Author Topic: Rondo's Defense  (Read 2923 times)

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Rondo's Defense
« on: March 01, 2009, 10:12:44 PM »

Offline Toine43

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The last couple of games have not been Rondo's best. But we all know that at age 23 the kid is going to have ups and downs, just like most veterans do. I accept his offensive his ups and owns, and I'm not going to overreact to them. On Friday, the Pacers did an excellent job of sagging off of him, forcing him to take shots that he didn't want to take and not letting him get to the rim. As a result, he wasn't very good (despite what the box score indicates), and the offense as a whole was shaky all night. Both today's and Friday's games are examples of Rondo not controlling the pace of the game, as he should every night. It's especially important that he pushes the pace with KG on the shelf, because the Celtics are crippled in the halfcourt without the Ticket. I'm sure these obvious problems with Rondo are upsetting some fans, including myself, but as we've seen in the past, Rondo will likely regroup and turn it around on offense soon.

Once again, I can tolerate his offensive mishaps, but his recent defensive effort hasn't been stomached as easily. He gets a lot of recognition for his defense, perhaps more than he deserves, because his consistency on that end isn't what it should be. I've heard that some people call him the Celtics' "mini KG", but I just don't see him bringing it every night on defense like KG does. Don't his teammates consider him the fastest player with the ball in his hands in the NBA? He can get anywhere he wants to with the dribble on offense, and there are few out there who can stay with him, but that makes me wonder on some nights why Rondo has so much trouble staying with his man. Earlier I saw someone refer to his man-to-man guarding as "matador defense", and I don't think there's a better way to put it. Rondo can pick players' pockets with the best of 'em, but I'd rather see him steal it from his teammates' men than against his own man after he's already blown by him.

Rondo is considered to be one of the best man defenders in the league by most, but sometimes I find myself doubting whether he really is. I've noticed how easily his man gets by him many times throughout the season, but I admit that I'm unsure just how frequently this happens, or how he stacks up against other point guards in this area. One thing that I can tell you is that his defensive lapses happen in clusters. It seems to me that when he has problems staying with his man, he has them all game.

I'm not sure how much stock to put into this, but take a look at Rondo's opponent counterpart 48-minute production on 82games.com (link: http://www.82games.com/0708/07BOS1C.HTM). Is it what you thought it would be?


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Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2009, 10:29:26 PM »

Offline illantari

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To be fair, those are last year's numbers, when he was a lot less consistent than even this recent stretch.  This year he's 4th in the NBA in defensive win shares, according to Basketball Reference.  And his numbers from 82games is also slightly better: http://www.82games.com/0809/08BOS1.HTM#bypos  (Opponent guards are still scoring more, but also taking more shot attempts and making less of them.)

Everybody's D has been suspect this past couple of game-not having KG, having new guys who don't know the schemes, fatigue, mental lapses, they're all contributing.  I think R2 can be the kind of defender that shuts down Billups or Nash, but I think like his offense, his D will recoup when he gets out of this mental/physical funk.  It's a team process, in my mind.

Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2009, 10:51:12 PM »

Offline Toine43

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Oops, didn't mean to post last year's stats. Yes, he's been better this year. I still think that he some guarding problems at times that don't get talked about though.


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Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2009, 10:52:46 PM »

Offline EJPLAYA

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That was me with the matador defense description (I had a coach that used to yell that at us) and you are dead on. He is WAY over rated defensively for the same reason that TA is. They gamble defensively too much and then try to make up for it with their quickness. Often Rondo ends up fouling the guy. Other times he forces one of our bigs to rotate to his guy and leave his own. He has the skills and quickness to just move his feet and he could dominate guys on that end. Even my 10 year old comments on it in games. (who does the same thing by the way and I get on him about it) Where is this great Thibodeau ripping into Rondo over this lazy style of defense?! Maybe the stories are true and Rondo just won't listen to people.

Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 11:37:23 PM »

Offline Toine43

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That was me with the matador defense description (I had a coach that used to yell that at us) and you are dead on. He is WAY over rated defensively for the same reason that TA is. They gamble defensively too much and then try to make up for it with their quickness. Often Rondo ends up fouling the guy. Other times he forces one of our bigs to rotate to his guy and leave his own. He has the skills and quickness to just move his feet and he could dominate guys on that end. Even my 10 year old comments on it in games. (who does the same thing by the way and I get on him about it) Where is this great Thibodeau ripping into Rondo over this lazy style of defense?! Maybe the stories are true and Rondo just won't listen to people.
I think his man defense is overrated, but he is given the praise he deserves for his ability to make steals. Out of curiosity, what percentage of games do you think Rondo doesn't stay with his man on defense? Do you think he struggles almost every game and nobody notices because of KG and Perk hiding his mistakes, or do you think that he has some good games and some not so good outings?


