Everyone in and around the NBA is prepared to admit that Boston Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo is good. How good, or even great, is a matter of considerable debate. Celtics101 has always been firm in our support of Rondo, but opinion on the polarizing point man is divided even amongst Celtic fans. However one of the main reasons that 101 has always come down on Rondo's side is this – great players improve every year, and whatever Rondo's other faults there is no doubt that he has improved in each and every one of his six seasons. Now entering his seventh year as a pro it appears that trend will continue given that Rondo unveiled a new move in Boston's opening night loss to the Miami Heat.
Most NBA fans are familiar with Rondo's signature move. He first pulled it out in the 2010 playoffs, but he really started making consistent use of it last year when he was on the floor with two big men who could shoot – Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. Typically Rondo will come around a screen set by one of the two Boston bigs and then stick the ball out behind him in one of his freakishly big hands. Sometimes he actually drops the behind the back pass off to the C's big giving either Bass or Garnett an open jumper. Other times, if the guy covering him bites on the pass, Rondo pulls it back, takes another step, and scoops in the layup. The move got popular awfully fast, so much so that Dwyane Wade actually pulled it out against the Celtics in the playoffs last year. However, just because players are familiar with the move doesn't make it much easier to defend. Now he has added even more.
With the "standard" Rondo move Rondo picks up his dribble. He either throws the pass or picks up his dribble and attacks the basket. This year he has added a different wrinkle. What he did twice against the Heat on opening night was fake the pass as usual, but this time instead of picking up his dribble he wrapped it around behind his back and kept going. The move looked really sick, unfortunately it didn't work either time. Once he moved so fast nobody had time to bite on either fake. The other time he spotted Courtney Lee open in the corner, but his pass was off line and got picked off. It remains to be seen how effective the move will be. It certainly looks good, but not all moves work like you think they are going to when you're alone in a gym. Rondo has clearly worked on it and having another move in his arsenal is obviously good for the Celtics. However that is not why Celtics101 is excited about this new development. Celtics101 is happy because this new move just reaffirms Rondo's dedication towards continually improving, and that is huge for Boston. Rondo keeps working on his game and keeps adding moves to his repertoire. It's easy to forget with all that he has accomplished that Rondo is only 26. He is still improving, and the sky is the limit for the Celtics as long as that keeps happening.
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