The Celtics have had well-documented success since the season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo, with the C's going on an 8-1 run into the All-Star break. The Celtics were seemingly under-performing up until Rondo's injury, and despite their recent surge, they aren't out of the woods by any means. First and foremost, they will have to continue to readjust to life without their 10 assists per game (apg) point guard, especially since they just lost another point guard to injury in Leonardo Barbosa. The phenomenon of the team stepping up has been a treat to watch. It has been duly noted that the ball has been moving better without Rondo, and that has been showing up in the team assists. The team has actually increased the number of assists without Rondo's with an increase from 21.5 to 23.4 per game (48 min basis). The ball distribution load has mainly been taken up by Paul Pierce who has had two triple-doubles (he's been rebounding too) during Rondo's absence. However, the chart below indicates how uniform the uptick in everyone's assist totals have been in the 9 games before and after the Jan 25th Atlanta game when Rondo's knee put him on the sidelines. Pierce's 7.2 apg makes him a point forward on the level with LeBron. But the fact the other seven players in the rotation uniformly increased their assists by 1 to 2 per game is special. It also points to how potentially damaging the loss of Barbosa may be to the second unit. Barbosa was chipping in 2.8 apg in only 20 minutes per game (mpg) and had solidified a late game role within the Celtics rotation.
More on Rajon Rondo and Celtics Ball Movement
Celtics Blog | Feb 17