3.18.2007

The Upside Down Bonk



I was planning a tall post for Monday on the Suns' psychology, but then they went and dropped two in a row, and looked like marginal hell against Denver. . . suddenly I'm not so motivated. I do want to note, however, that the Nuggets were absolutely scintillating last night, and that a healthy, wealthy Denver is probably better for the league than keeping Phoenix completely indestructible. As for the Spurs crapping out again the mighty Green Babies, that's just funny. I refuse to believe that the Celtics have suddenly found their identity, or that it's Pierce, Jefferson, and whichever one of the other pups plans to bust out that night. It would be cool and all, but I would be just as pleased to see Ainge squander his talent, and all of them star elsewhere. Incidentally, that's why I hope they get Oden, who next to Durant comes off as Duncan 2 on all types of conceptual levels.

Sadly, teams need point guards, and like the Hawks, the Celtics will never connect as people until they straighten out that situation. Say what you will about the Bobcats, but at least they've got Felton installed tightly. Telfair hasn't worked out, West is not a point guard, and that Rondo cat. . . well, he belongs on the Suns or on Mars. I like Pierce, despite the fact that he fits with the Celts' gutsy heritage. Jefferson is basically like a Deep South Chief. Gerald Green, he'll never stick, for obvious reasons. Delonte is almost too slick, but looks kind of white. Rondo is simply too next for the Celtics to comprehend.



Last night's line: 2 points, 6 assists, and 14 boards. How about 3/11's 12, 8 and 7? Or the 13 points, 10 assists, and 4 rebounds he etched in the minds of Hawks last week? If once FreeDarko stressed the importance of the signature stat line, Rondo is like a thousand angry voices in one. This isn't a Kidd-like all-around consistency; I don't think anyone's projecting him as a consistent triple-double threat. Rondo's box scores read like a decent all-around player who relies on demonic possession to excel at any particular one. It's tempting to call these outbursts situational, but the overall pattern is one of provocative randomness. When the unpredictability becomes a predictable feature, you throw up your arms and run toward the light.

Rajon Rondo, you have created a new FreeDarko stat, one that I lack the language to name. Silverbird will be asleep for the next fifteen hours I hear, but hopefully when he awakes, he will immediately turn his attentions to this urgent problem.

And Simmons, you're a genius for predicting Rondo's stardom last summer, a goofball for backing off of it when he's created a new life for us all.



Addendum: Silverbird had actually been up since 7AM, and just now has come up with a quantitative account of my scallopy intuition. Basically, the degree of variance within each category from night to night is absolutely unprecedented in the history of statistics. In fact, one might say that Rondo's primary output consists not of points, rebounds, or assists, but of the as-of-yet-unnamed units of standard deviation. You see a raw player on a shoddy team, I see the future of excrement.

16 Comments:

At 3/18/2007 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i have to disagree. rondo is the fucking future. he'll mature into a 6-8 point, which is pretty amazing considering he's only got a few inches over mugsey bogues. plus, boston is bound to get something nice in this year's lottery. unleash the baggage (telfair, green) and bring in some new blood and boston will emerge as a force with rondo running shit.

 
At 3/18/2007 1:16 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

you inspired me to add rondo to my fantasy team. i've got to keep those stat lines prominent in my life.

fuck kendrick perkins.

 
At 3/18/2007 2:23 PM, Anonymous Paxson Jackson said...

Shoals, this isn't even stat chat. Rondo is a rookie on a sucky team, which is a recipe for up and down, left and right box scores. If you're going to use statistics, give it some fucking thought before you shit out a bunch of fiction.

 
At 3/18/2007 2:38 PM, Anonymous Paxson Jackson said...

And another thing - demonic possession? What the fuck is that?

 
At 3/18/2007 3:10 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

pj, i'm sorry i let you down. you're right, no player is "demonically possessed" by a statistical category, and rondo's screwy lines are a function of ragged play. in the future, i will refrain from anything that could be considered "fiction"

the real reason i've leaving a comment is because of the great basketball name ever:

Marreese Speights

 
At 3/18/2007 3:27 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

okay stat fans, silverbird's explanation is now included in the end of the post.

 
At 3/18/2007 6:30 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

"Demonic possession" is straight Gravediggaz... Rondo needs to be shackled in restraint at the bottom of a holy tabernacle with his hands and feet nailed in the form of the cross.

Speaking of crappy Atlantic teams, I am now contractually obligated to remind you (as I do whenever Renaldo Balkman dominates a superior team) that I TOLD YOU SO. Balkman possesses the basketball work ethic of a Jamaican. All you that dissed that selection last summer need to come forth and repent! Where's that herb Mutoni? Balkman is your path to salvation, accept him as your lord....

 
At 3/18/2007 9:40 PM, Blogger T. said...

I believe Mutoni already wrote something up back in the fall on benchrenaldo.

I'll man up and say I was wrong about Balkman, but I think the general feeling was - not that it was a bad pick, but that Zeke could've picked him up as a Free Agent or 2nd rounder.

That being said - it's pretty rare to find productive rooks at that end of the draft anyways.

