Re: Rajon Rondo to beat Bob Cousy's Celtics 28 Assist record.
posted at 4/30/2011 10:49 AM EDT
“He’s a hell of a defender, he’s a hell of a rebounder, he’s added to his offensive repertoire. There’s not much more a point guard can do.
“Tommy [Heinsohn] and I have liked him from the start. I remember at the start of this year there was some question as to whether Danny [Ainge] was going to sign him. I said, ‘My God, given the scarcity of point guards out there, you’ve got potentially a great one here, why would you not sign him?’
“I’ve liked everything I’ve seen. The knock on him was that he didn’t have confidence in his outside shot. I guess he still doesn’t have as much as I’d like to see. To be the most effective point guard, you must be enough of a threat from the perimeter where the defense at least respects you.
“In the first three series, whoever was guarding him pretty much falls off and gives him outside anytime he wants it. But he’s got such quickness he still penetrates effectively even when they play off him. I haven’t seen anyone guard him effectively. Yeah, he doesn’t pursue his shot, but point guards aren’t out there to pursue their own opportunities. They’re out there to create ones for the others.’’
Is Rondo a Hall of Famer?
“I don’t know if he’s going to be a Hall of Fame point guard, but if he continues this forward movement that we’ve seen the last couple of years, there’s no reason to think he can’t be. He doesn’t have [Kevin] Garnett’s demonstrative intensity — he’s not banging his head on the basket support — but it seems to me he doesn’t have the highs and lows that the other guys have. He seems to play with the same intensity all the time.
“He is the whole package. Usually you think of guards in terms of what they produce offensively. You don’t think of John Stockton or Steve Nash or Magic [Johnson] as defensive guards or outstanding rebounders. When people describe what a point guard can do, it’s unusual that a player will have no weaknesses but that he can function effectively on so many levels.
“Tiny Archibald was probably as quick, but Tiny didn’t have the body strength. Tiny would take it in and bounce off and end up on the floor. This guy is strong enough where he can absorb a lot of punishment.
“Rondo’s free throw release looks a lot different to me. He was shotgunning it a little bit and now he releases it like he’s shooting it. I heard he was working with Mark Price and it looks like Price really got through to him and he does look so much better.
“His stroke from outside is not bad. He makes a lot of shots where fans are probably saying, ‘Don’t shoot that.’ He gets the full extension. I don’t see any hesitation when he finally takes it.
“If progress can still be made, it would probably be in his believing that he has a good release and he can shoot that thing. He’s got all the assets. The sky’s the limit for this kid. There’s no reason to think he won’t continue to improve.’’
High praise from the best point guard in the history of the Boston Celtics.
Dan Shaughnessy is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at