Remember when the Boston Celtics were shopping Rajon Rondo near the trade deadline? Well, they don't want you to remind Rondo of that. He has elevated himself to the Celtics' 'most valuable player' with his high energy and stunning play in their series with the Miami Heat.
Rondo has been the key component in the Celtics' tying of their series with the Heat 2-2 after going down 2-0. His 42 assists with only 12 turnovers are the unsung stat of the series and his high energy and natural chippiness has rubbed off on his aging teammates, giving them fresh legs and fresh determination. The prime example of this play has been the resurgence of Kevin Garnett, who is averaging 20.5 points and 10.8 rebounds after another double-double (17 points, 14 rebounds) in Game 4.
Of course, a Chris Bosh-less Heat is a plus in Garnett's corner and one that will be negated in game 5 once he returns.
Rondo has been the spark of life that the entire Celtics team has breathed into — an inferno equal to the hype and talent of the Heat's. Heck, between circus-like plays on the court, Rondo is even providing the media with meaty quotes sure to be blown up for the next 48 hours into the next big story.
During a halftime interview in Sunday's game 4, ESPN's Doris Burke asked what holes he was exploiting in the Heat defense. Rondo Replied the following without missing a beat.
"Them complaining and crying to the referees in transition." Rondo said.
Not necessarily the type of quote that your coach will be happy about, but none the less, Rondo isn't afraid to speak his mind and to also speak the truth; a trait that endears him to teammates and fans alike. Many will see that quote as a direct shot at the Heat, and frankly, it is. But it's a true one, and one that was emphasized by the continued complaining of Miami Heat star LeBron James even after the game.
"It's very difficult, I know how I play the game of basketball, I know I don't need the advantage of holding somebody or pushing somebody down," said James, who had 29 points but fouled out late. "I don't foul out. If I'm going to foul out, that's six fouls, I wish I would've earned them."
All complaining and drama aside, Rondo has proven, yet again, that he is an elite talent in this league and that if the Celtics are going to survive in a world without Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Garnett, then they better keep their stud point guard happy.
Oh, and maybe not shop him out in the offseason.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP