The Boston Celtics are not exactly a powerhouse team in the NBA this season. They have traded away most of their remaining talent and have entered the rebuilding stage. Doc Rivers has left and Brad Stevens will be learning how to be a coach in the NBA just as most of his players are still making the adjustment as well. As one of the top contenders in the Wiggins sweepstakes, we do not really expect much from this Celtics team this year. Their only real bright light is Rajon Rondo, who is coming back from last year's season ending injury. Rondo has been highlighted as one of the league best point guards and while that still may be true, I expect to see Rondo's stats take a decent drop after this year.
Now when you look at the stats for Rondo throughout his career, he has made an improvement almost every single season. He has averaged about 11.1 points per game along with 8.3 assists for this career as a Celtic. He even averaged over 11 assists in the last three seasons which is incredibly impressive. Although he is an awful shooter, he can score at the rim and has a gifted passing ability. With Allen, KG, and Pierce finally all gone you would think he would get improve even more with the increased spotlight and nobody around to disagree with his ideas. However, I think things are going to go in the complete opposite direction for this still young point guard on this rebuilding team.
The first area where Rondo will struggle is scoring. While Rondo is a gifted player in many aspects, he is an average scorer at best in the NBA. The reason Rondo could get to the rim and create shots for himself is mainly because people were so afraid of his passes. They had to worry about where everyone else was on the court more than him because he was the smallest threat in terms of scoring the ball. With Rondo being the best player on the team, more spotlight will be on him and it will be very tough for him to score with the fact that the players around him are not nearly as threatening anymore.
The next area that he will struggle in is assisting. No, not passing the ball because he will still be great at that. Where Rondo will struggle is on the stat sheet in this situation. Rondo still has the same gifted passing ability that he has always had, but when the player on the other end of the pass cannot score as easily Rondo will not get any credit for that pass. Other than Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and maybe Gerald Wallace the players around Rondo are questionable in terms of their scoring ability. Chemistry will be an issue too with all these new and young players on the team which makes moving the ball smoothly tougher to do. Everything will not be as in sync anymore so I really expect to see Rondo's assist numbers drop during this 2013-14 season.
Overall, Rondo is still going to be one of the best point guards in the league. He is still a great ball handler and a pretty good defender too. He also will still be great at moving the ball, however this season he will need to rely on himself much more than before to open up shots for the players around him. Being on such a young team suddenly after having veterans all around you to help you look better will be a big change for Rajon. He will adjust I am sure and will still have a decent year, but Rondo still plays for stats and probably always will which is why I expect to see him to take a drop as we progress through the upcoming season.