Rondo extends assist streak in impressive fashion

For 19 straight games, Boston Celtics point guard has been setting up his teammates in historic fashion.  Last night against the Hawks, Rondo dropped a 10 point, 10 rebound, 20 assist triple double to extend his double-digit assists streak to 19.  It’s his 25th double-digit assist game in 27 games, and it coincides with a Celtics run from “avoiding the 8th seed” to “challenging for the third seed.”  

Last night was the fourth game in five nights for Rondo and the Celtics.  But instead of using the built-in excuse to ease up, Rondo begged to stay in the game

“Rondo was sensational; he didn’t want to come out,” explained Rivers. “He said, ‘Because we’ve got tomorrow off, let me just go.’

And go he did.  The wild thing about Rondo’s night was that it wasn’t really a great game for him.  He shot 3-16 and had six turnovers in the game and has probably had some non-triple-double games that were much better than this one. 

Maybe that’s a testament to how good he can be and what’s come to be expected of him.  He’s played in 48 games and had double-digit assists in 34 of them.  In a year where no on else has had more than one triple double, Rondo has six.  He’s a point guard averaging five rebounds a game.  When you factor in points scored and assisted, Rondo accounted for 52 of the Celtics 88 points scored last night.  That’s pretty good.

This assist streak has gotten Rondo some mention in MVP discussions.  And while he’s not a legitimate threat to LeBron James or Kevin Durant, he’ll get some second place votes because the numbers are gaudy and the Celtics are surging close to voting time.  With these performances fresh in voters’ minds, Rondo will be on the list somewhere.  Though there is some discussion as to whether Rondo is the MVP of his own team (have you been watching Kevin Garnett lately?).  

Regardless of that side discussion, Rondo’s been hot and so have the Celtics.  With huge wins over Miami (twice), Indiana and Atlanta, the Celtics are serving notice to all possible playoff opponents that if you’re going to win a series against Boston, you’ll have a hell of a fight on your hands.  They won’t go out quietly.