After sitting out three consecutive games with a foot injury, Rajon Rondo was back in uniform this week and was his usual dazzling self leading the Celtics to two consecutive victories.
Following a 14-assist performance in a victory over the Toronto Raptors last Friday, Rajon Rondo and the Celtics landed in Cleveland last night to take on the Cavaliers.
The game plan was clear for the Celtics -- let Rondo create and share the ball, setting up his teammates for easy baskets. However, Cavs head coach Byron Scott had other plans. The Cleveland defense attempted to contain Rondo’s penetration and force him in to taking a high volume of shots.
Rondo responded accordingly. He connected on 7 of his first 12 shots to the tune of 13 first half points and an eventual game-high 23 points.
He simply took what the defense gave him and showed there is more to his offensive game than dropping dimes: “I could care less about scoring the ball. But obviously teams are going to make me shoot it, try to make me score the ball. So I’m going to shoot the ball when I feel I have to,” Rondo said.
Rondo’s teammates were also impressed with his scoring abilities: “He showed that he can beat you,’’ said Celtics Forward Paul Pierce. “They came in and said we’re going to try to make Rondo beat us. They showed in the way they defended him. They went under all the pick-and-rolls, played him loose, let him get to the rim, get out to the break. He was phenomenal. He took up the scoring load for us and it showed that if teams are going to settle and try to let Rondo beat them, he’s capable of doing it.’’
For those coaches around the league who see Rondo as a one dimensional pass-first point guard, let last night’s scoring performance serve as notice. Rondo can do it all.