Rajon Rondo is back. From winning a title with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and playing a role in the Celtics’ continued success for years to being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, there are no doubts that Rondo has all of the skills of a pure point guard. Rondo appeared to not be the same player in Dallas and ran into problems with Rick Carlisle‘s system. Rondo was not free to do what he is comfortable for him. The restriction of Rajon Rondo in Dallas to now the rebirth with the Sacramento Kings is creating quite the story for this stat-stuffing guard.

Without a doubt, Rajon Rondo had his worst year as a professional with the Dallas Mavericks. Rondo was coming off an ACL injury that he suffered with the Celtics and he was not the primary ball-handler like he was accustomed to being for Boston. Rondo the signed a one year, 9.5 million dollar contract to play with the Sacramento Kings. A lot of people questioned this move because Rondo was viewed as a problem in the locker room. Combine that factor with the whole DeMarcus Cousins and George Karl situation then people thought it would be a circus in the Kings’ organization.

However, that has not been the case in the early 2015-16 NBA season. The Sacramento Kings have not made any negative headlines and the franchise wants to move forward in a positive direction. That is why the players are thriving with George Karl at the helm of this team. No one is succeeding more than Rajon Rondo, though. Rondo already has a NBA-leading four triple-doubles in the Kings’ first 24 games. He has also been filling up the box score every single night. This is what people expect from Rondo and he is delivering to start this season.

Stat Sheet Stuffer

USA Today
USA Today

Rajon Rondo is back to his old ways of getting into the lane for easy layups, assists, and rebounding the ball among the big men. Rondo is averaging 12.6 points, 11 assists, and 6.9 rebounds per game. The 11 assists per game is leading the NBA right now. He is also getting it done on the defensive end of the ball. Rondo is averaging 1.9 steals per game and has been known as one the best one-on-one defenders at the point guard position. He is able to get under the opposing guard’s skin and force them into poor decisions. Rajon Rondo is filling up the stat sheet for the Sacramento Kings right now. One has to wonder how this resurgence came about so suddenly.

Behind the Success

Phelan M. Ebenhack-The Associated Press
Phelan M. Ebenhack-The Associated Press

Who deserves the most credit for Rajon Rondo’s somewhat surprising performance to the season? Obviously, Rajon Rondo himself. There are other factors that tie into the 9-year NBA point guard’s success. First off, George Karl deserves to be mentioned. His system of pushing the tempo and playing at a fast pace partners well with how Rajon Rondo wants to play. Rondo can distribute the ball easily to his teammates on the fast break and when they are moving off the ball.

The Kings are second in pace with 99.5 possessions per 48 minutes. Rajon Rondo also has one of the best big men at his side in DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins has proved to be a dominant and versatile force in the NBA. His skill set to score from the post and knock down a shot beyond 15 feet from the basket makes life easier for the point guard. Rajon Rondo also has the services of Rudy Gay, who has shown that he can score the ball with the best of them throughout his career. The Sacramento Kings are one the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA. They are seventh in the league in three-point field goal percentage at 36%. The Kings are also number one in field goals made and second in field goals attempted. This system under George Karl is benefiting Rajon Rondo and that is one of the reasons he is returning to peak form.

Can Rondo Continue this Level of Play?

The NBA season is only 24 games deep for the Sacramento Kings and so far, so good. The Kings do not seem to have any major off-the-court issues and the team just wants to win games in the court. Rajon Rondo will clearly be one of the reasons the Kings will succeed as the season progresses. So as the season progresses, Rajon Rondo will need to as well. Rondo needs to continue this level of stuffing the stat sheet combined with making his teammates around him better. Of Rajon Rondo can do this, then the Sacramento Kings’ franchise will be reborn just as Rajon Rondo has been this season.

 

Louis Prejean

Spark Sports NBA Analyst

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