Rajon Rondo: Passing his way into the record books
As of today, Rondo has 21 straight games with at least 10 assists.
From the Boston Herald…
Rajon Rondo has a pat answer for questions of NBA history, which essentially applies to anything that happened before his rookie season in 2006-07.
“I wasn’t a big basketball fan growing up,” the Celtics point guard repeated last week.
That’s fine. Larry Bird said something similar when he first joined the Celtics in the fall of 1978. Maybe the purest talents spend time working on their handle or jump shot while the other kids are watching games on TV.
Rondo certainly was that kind of adolescent, though he appears to have heard about John Stockton, one of the players he was still chasing last week.
In terms of pure assists, Stockton was the last NBA player to function on that level, with a career high of 29 straight games with 10 or more assists in 1992.
“Yeah, the (Karl) Malone pick and roll, that’s how he got most of them,” Rondo said. “But I didn’t watch them at all. They were on the West Coast.”
Strictly in terms of Stockton, though, Rondo has several checkpoints to run through before hitting Game No. 29.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in addition to that 1992 streak, Stockton had six other lesser assist streaks that were all longer than Rondo’s 19-game run.
And that doesn’t even begin to address the greatest NBA assist streak of all time — Magic Johnson’s 46-game double-figure run from April 13, 1983 through Feb. 28, 1984.
But strictly in the historical context of the Celtics, Rondo is breaking fresh ground with each game.
Consider the list that includes the longest 10-plus assist streaks of three Hall of Fame Celtics point guards: Bob Cousy (seven games, 1960), KC Jones (two games twice, 1966); Dennis Johnson (four games, 1988).
“I just try to play,” Rondo said of his run of 19 games. “(But) it’s a great unselfish stat for your team. You give up the ball to your scorers, but I don’t know. I just like to pass the ball.”
The art of passing and playmaking, though, has taken Rondo to a rare level this month.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “I just dominate the ball a lot. My focus throughout this stretch has just been to try and keep my turnovers down. I had a couple of bad games. There was one where I had 17 assists, but I also had six turnovers. Just try to keep the turnovers down. If I hadn’t turned it over, then three of them could have been assists.
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