Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley: Winning is in the details
When you look at him, you see a talent that has never been seen before. He brings his own way of doing things and doesn't take advice from anyone.
He will tell you he that he is the best point guard in the league and you in turn will think he is full of himself. To be in the league, you have to feel that way about your skills.
Like any good numbers man, he knows the count, its debits and its ratio of the teams' production from his assists. Would you have it any other way when there are nine new faces to give your attention to?
The adjustment with the additions to the roster this year was painful to say the least, and Rondo resisted by making those new faces his last option on offense. He force fed familiar faces and trust was hard to find in a system that had not adapted to reflect the talent surrounding him. Danny gave Doc Rivers more offensive weapons but he ran the same system.
Since Rondo's injury, the team has thrived in a more wide open offense. Also, the emergence of Avery Bradley has only raised the level of chatter claiming the team is better off without their star point guard.
They call him selfish, and arrogant, a "down right dog" on the court. A dog whose praises Kobe Bryant sings. Kobe should know, a dog recognizes another dog. He may not always show up in a pretty package. He may be flea ridden and full of mange after being beaten up and chewed out by the media.
But, he wins. He makes his mark and finds a way to win.
Those are the very same things we said about Larry Bird. He found a way to win. "The Legend," would routinely tell his opponents how and where he was going to shoot. It would always happen as Bird scripted it and he never failed to deliver on his promise. His opponents couldn't stop it. He was down right nasty and ornery when he took his teammates along for Boston's championship ride in the 80's.
Rondo's nastiness is different, he does it with the ball in his hands. His vision is aided by his long arms and ability to pass the ball. He frequently out thinks himself and frustrates Doc and his teammates. Yet they keep fighting with him and for him. Because they know how much more dangerous they can be with him and Avery Bradley together.
Bradley's defensive presence saves the wear and tear on No. 9's body. People forget that before AB, Rondo was the only young gun in the back court He had to play the top guards in the league and get the team into its offense. It's a miracle he hasn't had more significant injuries prior to this year.
Bradley can generate offense with his "pit bull" defense and gives the Celtics a two pronged attack.
Winning is in the detail, and applying defensive pressure and passing the ball is part of that detail. Rondo wants the ball in his hands when it matters. All good players who want to be great take on that responsibility. They all falter along the way but its the path taken to become a champion.