There are a lot of Boston Celtics fans who are laughing at Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni now that Boston swept New York out of the playoffs. The Celtics were already up 3-0 in the series when D’Antoni questioned Rajon Rondo’s brilliance prior to Game 4 Sunday, making him look even worse since Rondo had a good game to knock them out.
Rondo was coming off a triple double against the Knicks in Game 3 racking up 20 assists when D’Antoni made his remark.
“I’d like to see him play in Minnesota and see how he does,” D’Antoni said. “Rondo is a very good basketball player – really good. But if you look at their team and you have to say, ‘What can we take away? What do we have to give them and play the odds?’ You have to give him his shot and you have to try to close up the middle on him and that’s kind of how we did it. We think that’s the best way to go. Nothing might work because they’re that good. He’s a very good basketball player, there’s no doubt about it.”
Every basketball fan has probably thought the same thing when they’ve watched games. When the Big Three got together in Boston, Rondo was considered the weak link on the championship team. Then last year during Boston’s Finals run, the tune had changed to “this is Rondo’s team.”
But Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett have all played extremely well against the Knicks, making people question once again how good Rondo is. On top of that, just like D’Antoni said, playing off Rondo and daring him to make a jump shot is a good gameplan since he struggles from the outside.
I don’t disagree with most of what D’Antoni said; put Rondo on Minnesota and he wouldn’t be a big deal. Even Kevin Garnett could hardly get past the first round of the playoffs when he lacked help, but that’s part of the point; players need talent around them in order to win. That’s why the Knicks are trying to load up on studs.
Even though Rondo doesn’t have a jump shot or can’t hit a free throw it doesn’t change how good of a player he is. Yes he’s lucky to be playing with so many talented teammates but he more than holds his own. In fact, one could argue he’s the key to their championship hopes.Google+