Some machines run on regular, conventional oil - you know, the stuff your local auto mechanic pours into your ‘97 Toyota Camry. However, the oil Rondo has his Boston Celtics running on one month into the NBA season is that special stuff. Perhaps it’s a synthetic blend found in the likes of a certain championship-winning Formula 1 car? Whatever it is, it has fans in Boston optimistic for a return to the NBA Finals.
As Rondo continues to lead the league with 164 assists eleven games into the season, he has built a 43-assist lead over the next closest player, Utah’s All-Star point guard, Deron Williams. During Wednesday’s victory over the Washington Wizards, Boston play-by-play broadcaster Sean Grande tweeted: “Rondo (11 assists tonight) could now go five straight games without one...and still lead the league.”
Many will argue that at this point in time, nobody in the league is better than Rondo at making his teammates better.
Rondo’s 14.9 assists per game is more than double his career average of 7.1 and still has him on a record-setting pace; more than half an assist per game ahead of John Stockton’s single-season record of 14.2 per game.
Whether in transition or in a half-court set, Rondo has had the uncanny ability to find his teammates for easy - and not-so-easy - baskets, often placing the ball in the tightest of seams against some of the league’s better defenses. And no doubt Rondo’s teammates have benefitted from his elevated play, including Ray Allen, who is hitting 45.3% of his three-point attempts, up 5% over his career average of 39.6%
Many will argue that at this point in time, nobody in the league is better than Rondo at making his teammates better, which is why Rondo’s name continues to come up in MVP discussions around the league. Couple his league-leading assist numbers with his steady defensive play, and Rondo looks like the total package. His 2.7 steals per game are also up from a year ago, where he led the NBA with 2.3 steals per game
While other teams around the Eastern Conference continue to sputter like a ’78 Gremlin driving uphill, Rondo has the Celtics averaging 114 points per game during their current three-game winning streak with no signs of making a pit stop any time soon.