City Sports Report

For Better Or Worse, Rajon Rondo Is A Dallas Maverick

Rajon Rondo

The plight of Rajon Rondo has been one that has been talked about all offseason. Was he going to stay in Boston or go to another team or contender? There were rumors abound as to where he would land. But now we have found our answer as to where he will be. The enigmatic point guard was traded along with rookie forward Dwight Powell to the Dallas Mavericks. In exchange for Rondo and Powell, the Celtics received Mavs forward Brandan Wright, guard/forward Jae Crowder, point guard Jameer Nelson and a combination of  draft picks that includes a 2015 1st round draft pick. Now the drama of where Rondo will or wont be playing is finally over and both the Celtics and Rondo can move forward. But how Rondo fits in Dallas will be an interesting thing to watch moving forward.

Rondo is currently leading the NBA in assists with 10.8 assists per game. To many NBA fans, he plays the position as pure as it is supposed to be played. His assists are things of beauty as he gets the ball to his teammates at the right time to make something happen. Moving forward to Dallas, he will be in a great position to succeed. Whether it be in a halfcourt or uptempo offense, Rondo always seems to find ways to compromise opposing defenses. With the Mavericks, his penetration will make things easier for guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons. Imagine Rondo penetrating the defense and finding Dirk or Chandler on the wing for a wide-open three. With the weapons he has on the Mavericks team, it could be conceivable that he would average more than the 10.8 assists he is averaging now. Rondo will also make C Tyson Chandler an offensive weapon. As many know, Chandler has never been one to star on the offensive end unless it is putbacks or offensive rebounds. In fact, his best offensive year was when he played with Chris Paul in New Orleans in 2007. And that year he was just a guy that caught lobs for the most part. With Rondo in the fold, teams will have to be aware of Chandler because of the vision of Rondo. With Chandler more engaged and a part of the offense a little bit more, that makes the Mavs even that more dangerous offensively. It also makes defenses have to play the Mavs more honestly.

Defensively, Rondo is an upgrade over any point guard the Mavs had on their roster. Rondo brings a level of ball pressure that was not known in Dallas before. With that added pressure on the ball, teams will have issues initiating their offenses. And when teams have issues initiating offense, it makes it harder for them to take advantage of matchups like a smaller Monta Ellis guarding bigger shooting guards. And for the Mavs, they need more defense as it stands right now. Guys like JJ Barea and the previously mentioned Ellis are not known to deter teams from scoring on them at will. But not only does Rondo add that element to the Mavs but he can also help this team rebounding-wise. Rondo has well been known to be one of the best rebounding guards in the NBA. His presence rebounding will help relieve the stress on the big guys to do all the rebounding. Another thing his presence on the boards will do will cause the Mavs to be a team that gets out on the break even quicker. And with that comes easier baskets and less playing against set defensive schemes.

Rondo adds some great things when you think about it. And many have seen this move as one that puts Dallas in the top tier of the NBA’s Western Conference. But like there are pluses to this deal, there are always some minuses. Rondo, for all he does offensively, is a guy that is used to having the ball in his hands all the time. He usually is the maestro of the offense, making sure everyone is in place at all times. But with the Mavs, the guy who has the basketball in his hands a lot is Monta Ellis. You can usually see Ellis running pick-and-roll offense with Dirk and whoever else on the Mavs team. And he usually takes those pick-and-rolls and turns them into points or a beautiful assist. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle will have to be creative in coming up with ways to balance the time that Ellis and Rondo have the basketball in their hands. And when Rondo does not have the basketball, Carlisle has to find some way to keep him involved in the offense, because he is not the greatest of shooters despite all his success. Another offensive issue with Rondo on the Mavs is the pick-and-roll they like to run sometimes. Rondo is a good pick-and-roll player, but teams will start to sag off at times and play under the screen. With that happening, the Mavs offense could be compromised because they would essentially be playing four on five. And that would ruin the flow of the offense completely. The tricky part will be figuring out how to mask the shooting inefficiency of Rondo for the betterment of the team.

As far as defensively, the one thing that Rondo can do sometimes is freelance. That can be a great thing at times when he guesses and guesses right. But when he does not guess right, that can break down your entire defense. Now that may not seem as bad to some people when he misses on his guesses, but think about the pressure he puts on the rest of the Mavs defense. Dirk is not the same guy that he used to be and even then he was not a great defender. And besides the presence of Chandler in the paint, there isn’t much else protecting the rim in Dallas. Guessing defensively will cause him to get in foul trouble and that could mean big issues for the Mavs in game-to-game situations.

But another more than the potential offensive and defensive negatives, there is also the negative of Rondo’s potential attitude. It has been long rumored that Rondo has been a difficult player to get along with in Boston. He reportedly rubbed Ray Allen wrong in Boston and that helped lead him to go to Miami when he became a free agent. The headstrong personality that Rondo displayed while proving to everyone that he was a player in the NBA is the same thing that gets in the way with he and his teammates at times. If I were him, I would be on my best behavior going forward. He is entering a contact year and plenty of money is on the line. If he is to have a blowup in Dallas, he could cost himself money and make Dallas look foolish for trading for him in the blink of an eye.

Only time will tell what happens with Rondo in Dallas. It could be a brilliant move or it could blow up in the Mavs collective faces. But one thing is for sure: the Mavs are going for it all right now. There is no waiting until tomorrow for them. It should be interesting to see if this move takes them to another level or gives them a false sense of hope.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter @General_MP or check me out on Facebook at Mike Patton-The General .

2 Comments

  1. Rob Thomas Brown

    December 19, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    I like this move for the Mavericks, should be really fun to watch. It should make things a lot easier for Dirk, reminiscent of the days when he had Steve Nash

  2. Shanitra

    December 24, 2014 at 4:58 am

    Rondo is a pure point guard as you stated. Parsons and all the big men will get a lot better with him as General on the floor. Ellis can now be that shooting guard we know and make late game shots without the pressure of running the offense. Playing off the ball will make him better in the long run.

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