The Chicago Bulls took a commanding 2-0 lead in the First Round of the NBA Playoff against the Boston Celtics last night. It wasn’t so much the score that has caught everyone attention, it’s how the Bulls, most notably, Rajon Rondo is taking Isaiah Thomas to school. Rondo is a vet. He’s been here before plus two NBA Finals with a championship to boot. He’s played with 4 future Hall of Fame players and has been coached by Doc Rivers. He knows what it takes to win. He may be a hot-head every now and then but when the playoffs roll around, he’s in rare form.
The same cannot be said for Thomas.
No one expected this as the Celtics would go on to with the No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference but along the way, they made the age-old mistake of being too cocky. What Thomas didn’t realize but he sure as hell is now– is that it takes more than 30 points scored to win in April. While Thomas is worried about living up to the Allen Iverson comparisons, Rondo is doing everything to help lead his team to the next round. There lies the difference between the two players.
Thomas plays with a chip on his shoulder while Rondo plays with a purpose.
Look at the stat sheet for the first two games of the series.
Rondo- 23 points, 20 assists, 17 rebounds
Thomas- 53 points, 8 assists, 10 rebounds
Awesome numbers for Thomas but it’s time he learned that he has teammates as well. Rondo was never viewed as a scorer but he does enough to make his presence felt. This is the same knock that Iverson dealt with during his career. But to be fair to Iverson, he did lead his team to a Finals appearance. It looks as if the Celtics will be headed home after another First Round exit for a third striaght year. Just happens to be a coincidence that it’s the same time that Thomas arrived in Boston.
Keep looking to drop those 30 points since no one can check you, Thomas. It was all great for the regular season but this is big boy time now and Rondo is giving you the blueprint on how to run a team when it matters.