Player of the Week honors goes to Rajon Rondo for his clutch play amid trade rumors. Celtics point guard #9 came to the Celtics in 2006 via a trade after being drafted by the Phoenix Suns. He made his debut as a rookie in the 2006-07 season. Establishing himself along side the Celtics’ Big Three- Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett- Rondo made his presence known during the 2007-08 season and subsequent championship win.
It was in the 2009 playoffs when Rondo became a certified star player for the Celtics as he led the way against the Orlando Magic to win the Eastern Conference Championship. Even though the Celtics went on to lose in the next round, Rondo continued his good play the next season, reaching career highs in points, assists, and steals. He dominated the playoffs once again, leading the Celtics past the Heat and Cavaliers, and the Celtics lost to the Celtics despite Rondo’s fantastic play.
Even though the start of his 2010-11 season was plagued by injuries, including plantar fasciitis, a strained left hamstring, and a sprained left ankle, he was a strong force during the Celtics playoff run once again. The 2011-12 season may have gotten off to a late start, but Rondo has been a bright spot for a Celtics team that has struggled at times. The Celtics are now 21-19 on the season and only three games behind the first place Philadelphia 76ers. They hope to stay hot, despite a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, thanks in large part to Rondo.
During the Celtics five game winning streak, Tuesday February 28-Tuesday March 6, Rondo started off with a poor performance on the first Tuesday not scoring any points, but came back the next game for his third triple-double of the season and 15 points in a win against the Milwaukee Bucks. On Friday, Rondo followed with another strong game, scoring 14 points with 13 assists versus the New Jersey Nets. Against the New York Knicks on Sunday, Rondo had another triple-double and became the third player in history to reach at least 20 assists and 17 rebounds. He also added 18 points to the Celtics overtime win, which Rondo helped clinch with his two free throws with ten seconds left. Rondo played fierce defense on Tuesday against the Houston Rockets while also scoring nine points.
In the Celtics loss to the Sixers on March 7, Rondo only scored two points, but followed up with a stronger performance on the 9th scoring eight with five assists. Even though the Celtics lost to hated rivals, The Los Angeles Lakers, Rondo had a good game, leading the Celtics with 24 points and ten assists, and keeping the score close up until the very end. The C’s have since won their last two heading into tonights game in Sacramento.
During the time leading up to the NBA trade deadline that could have been distracting, Rondo was a leader for the Celtics, putting up the big numbers when it was needed of him. After off games, he came back strong the next night to help the Celtics win. The team hopes to make a run for the playoffs and if Rondo remains playing at the level he is, they are in a good position.