In the Bonus: Rondo's game rounding into form

In the Bonus: Rondo's game rounding into form
February 12, 2014, 1:45 pm
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BOSTON — There's a certain amount of explosiveness that in many ways helps define Rajon Rondo's game.

And while that part of his play hasn't been seen too often, his performance of late has left little doubt that the four time All-Star's game is steadily rounding back into shape.

Having appeared in nine games this season following a torn right ACL injury suffered on Jan. 25 of last year, his last three appearances have been very much like what most have come to expect from Rondo when he's on top of his game.

In the last three games, Rondo has averaged 14 points and 11 assists in 31.8 minutes per game. He's also shooting 61.3 percent.

While it does represent a very small sample, keep in mind that he hadn't played in nearly a year when he returned on Jan. 17 against the Los Angeles Lakers and not surprisingly, is still shaking off some of the cobwebs from having been inactive for so long.

Rondo's improvement of late is most noticeable in his shooting.

In his first six games, he shot 23.1 percent from three-point range which was relatively consistent with what he did prior to the knee injury. In the last three games he has played, Rondo's three-point shooting is up to 36.4 percent.

But the major jump in his shooting has come on mid-range shots and shots in the paint. In his first six games, Rondo shot 26.3 percent on mid-range shots, but has nearly tripled that while shooting 85.7 percent in the last three games.

There has been a significant bump in his shooting in the paint as well, up to 69.2 percent in his last three games compared to just 31 percent in his first six.

But in the end, Rondo's court vision which even as he continues down the path of recovery, remains his greatest asset.

"Rondo is clearly a guy that puts the ball on the money at the right time," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "That's what really, really good passers do. But that's what makes Rondo a special point guard."