Rajon Rondo and the C's setting historic pace

What Rondo has done so far this season has been nothing short of incredible
By now it's pretty well known that Rajon Rondo is on a historic run in the assist department. In fact, if Rondo can pick up ten helpers tonight, it will mark the 37th consecutive game he has done so, tying him with John Stockton for the 2nd longest streak in NBA history. Impressive, but also not breaking news at this point.

But what may surprise some people is the impact that Rondo's incredible run has had on the Celtics offense. As of today (13 games in) the Celtics Assist Ratio (% of a team's possessions that end in an assist) is 19.3, best in the NBA. In other words, just under 1 in 5 Celtic possessions end in an assisted basket.

So just how good is 19.3? Well if the Celtics could maintain this pace it would be the best in the NBA since ESPN began tracking the stat in 2002-03, 11 seasons worth of data. Not too shabby.

Perhaps the most amazing part of all of this is that after Rondo, who leads that NBA with 13.5 assists per game, no one on the C's averages more than 2.8 A/G. Rondo is basically single handedly turning the Celtics into the most efficient assist team in recent NBA history. To put it in perspective, let's take a look at the top 10 teams in terms of Assist Ratio since 2002-03, and their leading assist men.

1. 2007-08 Suns 17.9 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Steve Nash - 11.1 A/G (Boris Diaw 2nd - 3.8 A/G)

2. 2005-06 Suns 17.9 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Nash - 10.5 A/G (Diaw 2nd - 6.2 A/G)

3. 2009-10 Jazz 17.9 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Deron Williams - 10.5 A/G (Carlos Boozer 2nd - 3.2 A/G)

4. 2007-08 Jazz 17.8 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Williams - 10.5 A/G (Andrei Kirilenko 2nd - 4.0 A/G)

5. 2006-07 Suns 17.5 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Nash - 11.6 A/G (Diaw 2nd - 4.8 A/G)

6. 2005-06 Pistons 17.5 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Chauncey Billups - 8.6 A/G (Rip Hamilton 2nd - 3.4 A/G)

7. 2002-03 Jazz 17.4 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, John Stockton - 7.7 A/G (Karl Malone 2nd - 4.7 A/G)

8. 2002-03 T'wolves 17.4 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Kevin Garnett - 6.0 A/G (Troy Hudson 2nd - 5.7 A/G)

9. 2003-04 Nets 17.3 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Jason Kidd - 9.2 A/G (Richard Jefferson 2nd - 3.8 A/G)

10. 2003-04 Kings 17.3 Assist Ratio Assist Leader, Mike Bibby - 5.4 A/G (Vlade Divac 2nd - 5.3 A/G)

So not only are the Celtics blowing all of these teams out of the water, Rondo is averaging more assists per game than anyone on any of these teams, while getting less help than anyone (Pierce's 2.8 A/G is 2nd on the Celtics, lower than any of the other teams #2 assist man).

I guess what I'm trying to say is: What Rondo is doing is not just "a nice streak" or "something cool" but a truly amazing feat. Now with 69 games remaining the odds of this absurd pace continuing is low, but so far #9 is producing at a level not seen in recent NBA history. And if he can keep these numbers up? Well let's just say that all of that MVP talk is going to get a hell of a lot louder.

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