Rondo Making Records Fall Like Dominoes
BOSTON – The NBA might want to tweak its tag line to, “Rajon Rondo: Where Amazing Happens.”
If amazing consists of numerous records set on numerous nights in the first week of the NBA season, then yeah, Rondo has been exactly that.
The fifth-year point guard out of Kentucky is accumulating numbers in box scores that almost any point guard could only dream of. The proof of that is in the pudding – no current NBA point guard has touched the records Rondo is setting.
The greatest record Rondo snatched over the first week of the season is indicative of his ability to completely disassemble defenses on his own. He has accumulated 67 assists over the first four games of the season, which is the highest such total that any player in the history of the league has put together to start a season. That record had stood since 1988, when Magic Johnson recorded 65 assists over the first four games, and 1989, when John Stockton matched that mark.
But the records don’t stop there. Rondo’s 50 assists in the first three games of the season were the most that any Celtics player has ever notched in any three-game stretch in the history of the franchise. That means that Rondo’s stretch to begin this season is numerically in its own class above any three-game stretch that the likes of Bob Cousy, Dennis Johnson or Nate “Tiny” Archibald put together at any point in their entire Celtics careers. Those 50 assists over the first three games also tie John Stockton’s record for dimes during that same time span.
There is one game out of those four, however, that really put Rondo’s stretch into the national headlines. His performance against the New York Knicks on Friday, Oct. 29 in the TD Garden was one for the ages. Not only did he record the 10th triple-double of his career, he notched a ridiculous 24 assists in that contest while dominating it as if he was playing a video game. The 24 assists tied Isiah Thomas’ 1985 mark for the most ever in a triple-double performance.
If those numbers weren’t enough, then take a look at Tuesday night’s box score from Boston’s 109-86 win in Detroit. In that game, Rondo tallied 17 assists and no turnovers in just more than 35 minutes of play. According to basketball-reference.com, those 17 assists without a turnover were only two shy of the regular season high without a turnover since 1986-87. Oddly enough, Rondo has already notched a 19-assist, zero-turnover game himself, back in Game 6 of the playoff series against the Bulls on April 30, 2009.
Rondo’s vision, patience and command of the game have been breathtaking, yet we’re only a week into the season. If this is already amazing, God only knows what this blossoming talent will be doing by season’s end.
Quotes On Rondo’s Performances
Paul Pierce on Rondo’s play (postgame vs. Detroit):
“It was unbelievable. He is just playing a perfect floor game. I looked up at the scoreboard and he had 17 assists and no turnovers. He just knows the game, knows the spots and knows how to get guys the ball and where to get them. He is just being a great floor general out there.”
Kevin Garnett on Rondo continuing his high assist totals (postgame vs. Detroit):
"Why not?" said Kevin Garnett. "Why not? Who says that? Let's see. It's all about the flow. It's all about guys hitting shots. He's in a real good groove. He knows when to attack. He's picking and choosing when to do certain things. He's mixing it up really well. He's keeping defenses off balance. Who says he can't?"
Mike D’Antoni on Rondo’s 24 assists (postgame vs. New York):
"He has a lot of players to finish so that’ll help your assist total, that’s for sure. But he’s one of the best point guards, no doubt about it.”
Doc Rivers on Rondo being a dominant player (postgame vs. New York):
“Yeah, that’s basically what we were talking about. When he plays with speed, pushes the ball up the floor, it’s amazing – he had whatever amount, 24 assists – yet he gave up the ball a lot tonight. It was a lot of movement. And that’s how we have to play. So it was good. We talked about it this morning – with everybody – how we needed to play, and I thought we did that for the most part. We made some plays down the stretch that you wouldn’t want to make. But as a group. But overall, I was pretty happy.”
Pierce on Rondo’s performance (postgame vs. New York):
"We expect Rondo night in and night out to get guys involved, and he pretty much got everybody involved he got the popcorn man involved, he got the announcer involved, he got everybody involved tonight and it was beautiful to watch.”
Rivers on Rondo’s game against the Heat on Opening Night (postgame vs. Miami):
"Rondo was just ‑‑ I thought he was spectacular.