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post #4541 of (permalink) Old 01-25-2013, 01:19 AM
Real Deal
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Re: Ain't no shame in my game #Barkley

Thanks for all of the positive comments on that write-up. You guys have no idea how much anger I had built up midway through it, lol. What a frustrating season so far.

Regarding Rajon Rondo in Boston...I can't call him a bad defensive player...he's still very good, but he's definitely not as aggressive as he should be, and this became evident when he WAS aggressive in that Game 2 or 3 against Miami last season, when he dropped 44/8/10.

It doesn't happen often at all, though, and that's one of Rondo's biggest faults. I don't look for another 40/8/10 game from him, because those are pretty rare for a point guard...but Rondo's lack of aggression makes it easier to defend Pierce and Garnett in nearly the same exact way Nash's passive play does (although, Nash is nowhere near Rondo now, it still applies because he's still 10 times the shooter).

I watch every game I can, work from home (computer tech and web designer) so I can go through previous games I DVR'ed from League Pass. I'm more of a basketball fan than a Lakers fan...always been that way, so I get to see a lot of these guys, including Boston (who, of course, I see as an enemy, haha).

When I watch the Celtics, I see a grind-it-out team that relies far too much on their defense. This doesn't sound like it's a problem, but when you are a horrible three-point shooting team, and you can't grab o-boards (and aren't that great at rebounding, in general), AND you are efficient, you have to start putting the ball in the hoop more frequently.

Pierce and Garnett aren't going to get to the line as much anymore (Pierce was getting there as much as LeBron about 7-8 years ago, but KG never did get to the line like a superstar should because he's fallen in love with jumpshots most of his career). THAT'S where Rondo steps into that role, to draw fouls driving to the rim, to put teams into foul trouble. He doesn't hit them high enough really wreck a team like Kobe could, but getting opponents in the penalty makes it easy for this top 10 free throw shooting team (percentage-wise) to get to the charity stripe more often.

So, what you have in Boston is a team that shoots mid-range and at the rim well, but gives you little to stretch the court with (Pierce and Terry put up nine threes a night together, but at 35-36% total, which isn't outstanding...teams can live with that). They overpass on some possessions. They don't crash the glass well, especially on offense (and that's tough, if you're taking mid-range jumpers all the time). They don't get to the free throw line much. It's easy to explain why they have trouble scoring.

Defensively, they may be ranked top ten in the league, but it's not that simple. A lot of that is because they force teams to play slower...but their shot defense is still average (both inside and outside of the three), and their defensive rebounding is still bottom half in the NBA, I believe.

It would help to have younger players that contribute. However, I agree with parts of your assessment with Rondo not being aggressive enough. Unfortunately, Rondo has been bred to be a pass-first player that relies on what were three other all-star players to do the scoring, and it may take a complete collapse from Pierce and Garnett for him to finally realize he has to change his focus.

Much like Rajon Rondo, I feel that John Wall will have the same problem. For an elite perimeter defender (Kobe, for example), guys like Rondo, Wall, and Westbrook become easier to defend when they aren't catching fire on their jumpers...and because they aren't great shooters, sometimes hesitant (aside from Westbrook, who thinks he's Durant every now and then), it really puts a cap on what that player can do.

If Rondo ever develops a clean jumpshot, the league is in trouble. People always criticized Jason Kidd for his percentages, but he wasn't that bad of a three-point shooter, and even though he was no Korver, Novak or Nash, he still attempted plenty of them JUST to keep the defense on their toes. It's similar to why Bryant and other elite scorers would continue to shoot, despite a bad night here or there, because if you don't maintain primacy, the defense doesn't have a reason to crowd you, and you struggle to attract defensive attention...which, as a star player, makes you who you are in this league today.

Looking for NBA/NCAA/HS basketball writers. Let me know if you're interested!

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