Rondo is what he is (cliche alert) but I think expectations for him get amplified because at times he makes such incredible plays or has great individual games. He was not alone but he clearly had a weak game last night. One game doesn’t mean we should “sell” on him any more than we should “buy” him as league MVP when he has a super game.
SA sagged off him not respecting his shot, allowing them to get to double teams quicker and generally clogged things up (this is nothing new, all well coached team exploit this). Tony Parker dribbled where ever he wanted to all night (this also becoming too common for the man Rondo is covering), scoring, creating switches, getting the defense out of position, and then the team (not just Parker) passed well, making multiple passes until a really good shot was found. Parker lead with 8 assists but seven SA players had 3 or more assists. Team passing will beat individual passing every time.
If this Celtics team is going to contend, we need Rondo to play within himself by cutting down on turnovers, focusing less on personal assists (and focusing more on team assists), and to play better individual defense. Improved shooting would be great as well but at this point, I am not expecting that. We then need to hope and pray that Pierce and KG still have it in them to do their thing and be the heavy lifters for the team offensively and defensively. There may be some nights where Rondo can carry the team but this will not be the formula for sustained success.