The MobTown Sports Beat is handing out speed warnings. Here’s who needs to slow their proverbial roll.
The first and biggest speed warning goes to Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics. Rajon Rondo scrapped together 28 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists for a “Big-O/Wilt-style” triple double on Sunday, perhaps responding to the trade rumors that have been swirling around him for seemingly as long as anyone can now remember. Sooner or later the Brass above the brass that runs the Celtics is going to realize that Rajon Rondo is surely the best player that the Celtics have, not to mention the youngest of their array of stars. They’re also bound to realize that Rondo can and will win a hell of a lot more games for the Celtics in the future than either Danny Ainge or Doc Rivers could ever hope to.
There’s an argument that Rondo could be the best player in the game, and still the Celtics seem content…no determined to ship him out of town. That’s right I said the best player in the game. Lebron is the most talented, that’s not even close, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose are the most tenacious and the most willing and able to put the team on their backs, but no one is scrappier or more helpful in more areas than Rondo. He’s the best extended dribble point guard in the league, he’s the most consistent threat to hand out 20 dimes on any given night since John Stockton, he rebounds as well and any 6’1” guard ever and it wasn’t that long ago that we saw his arm bent unnaturally backward in a playoff game that he returned to play well in almost immediately.
And what I didn’t mention yet, but will now is that at about $11 million per season Rondo is at least the league’s best pound-for-pound player or dollar-for-dollar player if not its all-around best.
With all of that said, Rondo should walk into Ainge’s office at first chance and demand to be traded or paid. If Ainge and Rivers think Rondo’s already tough to deal with imagine him disgruntled and intentionally a distraction. At the very least Rondo should point out that all of the trade talks involving him seem to involve players on the other side who make substantially more money than Rondo by comparison. Ainge, who seems intent on keeping the Celtics aged core intact while shipping out every useful young player on the roster needs to slow down before he really gives Rondo a reason to exercise his leverage.
The Lakers served the Heat a gigantic helping of “slow your roll” on Sunday and showed the young risers that everything won’t be as easy for them as they’ve made it look of late. We all waited to see what would happen with Kobe and Wade on Sunday, and it looked like the Heat did too. Miami got caught up in trying to out-physical the Lakers early and never got their game on track behind it. Leave it to Kobe to run psychological warfare on the Heat when everyone else (including the heat themselves) were looking for physical retaliation.
The Heat are still easily the best team in the league and have to be the hands down favorite to win it all, while the Lakers may not even be the best team playing in their building this year. Still for one game at least, Kobe and the Lakers reminded Miami that they still have some work to do, and before you can get “not 4, not 5”, you first have to get one and then two. Until then the Miami Heat can still slow their roll.