Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/28/14
Rondo
Asked over and over about what his streak of consecutive games with double-digit assists meant to him, Rajon Rondo came back with the same answer every time. “It means my teammates are making shots,” he said repeatedly after the Celtics’ win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, when he extended his streak to 33 games. And that was that, pretty much. Rondo’s streak reached 34 games on Sunday, when it took until the 38th minute of a blowout loss to the Pistons for Rondo to record his 10th assist and continue his march toward history. The Celtics’ efforts to get Rondo that assist went so far as calling a timeout with 1:38 on the clock and Boston trailing by 19 points to draw up a set play. With that, it became obvious that this streak means more to Rondo than he lets on, and by extension it means something to the Celtics as well. Knowing what we know about Rondo, this really makes perfect sense. Rondo does not just want to be known as the best point guard in the league. He wants proof. What better way to prove it than to surpass the marks set by Magic Johnson and John Stockton, two of the greatest ever at the position? Celtics coach Doc Rivers drew some criticism for making a concerted effort to keep the streak alive, and a more disagreeable coach than Lawrence Frank — a former Rivers assistant — might have made a fuss over the Celtics breaking some sort of unwritten rule. Yet Rivers was wise to keep his point guard happy. There is a Twilight Zone episode about a 6-year-old boy with godlike powers, and his parents and everyone else in his town treads lightly around him for fear that he will blink them out of existence on a whim. The Celtics need to be just as careful with their immensely talented guard, for their greatness depends on his greatness, and while greatness is possible for Rondo, it is not promised. No less an authority than Kevin Garnett recognized that from his third day as a Celtic way back in 2007, playing pickup ball with the then-second-year guard. “You could see his potential in the way he was dictating the game,” Garnett said. “Not saying he was scoring the ball, but he was dictating a lot of plays. I evaluate the game not just from a scoring perspective but a defensive perspective, too. I told him a long time ago when I first met him that he had the potential to do both. He had the energy and the IQ to do both, but it was up to him. “Obviously, you see what this product is coming out to be. The future is whatever he wants it to be. I’ve always said with Rondo, it’s between his ears. Consistency is everything. Whatever you put into this, that’s what you’re going to get out of it and he’s doing a great job.” Whatever sort of play Rivers drew up in the final minutes on Sunday, the Celtics never got a chance to turn it into an assist opportunity. Rondo lost the ball before he could deliver it to a teammate, and the next time down the floor Jason Terry missed an open 3-pointer. The streak was in danger until Jared Sullinger received the ball at the top of the key and briefly considered swinging it to the opposite wing before he realized what was at stake. The rookie fired away from 20 feet and… splash. The streak continued. To a purist, an individual statistical streak might seem like small potatoes when a team is gunning for a championship. For the Celtics to get that far, though, they will need Rondo, their floor general and their engine, playing at an historic pace. Trying a bit harder to help a player achieve a statistical milestone therefore is a small price to maintain that pace. If Rondo is determined to chase greatness, the Celtics are right to encourage him. Have a question for Ben Watanabe? Send it to him via Twitter at @BenjeeBallgame or send it here.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Madison Bumgarner pitches Giants to World Series title

Giants fans get rowdy celebrating World Series win

Roy Williams' response to criticism over academic scandal

Jerry Jones challenging Tony Romo to play Sunday?

Wizards make rapper Wale new 'creative liaison' for team

Report: Joe Maddon to become Cubs manager

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rockets Harden and Ariza visit Julius Randle in the hospital

Dan Gilbert asked if he 'deserved' to have LeBron back

Brady: Maybe at Manning's age I'll be playing that well

Dolphins LB brings kid from stands to field before each game

NFL and MLB spending big money on mid-term elections

High school football player reportedly stabs teammate

Top storyline for each Week 9 NFL game

WATCH: Chevy guy bombs World Series presentation

WATCH: James Ennis throws down dunk of the season

Kris Humphries shares nasty photo of gruesome finger injury

WATCH: Joe Panik makes play of the game in Game 7

Russell Westbrook wears aluminum foil-like outfit

WATCH: Capitals' Chimera suffers nasty broken nose

Robert Griffin III to start against Vikings

WATCH: Navy raps about Notre Dame, set to ‘Anaconda’

Rulon Gardner selling Olympic memorabilia to pay $3.9M debt

Mike Pettine says he ‘can sense’ Johnny Manziel’s frustration

WATCH: Unreal ending to H.S. game; QB forgets to finish play

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Top storyline for each Week 9 game

Williams' response to criticism

WATCH: Chevy guy totally bombs

Bumgarner pitches Giants to title

Report: Cubs to hire Maddon as manager

Tom Brady talks Peyton Manning

Best Game 7s in World Series history

NFL, MLB spend on mid-term elections

Gurley suspended four games

Gordie Howe suffered stroke

WATCH: Kobe and Dwight get into it

Notre Dame WR will not be punished

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.