Should Rajon Rondo go Rambo? 6 spots to build the playoff legend

Rajon Rondo, #9, Los Angeles Lakers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Rajon Rondo, #9, Los Angeles Lakers, (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Rajon Rondo in the Eastern Conference?

Miami Heat

In Game 3 of the Finals, Jimmy Butler went up for a dunk and was rejected by Rajon Rondo; who sent him sprawling to the floor after fouling him as well. We’ve seen Jimmy Butler’s reactions to hard fouls from players he doesn’t respect. He gets in their faces, whispers sweet nothings and looks like he’s ready to throw down on the spot.

Without Rondo ever going over to check on him and helping Anthony Davis up from the ground, Jimmy eventually composed himself and went to the free-throw line. With a grin and chuckle at Rajon Rondo, his once Chicago Bulls’ teammate that he witnessed lead the charge against the  Celtics before it all fell apart after his injury; Butler seemed to show his “appreciation” for that type of commitment on the court.

If you can pass the Jimmy Butler True Heart Evaluation Services’ new and improved litmus test for winning and competitive advantage, COMING SOON!; you are certainly worthy of playing alongside of him in pursuit of a championship. The Heat could use him too, as we all saw the heroic efforts of Jimmy Butler to keep Miami in the series and the toll it took on him by the end of it.

Rajon Rondo is a pressure valve. He alleviates some of that responsibility and his passing and on-ball defense would work well with the Heat just as it would with the Warriors. Miami doesn’t have the natural pass-first, defensive point guard that Rondo is and he would give the Heat’s shooters plenty of opportunities as he has proven over his career.

His veteran leadership and compatibility with Butler and a youthful Miami Heat team, not to mention his Kentucky roots and fit within the organization’s noted culture, are critical components that would make them mesh well together. Rajon Rondo’s experience and game seem perfect for Miami’s cutting and spacing on offense and adaptable defensive schemes that rely on communication and intuitiveness.

Brooklyn Nets

You know what they say, you can never have too many cooks in the kitchen or is it coaches on the court? What? That’s not how it goes? Whatever the case, throw Rajon Rondo into the strange brew that is cooking in Brooklyn and it’s either an incredible masterpiece or spectacular failure. Either way, it would be beyond entertaining and build up interest in the NBA’s most avant-garde ensemble even more.

The Brooklyn Nets seem to be building a years-long symposium on point guard play and how it impacts offense with Kyrie Irving, Steve Nash and Mike D’Antoni as the instructors. Add the universally accepted high-basketball IQ of Rondo into the mix and there’s no reason to think it couldn’t work.

Rajon Rondo brings a different skill-set than Kyrie does, with more focus on the defensive end and putting players in position to succeed. Irving is himself an offensive force, but he and Kevin Durant would benefit from the easy looks that Rondo could generate for them, especially coming off injury. More importantly, even though Rajon Rondo likes the ball in his hands, as do KD and Kyrie, Rondo won’t take shots away from either player and he lets them play off the ball as pure scorers. Like the Warriors, Irving and Durant may have their share of readiness and rust issues that the experience and play-making of Rondo could help alleviate, making the transition simpler.

Rajon Rondo also has the respect and ability to hold players accountable while expecting it from himself. This is a good trait to have with the egos and attitudes that reside in Bed-Stuy as Rondo is not one to shy away from speaking his mind or working out issues that need to be addressed for the good of the team. He has shown he can play with superstars and excel in his ancillary role. The Brooklyn Nets have a fair share of ball-handlers, but all are offense/shoot-first type players that Rondo’s skill-set should complement nicely.

Boston Celtics

After winning titles with the two most storied franchises in NBA history, it would be fitting if Rajon Rondo could go home again and put the Celtics over the top once more. Rondo maybe the one type of player who could do it. Talent isn’t the question in Boston. Mettle, heart and leadership are; qualities which Rajon Rondo has in spades.

Boston probably should have won their playoff series with the Miami Heat. They had multiple big leads in the second halves that they weren’t able to sustain. They seemed to get flustered by the pressure and without the veteran leadership to coordinate a response when things were starting to slip away.

Rajon Rondo may not have prevented that, but he’s more equipped to handle those situations because he’s been in those situations. To a team with high expectations that have hit somewhat of a wall, Rondo’s experience could help the Celtics whose two best players are young, inconsistent with their level of aggressiveness and seem unsure or unable to take the reins of the team when it is needed most.

Rondo should have the experience and game to let Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown be the stars without having to be on-court leaders and organizers. Due to their youth and/or personalities, that role doesn’t seem like a natural fit for either player but one Rajon Rondo excels at and could be the difference in Boston finally making it out of the East.

Ideally, Rajon Rondo will go to some of these teams over the next few years and win several more titles. “Playoff Rondo” will become so legendary, he will be thought to deliver championships single-handedly like Rambo could take out entire enemy villages or rogue police forces with only a bow and arrows and Rondo-like headband. It may not be entirely believable, but legends don’t always have to be.

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