Rajon Rondo is the triple-double king and this afternoon in the win over the Miami Heat he notched his fifth of the 2011-2012 NBA Regular Season. Nobody else in the league has more than one on the year, but somehow the Boston Celtics point guard keeps racking them up. Today’s final line for Rondo included 16 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds; but most importantly it ended in a win for Boston. He completed this achievement with 8 and a half minutes to play in the blowout victory (Celtics 91- Heat 72) and was able to rest the final several minutes as Avery Bradley (who had a highlight reel block on D.Wade) and the bench got some garbage time minutes.
It was Rondo’s first triple-double since March 4th , (highlights below) when he put on a beyond incredible performance in a thrilling win over Jeremy Lin and the Knicks. That game he finished with 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 rebounds in a ridiculous and historic performance. Like today’s game, the overtime win against the Knicks was also an ABC Sunday afternoon broadcast, a national stage in which Rondo has been beyond spectacular this season. The Celtics have played three Sunday matinees on ABC this season, and Rondo has averaged 22 points, over 16 assists, and almost 13 rebounds over the course of those games and #9 has had a triple-double in all three. It’s safe to say he enjoys playing in front of a national audience.
With today’s performance Rondo also moved ahead of Lebron James on the leaderboard for most triple doubles since the start of the 2009-2010 season. Over the past three seasons Rajon Rondo now has amassed ten triple-doubles, while “King” James is now firmly in second place with nine. I don’t want to take anything away from Rondo’s achievement, but the fact that Lebron doesn’t have more needs to be an indictment on him and his play style, as in my opinion Lebron is the most athletic player in the league and a guy who can play four positions effectively. To score a triple-double you really need to make your presence felt in a game all over the floor and honestly I was a bit surprised that LeBron doesn’t done that more over the past few years.
One more cool fact from this game today is that it also marked the 13th consecutive game that Rondo has had ten or more assists in a game. This is the longest streak of its kind since Steve Nash had a streak of 14 games back in March and April of 2005. The Celtics point guard will look to tie that streak on Wednesday evening against the Spurs and will have a chance to beat it on Thursday night against versus the Chicago Bulls and a familiar coach in Tom Thibodeau.
Forget what everyone says about the “Big Three” for Boston, the Celtics chances down the stretch rely heavily on how well Rajon Rondo performs down the stretch and into the playoffs. When he plays with confidence and is in “attack mode” like he was this afternoon the Celtics are a very tough team to beat. He is the point guard and the leading playmaker for this team and when he is playing well he has the ball in his hands more than anyone else on the team. When he is able to control the tempo and run the plays that head coach Doc Rivers wants him to the Celtics execution is incredibly entertaining to watch. The problem with this team usually comes when Rondo has a tough first quarter and can’t get things going, and instead puts more pressure on Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to get things going for the team. That is something that #9 needs to work on, and if he can stay fearless (ala Derrick Rose) this Celtics team can play with anyone. Not too bad for a team that many considered dead at the trade deadline!