Rondo Leads Mavs To Victory In His Return To Boston


In an emotional return to Boston, Rajon Rondo and the Dallas Mavericks secured a comfortable 119-101 win over the Celtics. Rondo gave his old team a glimpse of what they are so desperately missing with a dazzling performance at the Garden.

The term emotional, however, must be put into context when referring to Rajon Rondo. Always as stoic as a 19th century photograph, Rondo, when asked earlier in the week how he felt about returning to Boston, responded by saying, “I’m excited”. How profound.

Nevertheless, if he lacked emotion in the buildup to the game, his performance and passion on the court when the whistle blew made up for it. Perhaps the Boston fans wouldn’t have given him such a warm reception had they known what Rondo was about to do to the team he spent nine years with.

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It took until two minutes were gone in the second quarter for Rondo to miss his first shot. Normally, that might not be too noteworthy, considering Rondo isn’t the best shooter and doesn’t take too many shots. That certainly wasn’t the case in Boston last night.

Rondo took six shots in the first quarter and made them all (3-3 from the field and 3-3 from three). He also scored the first ten points for the Mavs, helping them open up a 31-17 point lead at the end of the first. He added a three at the beginning of the second to make his first seven shots.

In that same stretch, Dirk opened up cold, going only 2-8 from the field with six points. It was an encouraging thing to see, that Rondo could carry a bit of the load if either Dirk or Monte starts slow. Let’s hope he doesn’t have to do it every night though.

Make no mistake; Rondo’s strengths do not lie in scoring 30 a game and carrying the point’s load when others are having an off night. But Rondo showed last night why Rick Carlisle and Mark Cuban wanted to bring him to Dallas, his versatility.

He has brought so many intangibles to this Dallas squad. They are rebounding better, they have more possessions per game, and their total defense has dramatically improved. While some of that can be chalked up to his numbers, the psychological impact of playing with a point guard like Rondo is what has led to the Mavs’ increase in productivity.

He also has an uncanny knack for giving the Mavs just what they need at the right moment. When Boston was rallying in the fourth to get back into the game, Rondo had a steal, an assist, and a driving layup in consecutive possessions to put the game firmly back in Dallas’ control. If that wasn’t enough, he sealed it with a three just a few minutes later.

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  • He finished the game 12-19 from the field, including 5-7 from three, totaling a season-high 29 points, prompting Rick Carlisle to label it his best performance as a Maverick.

    In the words of Rondo, “It was a great night for basketball.” In addition, it was a great night to be a Mavs fan. Rondo and the Mavs gave the Dallas faithful continued hope that this team could do something special.

    Undoubtedly, it will take something special to get out of the Western Conference this season. Dallas’ wire-to-wire win sees them fourth place in the West riding a four game winning streak. Rondo and company will look to ride their fine run of form when they travel to Cleveland to take on Lebron and the struggling Cavaliers on Sunday.