Rajon Rondo's film study dedication impresses Brad Stevens

It's been well documented with his analytics reputation and studious nature that Celtic coach Brad Stevens spends hour upon hour watching and breaking down game film.

In fact, according to Baxter Holmes at the Boston Globe, after a game while the C's fly to their next destination on their charter flight Stevens face is illuminated by the computer screen while the majority of Celtic players and staff are noddding off to sleep.
But Brad Stevens rarely — if ever — sleeps. The rookie head coach instead flips open his laptop and starts watching game film, his face illuminated by the screen’s electronic glow.

“He’ll be watching film that whole plane ride,” said his wife, Tracy. “I think he’s slept on the plane maybe once all season. If they’re flying, he’s working.”

He might sleep for a bit when they arrive at the team hotel, but often, one of the team’s video coordinators will be at his door with new film early, perhaps by 7 the next morning.

And Stevens, whose Celtics play the Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center here Wednesday, then will brew a cup of black coffee and begin another session, reviewing a past game, studying an upcoming opponent, or both.

“You could probably call me at any point in the day, and I’ll be watching film,” Stevens said recently with a laugh.

Considering how dedicated Stevens is to studying game film it says a lot that he is equally as impressed by Captain Rajon Rondo's film viewing capacities:
But for as much film as Stevens devours, he has been equally impressed with how much Rajon Rondo watches, too.

“He probably watches more film than most NBA players,” Stevens said. “Almost like a football player, with how much film he watches.”

And Stevens has come to enjoy breaking down film with his cerebral point guard.

“You sit in the film room, you’re talking about something that is part of a system, but there are things that he sees within an action that may or may not have been a part of the original plan,” Stevens said.

Rondo’s film habits are extensive, involving both his iPhone and iPad.

“I have a guy that sends me film before every game of other teams on my phone,” Rondo said. “He also sends me film of my minutes after the games.”

Either that night or the next morning, Rondo said, he’ll review the footage, which can take 5-10 minutes. What’s he looking for? “Everything, everything,” he said.

“The way I run, the way I go through a pick, if I hold my follow-through — just my entire game.”

Kwame Graves, the Celtics’ coaching associate and head video coordinator, also sends film to Rondo’s iPad via Dropbox.

“At the end of the game, I’ll look up his minutes, and then the way we split it up, we can use when he’s in, when he’s out, and then put it all in one movie and then put it in his Dropbox,” he said.

These habits also speak again as to why I think the Celtics would be crazy to trade Rajon.

Unlike so many NBA players who just pick up a paycheck, Rondo is dedicated and a student of the game.

Critics say he is 28 and the Celtics are in rebuild mode and should build through the draft.

Even if that's the case, the heir apparent to Rondo will need a mentor much in the same way Rondo was mentored by Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

In fact, The Phoenix Suns this season are a perfect example. Steve Nash is also a point guard incredibly dedicated to his craft who won two MVPs while playing with Phoenix.

Goran Dragic, the Suns current point guard, spent two plus years as the understudy of Nash.

This season, Dragic is averaging over twenty points and just under six assists for one of the league's most surprising teams.

You can't tell me that Dragic being around Nash and seeing his approach to the game on a daily basis did not profoundly affect Goran's development.

The same concept applies to the Celtics and Rondo. The organization has enough assets to get a quality young point guard in the next couple of years.

Give that player some time to learn under Rondo and Boston has someone ready for the challenge of stepping in once Rondo loses a step or is ready to retire.

Follow Clint on Twitter @ClintCorey