Eddie House - for THREEEEEEE!

Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 11:51:49 PM »

Offline SalmonAndMashedPotatoes

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That was me with the matador defense description (I had a coach that used to yell that at us) and you are dead on. He is WAY over rated defensively for the same reason that TA is. They gamble defensively too much and then try to make up for it with their quickness. Often Rondo ends up fouling the guy. Other times he forces one of our bigs to rotate to his guy and leave his own. He has the skills and quickness to just move his feet and he could dominate guys on that end. Even my 10 year old comments on it in games. (who does the same thing by the way and I get on him about it) Where is this great Thibodeau ripping into Rondo over this lazy style of defense?! Maybe the stories are true and Rondo just won't listen to people.

Rondo's defense is fine.  He's prone to gambling and sometimes his aggressiveness is not where it should be--but overall he's probably the best defensive point guard in the league.  Only 5 guards in the last 35 years have been in the top 5 in defensive win shares--Rondo's currently ranked #4.  That should tell you alot. 

WAY overrated is WAY wrong.  You've correctly identified his weak areas on defense, but you've miscalculated how often they occur, since negatives are much easier to remember than positives.  I'd agree he has work to do to reach his defensive potential, but saying he's way overrated is another example of your propensity to talk in broad generalities.   
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Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2009, 12:51:45 AM »

Offline PutBackDunk

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Rondo is a good 1-on-1 defender. Unfortunately, most teams don't try to attack him 1-on-1 anymore and instead use picks against him, which is probably the worst part of his defense. I (along with most of you I'm sure) have seen every game Rondo has played in a C's uni, and I can count on one hand how many times I've seen him go underneath a pick. It doesn't matter if he's playing against someone who's a great 3pt shooter or someone who is more of a slasher like himself, Rondo will always chase his man around the pick and try to poke the ball out from behind.

This is the one part of Rondo's game I can't stand watching. Yes, including his jumpshot. He's improved and he's continuing to improve in just about every part of his game except defending picks.

Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2009, 01:12:58 AM »

Offline Slugger

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Agree with parts of all comments here. I do think he's over-rated defensively, but has the ability and quickness to be a top defensive guard.

Tp for all who posted for well constructed posts

Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2009, 02:39:34 AM »

Online nickagneta

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I happen to think Rondo's defense is excellent. He is 23 years old and p[rone to having bad habits that need some breaking but overall, his defense is excellent. Some points not being mentioned:

- Rondo picks up his man at the opposing foul line after makes and harasses the man all the way down court. After Celtic made baskets the average time for the other team initiating their offense in the Celtics end has to be with 16 seconds or less left on the shot clock because of his harressment of the other teams PG. This is a huge factor for the Celtics efficiency at the defensive end.

- Rondo's deny defense, when put into that mode by Rivers or after the opposing PG gives up the dribble while being harrassed, might be the best in the league. A huge factor for the recent 4-2 record on the road versus excellent PGs is his ability to deny the ball to his man and force the other team into playing in the uncomfortable position of having another player initiate the offense.

- Rondo has been trained to fight through the picks in the high post. Someone mentioned never seeing him duck under the pick but it happens all the time when Rondo's man isn't a great outside shooter. Rondo has been facing a plethora of good outside shooting PG's recently and the right thing to do is fight through the pick and to not allow them an open look off the pick ot to set up the roll to the basket by the picker. When Rondo can't fight through the pick often his man over blitzes so that Rondo can switch men or have time to recover. It's a good system.

- Watch Rondo playing opposing players when his man doesn't have the ball. I think his positional defense in closing passing lanes, collapsing down for double teams, helping other outside defenders who's man might get by them, denying the ball and getting back on the defensive boards is huge and go tremendously unnoticed.



I guess the point I'm trying to make is to stop watching Rondo only when the man in front of him has the ball. Watch his entire defensive skill set which includes his defense when his man doesn't have the ball. Do I want him to be more of a shuffle the feet and stay in front of your man defender when his man does have the ball, yes I do. But that will come and he will learn when best to attempt the poke out from behind gamble.




Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 04:38:03 AM »

Offline Who

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I think Rondo deserves to be first team All-Defense this season. He's been excellent defensively.

Rondo has improved tremendously since last season on the defensive end, mainly due to superior consistency.

Re: Rondo's Defense
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 05:37:55 AM »

Offline pumpfake

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he is a good defender

yes he looks bad when he takes risks and they don't pay off, but he applies good pressure and his risky style is scary to the opposing guard. makes them think twice before doing what they normally would.