June 26, 2016, 2:23 pm
Vlade Divac has told multiple outlets that he is open to the idea of re-signing Rajon Rondo.
We’re not sure what basketball other folks were watching out there but what we saw for the Kings was some of the worst offensive basketball we’ve seen out of a high-utilization player in years.
Yes, some of that was tied to George Karl’s hair-brained offensive system, but at times we felt like Karl’s system was also being mangled by Rondo’s demands on the offense.
Chiefly, in the halfcourt he demands that he gets to survey the court, set up what he likes and then it becomes a game of what he can actually develop. Because teams go under on every screen against him and generally know what he can and can’t do, a very common result is over-penetrating forays into the paint or forced actions that yield bad shots for teammates.
Beyond that he does hit the occasional home run play and if the defense falls asleep he is adept at taking advantage of it. The part that absolutely brutalized the Kings, however, was the frantic and out-of-control pace he played at. The team typically looked rattled with him at the helm, as he constantly forced bad passes and a lack of organization prevailed. They rarely went to their best options or best matchups.
Ultimately, because he demands to have such a large imprint on the team and handles the ball so much, he might have had the largest negative impact that a player had on a team outside of Kobe Bryant last year. And though the Kings offense was middle of the pack (15th ORtg), it was actually a point lower with Rondo on the floor and it was 10 points higher with Darren Collison on the floor.
Though Rondo’s defensive rating (107) was middle of the pack for this Kings team and Collison’s was 112, watching Rondo ignore the defensive end of the floor was sort of awe-inspiring considering he was going full bore on offense and pushing the pace at every opportunity. To say he was gunning for stats would not get you laughed out of a room.
The pace of play both got the Kings easy buckets and also contributed to the 28th worst turnover percentage in the league. It also contributed to their terrible defense and got them out of quality matchups or key advantages they had with one of the league’s best post players in DeMarcus Cousins. Because teams did not respect Rondo’s jump shot he had a hard time making simple entry passes, which may have contributed to Rondo’s choice to deploy him more in the pick-and-pop.
If Karl was trying to make Cousins into a shooting guard Rondo was right there with him. He also influenced Cousins to continue battling with the referees, which is a loaded topic and also a battle that may never be won (at least until the Kings are winning).
There have been a lot of media that declared Rondo as having a ‘bounce back’ season and some that have written or said that he has had a great season, so there is a split in perception among folks about how wise bringing him back would be. Some believe the Kings and the Nets, presumably his only option because he does not want to be a backup, would get into a bidding war for his services. Team sources have said that this won’t be the case but they’re clearly stopping short of saying that they’re moving on.
The Kings have no single more important decision than this one. You can only go ‘full Rondo.’ There is no other way. He’s the coach, he’s the dominant voice, he’s the everything at that point for your ball club. And he’s going to run things his way.
Now Vlade and Co. need to decide if he can change the way he does that.
April 23, 2019, 12:21 amBlake Griffin - F - Detroit Pistons
Blake Griffin may have limped through 28 minutes in Monday night's 127-104 Game 4 loss to the Bucks, but he put up 22 points, five rebounds, six assists and four threes.
Griffin helped keep the Pistons' season alive for almost three quarters on a bad knee before fouling out in the fourth to a standing ovation. He was at significantly less than 100 percent during this series, but it was good to see him lay it all out there as a last-gasp effort for his team. Griffin had a great fantasy season and there should be more of the same as the 30-year-old hopefully returns healthy next season.
April 23, 2019, 12:10 amReggie Jackson - G - Detroit Pistons
Reggie Jackson scored a team-high 26 points (9-of-20 FGs, 5-of-9 threes, 3-of-3 FTs) with seven dimes, three boards and a steal in Monday's Game 4 loss to the Bucks.
Jackson looked great tonight while keeping the Pistons in front for the majority of the game. However, the Bucks went on a big run in the third and fourth quarters to complete the sweep. Jackson, at age 29, doesn't have a whole lot of upside left, but he's certainly capable of putting together games like this once or twice a month to swing a head-to-head matchup.
April 22, 2019, 11:53 pmAndre Drummond - C - Detroit Pistons
Andre Drummond double-doubled with 15 points and 12 rebounds in addition to three assists and one steal in Monday's series finale vs. the Bucks.
Drummond made just 7-of-16 field goals as he was blocked at the rim multiple times and struggled to drop it in even when he wasn't. Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo didn't make it easy on him tonight, but Drummond did have a strong season that shouldn't be forgotten as next season's fantasy drafts roll around.
April 22, 2019, 11:45 pmLuke Kennard - G - Detroit Pistons
Luke Kennard came off the bench on Monday night and scored just 11 points with one triple in 32 minutes.
Kennard had a pair of four-trey games to start the series, but he was mostly invisible in this one. There's still reason for optimism when Kennard enters his third season with the Pistons, especially if he can secure a consistant starting role.
April 22, 2019, 11:32 pmLangston Galloway - G - Detroit Pistons
Langston Galloway was very active as he compiled 10 points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals and two threes in 32 minutes off the bench on Monday, but it wasn't enough to keep the Pistons alive.
Galloway's spark helped the Pistons hold the lead for majority of the game, but the Bucks eventually outplayed them to complete the series sweep. He'll be back with the Pistons and likely won't be much more than an occasional threes streamer in standard leagues once again.
April 22, 2019, 11:23 pmGiannis Antetokounmpo - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo went for a playoff career-high 41 (12-for-23 FGs, 15-for-20 FTs) points vs. the Pistons in Monday's 127-104 Game 4 victory.
Giannis was everywhere tonight as the Bucks completed the Round 1 sweep. He blocked four shots, had nine boards, dished out three assists, had a steal and hit two triples in his 32 minutes to go with the big scoring total. The Pistons had the lead for the majority of the game, but Antetokounmpo and company's superior talent, shooting and aggressiveness won out down the stretch.
April 22, 2019, 11:14 pmKhris Middleton - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton had 18 points (5-of-11 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs), four rebounds, one assist and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes as the Bucks completed their sweep of the Pistons on Monday night.
Middleton had a good series, averaging 19.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.8 threes. The Bucks will likely need him to keep it up as the competition heats up in Round 2 vs. the Celtics.
April 22, 2019, 11:08 pmSterling Brown - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Sterling Brown grabbed a game-high 13 boards to go with nine points, six assists and a steal in 27 minutes in Monday's win over the Pistons.
Brown didn't put up the flashiest stat lines in this series, but this was a great one. Malcolm Brogdon (right foot plantar fascia) is likely to return at some point in the next series against the Celtics, so Brown is probably headed back to the bench shortly.
April 22, 2019, 11:02 pmEric Bledsoe - G - Milwaukee Bucks
Eric Bledsoe had a well-rounded line with 16 points, three rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and one three in 28 minutes in Monday's Game 4 win over the Pistons.
Bledsoe shot 7-of-12 in this closeout game while providing a steady veteran presence. For the series, he averaged over 19 points, four rebounds, five assists and exactly two steals. Bledsoe's defense will be tested in Round 2 against Kyrie Irving and the Celtics.
April 22, 2019, 10:54 pmNikola Mirotic - F - Milwaukee Bucks
Nikola Mirotic sank three triples on his way to scoring 12 points for the second game in a row in Monday's Game 4 against the Pistons.
Mirotic is still rounding into form and he's not doing much beyond hitting threes, but he should be able to contribute more in the next series as he gets his wind back.