(When the heck are the Celtics going to give Leon Powe regular minutes? The man comes in and just rebounds. And rebounds. And rebounds. Surely that's got to get him regular minutes somewhere. LEON!!!!1!!!!1!!)

 
At 3/18/2007 10:05 PM, Blogger stopmikelupica said...

The Rondo thing made me think - he's very similar to Balkman in one obvious way... neither of them can shoot a lick. And everyone knows it. The difference is that Balkman doesn't need the ball, but Rondo is a point and needs it.

That's what I never understood about the Clippers. They had Cassell at the point; they didn't need to force Livingston there. I always thought they should have tried Cassell at point, Maggette at the two, and Livingston at the three. Shaun is 6'8; he could have guarded threes, and having him in the post with his passing ability would have tremendous. There he could have caused damage.

They tried him at the two with Cassell a couple of times, but keeping on the perimeter doesn't seem to be as effective as getting him in closer to the basket. Essentially that's how the Suns did it last season with Boris Diaw - instead of using him as a point, they used him as a point forward/center.

 
At 3/19/2007 10:12 AM, Blogger zip zip said...

Rondo is a career backup pg. Elevating his status to starter does nothing for the Celtics.

Ainge needs to unload two of his youngs (excluding AJ and Green) with a contract (Ratliff or Wally) for an experienced pg.

I can definitely see Bibby in Celtic green for the savings of Ratliff (expiring/insurance), West (kind of a Bibby Jr anyhow) and another young player.

 
At 3/19/2007 11:14 AM, Blogger T. said...

zip zip - Bibby? Have you seen him play this year? He's AWFUL, inasmuch as he's often the 4th player on the Kings, behind Martin, Ron Ron, and some combination of 'Reef, Kenny Freaking Thomas and any other scrubs the Kings put up there.

I don't know if I've ever seen a player age this much this badly since, well, Stevie Franchise.

 
At 3/19/2007 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rajon Rondo aint bigger than a minute. You can not succeed in the NBA if you are a fucking midget and can't score at all.

Stopmikelupica: You should be ashamed of yourself. I'm supposed to bow down and praise Zeke because he drafted Renaldo fucking Balkman!? Last time I checked they had that player and his name was Trevor fucking Ariza. And like Ariza, Balkman can't shoot. I'd rather have an expiring contract, Ariza and Marcus Williams. This is more Isiah revisionist history. I'm supposed to be grateful that we're 6 games under .500? 6 games under 5 fucking hundred!? This team sucks and it will continue to suck. We don't even have a lottery pick. Channing Frye is a fucking stiff. Eddy Curry is out of shape. Stephon is 30. Richardson will never play more than 60 games a season. Crawford is neither a shooting guard NOR a point guard. Lee can't defend.

sigh

 
At 3/19/2007 8:15 PM, Blogger Freudian Slip said...

I happen to think Rondo is a great player, despite his "shortcomings".
Matt

 
At 3/19/2007 9:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Rondo thing made me think - he's very similar to Balkman in one obvious way... neither of them can shoot a lick. And everyone knows it. The difference is that Balkman doesn't need the ball, but Rondo is a point and needs it."

astute observation. after all, of the great point guards in the league, only one of them (nash) shoots over 50%.

 
At 3/20/2007 11:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Stopmikelupica: You should be ashamed of yourself. I'm supposed to bow down and praise Zeke because he drafted Renaldo fucking Balkman!? Last time I checked they had that player and his name was Trevor fucking Ariza. And like Ariza, Balkman can't shoot. I'd rather have an expiring contract, Ariza and Marcus Williams. This is more Isiah revisionist history. I'm supposed to be grateful that we're 6 games under .500? 6 games under 5 fucking hundred!? This team sucks and it will continue to suck. We don't even have a lottery pick. Channing Frye is a fucking stiff. Eddy Curry is out of shape. Stephon is 30. Richardson will never play more than 60 games a season. Crawford is neither a shooting guard NOR a point guard. Lee can't defend."


wrong. trevor ariza is similar in some ways to balk, but balk looks to be special and clearly the better player. aside from shooting - a skill at which ariza has improved but is no great shakes - balk is equal or better in every respect. i'd also take balk over marcus williams under any circumstances. revisionist history is to say that we could have had both. you don't know that. balkman had great predraft workouts and people knew about him .... except for bilas, anthony, and steven a. smith of course.

you know, it's okay to like your own team sometimes. "we" need to realize when "we" get something good and stop worrying about trifling issues like the ones you wrote about.

 
At 3/21/2007 10:52 PM, Anonymous grover said...

" I always thought they should have tried Cassell at point, Maggette at the two, and Livingston at the three. Shaun is 6'8; he could have guarded threes, and having him in the post with his passing ability would have tremendous. There he could have caused damage."

Let's be honest, Livingston is almost too skinny to guard most points! The only reason he keeps up is because his length allows him to have deceptive(in that he's not that great for a 6'7 guy) steals & blocks ability out of a point guard. Put him at SF and Livingston gets owned by guys who have 50-60 pounds on him.

 

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