that typically a player does not finish with the team that drafted him, that 5-6 teams dominate the league always, that it seems there is always a high turn over for owners and that means that teams could be moved rather easily, and that the all-star weekend means nothing cause it’s typically Heat/Celtics Vs Lakers/Spurs… it gets boring. A more competitive league means it will be more entertaining and less predictable, which means for me as a Celtics fan that after the Big 3 era I don’t have to worry about another 10 year drought. It could still happen but the likely hood, I believe, goes down if the talent is spread out and it’s more of a competitive league. What NFL fan isn’t happy that finally the Lions and Bills are legit threats? That the Eagles tried to do it the NBA-way and have failed so far? A big market team like the Cowboys can stink? It’s fun to watch the NFL, not so much with the NBA. Take notice Stern cause this is a more important decision than you may know, or maybe you do. A high-octane league with all-stars teaming up in 3’s to join one team may offer more ratings, when and if they actually face each other, but what of those other smaller teams? Who is watching them? Maybe you can hope that by all those big names joining forces will open doors for players on smaller teams to reach that level and soon every team will have multiple all-stars on them, hm, maybe.

I believe that Stern knows what he is doing, he is a smart man and hopefully can make this more fun to watch and not so dominated by the refs. The lock outs that have happened under his reign will tarnish his legacy but the outcome of this one I think will define just how much of an impact it makes, it could be a little side note or it could be the main story. It is not easy to run a league I could imagine and I would not want to be in the shoes of either of the commissioners but I can share my opinion on how to improve them, interjecting a fans point of view. So does the new CBA need to introduce a new NBA? Yes, unless it wants the ratings to stay the same as it is now, maybe even decline a little. Hey, I could be wrong but I think a competitive NBA is a good NBA.