Relationships usually don’t end on good terms and that is certainly the case in the relationship between the Dallas Mavericks and point guard Rajon Rondo. Dallas acquired Rondo in the middle of the season in hopes he could run the offense and help lead the team to an NBA championship. However, that is not the case and the Mavs are facing quite the uphill battle against the Houston Rockets.
In Game 2, Rondo was in the game all of 10 minutes. In those 10 minutes, Rondo looked disinterested and his play showed that. He scored just four points, pulled down two rebounds and dished out only one assist. The one assist is subpar for any point guard, let alone a point guard like Rondo, who isn’t known to be a scorer. To go with those stats, Rondo had four personal fouls and a technical foul for shoving Rockets’ guard James Harden after a positioning battle.
The Mavericks trail the Rockets 2-0 in the best-of-seven opening round series and things aren’t looking up for them. Houston is on a mission to win the NBA title this season behind MVP-candidate Harden and the recently returned Dwight Howard. If the Mavs only play two more games this season, it will be the last two in Dallas for Rondo. When the trade was made back in December, many thought that would propel Dallas to a championship contender, but that has not been the case. The trade made sense for both of the involved parties as Rondo wanted out of Boston to essentially contend for a title and the Mavs thought Rondo could be the missing piece to the championship puzzle. Worst case scenario would be that Rondo would be a rental piece, if he chose to enter free agency after this season. As for Boston, they acquired a ton of talent and draft picks.
The 29-year old Rondo will enter free agency, but any team who elects to sign him better beware of his attitude and demeanor. Back in February, Rondo and Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle got into a verbal altercation during a game against the Toronto Raptors. Carlisle would bench Rondo and suspend him one game for conduct detrimental to the team. Carlisle, who is one of the better coaches in the NBA, could not get Rondo to play in his system. Often times, you will see a Rondo bring the ball up on the opposite side of the court, ignoring the play calling of Carlisle.
Rondo was once considered a top-10 point guard in the league, but not for his scoring. He can get to the basket, which allows for multiple options; he can either score at the rim, find a big man to finish the play, or find a wide open shooter on the wing or in the corner. His jump shot is atrocious at best, but where he lacks offensively, he makes up for it defensively. Rondo has been on the NBA All-Defensive 1st team twice in his career and led the league in steals in 2010.
When Rondo isn’t heated over a particular play call or bothered by nonsense, he is a pretty solid NBA point guard. For his career, he averages 10.8 points-per-game, 8.3 assists-per-game and 4.7 rebounds-per-game. The former 21st overall pick in the 2006 draft will be looking for his third team to play for in his career. The relationship between Dallas and Rondo is ending pretty ugly. While Rondo looks for a new team in the offseason, Dallas will look for his replacement in free agency.