The Riddle of Rondo

The Riddle of Rondo
Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune Rajon Rondo moves the ball down the court during the first half against the Lakers at the United Center on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016.

Many hands make light work.

This is a mantra that I've taken upon myself to remember over this holiday season, with countless things to take care of it's difficult to handle everything on your own. Keeping this in mind, I need your help. What are the Bulls going to do with Rondo? Sometimes he's great and other times...not so much. Help me make sense of it.

Since coming into the league in 2006, Rajon Rondo has a championship to his name, several All-Star game appearances, a killer nickname, and has been able to distribute the ball just as well as anyone in the league. So what's not to like? For starters, how about Rajon's inability to abstain from Rondoing.

Rondo・ing - noun:

  1. the act of pulling a Rondo.
  2. to wreak havoc, cause a stir, or the basis of dysfunction.
  3. to show off your basketball IQ.
  4. commit a turnover that makes you yell at the television.

"Did you see that guy Rondoing?" "Yes, he threw a towel at an assistant coach."

"Wow, Rondo was Rondoing there." "Seriously, what a pass."

As someone who hasn't been shy about his general distain for the Bulls' new floor general, I wasn't surprised to wake up to the news of the point guard being suspended Monday morning for conduct detrimental to the team. It's always nice to start your day with a laugh, however this report had me unsure whether to laugh or cry. As Chicago blazed a trail at the beginning of the season, those well versed in the basketball universe were left shaking their heads asking the question, how is this sustainable? This week as Hoiberg and company slowly descended down the Eastern Conference standings, that brief glimmer of hope that was the first couple weeks of the season has turned into a nullifying slump. Then just as Chicago's faithful often does, they win a Thursday night TNT game against a superior Spurs team.

Inconsistency, welcome back.

Rondo has been lauded so far for his leadership characteristics, and being a coach on the floor. At times, that gets him into all sorts of trouble. If you aren't aware of his antics, there's plenty of solid reading material that you can find. The homophobic slurs, the cursing out of coaches, and of course the Mavericks kindly asking Rajon to leave during the 2015 postseason. It's a long list, the real question is how to best utilize number 9's talents on the floor. Rondoing is going to happen. The real question is, how do the Bulls handle it?

Heading into this season, inquiries surrounded the Three Alphas (burn that name with fire), and how they would co-exist. So far, their personalities have meshed surprisingly well. It's still very early, but Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade seem to enjoy sharing the floor with Rondo. This is one way to keep the most maddening alpha at bay. Up to the present moment when these three play together they have a Net Rating of 5.3. Three point shooting continues to be a struggle as they are shooting 31.0 percent when they are on the court together. They aren't the best fit on the court, but the former Marquette Golden Eagles are accepting Rondo so far -- that's important. Rondo has done well in a leadership role so far, and I'm happy about it. He even showed up to Summer League games to cheer on his younger teammates.

The Bulls are better when their starting point guard isn't on the floor they have a Def Rtg of 98.7, and when he's on the floor, Chicago's Def Rtg is 106.5. As a whole when the controversial guard sits, good things happen. I hope that

This isn't as fun anymore. Well, Jimmy Butler is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, but besides that, being stuck in the middle is basketball hell. Unfortunately the reality of this situation is that the Bulls won't be competing for a championship this season, and before all of you "we beat the Cavaliers and Spurs" truthers come out of the woodwork, can you beat those two teams four times?


Chicago will probably make the postseason. That's all well and good, but don't hold your breath for an Eastern Conference matchup against LeBron -- it won't end well. This Rondo experiment might last a year, and because of that (among other things) the Bulls access to the average club has been granted for another season. If Rajon Rondo plays well, the sky is the limit for this team. If his personality is managed well, and can shoot a solid percentage from the floor--Chicago can be competitive. For now, enjoy Dwyane Wade being in Chicago, Mirotic pump fakes, Hoiberg struggling to figure out big-man pairings, and of course the saving grace of this team, Jimmy Butler. Rondo hasn't been all bad, and I hope the good times continue to roll. However, his track record isn't sparkling. Good Rondo is a better Rondo, but Bulls' fans still don't know who they're going to get.


