Rajon Rondo’s trade from Boston to the Dallas Mavericks is a nice throw of the dice for a team looking to win a title before Dirk Nowitzki ambles into retirement. But can you bet on him delivering another championship?
In terms of where the ex-All Star ranks on the list of NBA point guards, the verdict fluctuates somewhere between elite and average. In fact, despite his vital role in taking the Celtics to a banner in 2008, it’s hard to find someone with such wildly-varying appraisals as Rondo.
He is a playmaker, not a scorer – a plus and a minus. He needs control, but isn’t necessarily as effective when others hold some of the cards – another up and down. He is a leader, sure, but Rondo’s rep as an occasionally awkward team-mate means he could still blow up the bus.
As an upgrade on Jameer Nelson, he provides the Mavs with one of the best starting fives in the league as he likely prepares to make his debut tonight against the San Antonio Spurs.
But much of his team’s bench depth has been shipped off to Boston in return and while Dallas is currently averaging a NBA-best 110.1 points per game, the fragile nature of chemistry means it would be no surprise if that dips a little in the short-term. If he assimilates well, then welcome to the new home of high scoring.
It is, at least, very unlikely that the 28-year-old will make the Mavericks worse defensively. A prime reason they are only 15.00 for the title despite their 19-8 record is how they give up 102.7 per night, a lowly 24th in the rankings, and are 0-5 against their fellow contenders.
What coach Rick Carlisle will count on is that the old dynamic Rondo can rediscover his zest for shutting down quick opponents like San Antonio’s Tony Parker (who will sit this one out) and even add some extra offensive rebounding, one of Dallas’ big black holes – he currently leads all guards with 7.5 boards per game.
These are, as with any major move, ifs and maybes. This may or may not be a switch which makes the Mavs more of a threat but it’s definitely one that makes them more interesting indeed.
Best bet: Go under 203.5 total points in Dallas – San Antonio at 1.91