Filed under: Players

Tags: bulls, Butler, Rondo, wade


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    For all those Head coaches who raves about Rondo's high basketball IQ he sure does make some boneheaded turnovers. Maybe that's the genius in Rondo, I dunno, but It's not helping the team from my point of view.
    What I like about Rondo is those rebounds. For a PG he sure has a great nose for the ball, but for all of his greatness rebounding the ball, his hesitation to shoot it is troublesome with the starting unit.
    The Bulls could use a PG who can shoot the 3 and stretch the floor, while Rondo runs the 2nd unit.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Yea, now that I'm watching him on a daily basis, I just don't see the genius BBIQ, way too many turnovers and just plain bad passes, seems to slow the Bulls PACE, which as far as I can tell is the only offensive term in Mr. Mensa's(Hoibimbo) system.

    Maybe we can trade him to Thibs for Rubio, who I wanted this past offseason and most of last season.

    While we are at it, can we trade Taj for Rudy Gay who badly wants out of Sacto. in today's NBA, Gay can start at PF, since there aren't very many of them left in the league.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Oh yea, I almost forgot, can't wait for MCW to get back, outside of Butler, Wade on Rolo, he was the last guy I wanted to see go down with an injury. Who knows, maybe he works out as our longer term answer as a starting PG, maybe even by the end of this season.

  • I can't wait to dump Rondo after the year. I was against the signing before the season and I'm still against it now.

    Wade has brought some nice veteran leadership and actually showed what a proven leader can do (you've got some work to do, Jimmy). Rondo is still riding off that 08 championship where he had the benefit of playing with 3 future HOFers. His defense has slipped consistently and he's even said he loafs on that end. His stat padding was embarrassing in SAC and he's calmed down a bit in Chicago, but it's still there. With spacing at a premium now more than ever, his court vision isn't enough to make up for awful shot.

  • Wow, people forget that we are all trying to grow in life, and we all have our ups and downs. And it's harder in sports because of immaturity and youth who must grow with their skill sets and their changing bodies to fit in with other people and staff.
    I only know that one cannot listen to the advice from everybody. Just think about it, how many people would you accept advice from especially if you have been an all-star and have won a championship. And even at work after you have worked over ten years, you know that you know your job and who knows better than you?
    Most coaching staff have never actually achieved either accomplishments and yet when you are on a team you are paid to listen to staff.
    So Rhondo's challenge may be different from most of ours. Sometimes money is not so important, it's just super hard to work with so many people and personalities. Especially when a-holes are a part of the decision making crew!

  • I feel like many of you expect way too much from players. Rondo was not paid like the best PG in the league but that is what you expect. He has game and personality flaws like many others in the league but if the fit is right he has proven he can help win a championship. So far I can only go by what I have seen, showing up a summer league, and read, teammates has all said they enjoy playing with him. Yeah his personality might cause a confrontation with a coach once in awhile but do you forget that MJ also had some asshole tendencies. We're all of his forgiven bc he was the GOAT? Rodman is the perfect example of a flawed player and human that in the right situation could be a pivotal cog in a championship team. Not every team can be GS or Cle. I am happy with what I've seen from this team and look forward to the being back to 100%. Oh course I'm frustrated with loses that I think could of been preventable but i still see way more upside to come and like the scoring this team has shown compared to the Thibs years.

  • Speaking of Rondo, here is an update on our good friend the Krispy Kreme Pansey. from CBS sports.

    PAU GASOL, San Antonio Spurs: In fairness to Gasol, it's not easy replacing Tim Duncan. Much of the Spurs' slippage on defense, though, has to be attributed to him -- they have outscored opponents by 10.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the bench, and by 0.5 points per 100 possessions with him on the court. It's fun watching him operate in their system, though, and it's smart that he has become more comfortable and proficient behind the 3-point line. Let's see if the on/off numbers change in the next few months.

    Just as I predicted, Gulliver is significantly worse than even the fossilized mannequin version of Tim Duncan, nevermind a mountain of a MAN in RoLo.

    They almost certainly will change, for the worse, as is always the case with Gulliver's tenure with a team. Even the Spurs(or their fans) will eventually turn on him, just like those of every other city that he has played in.

  • FO Letting Gasol go elsewhere was good for us. I just hated to see we didn't get anything for him. A try for Cousins would have given me personally some satisfaction.

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