Rondo and Wall heading in opposite directions

04/22/2015 07:13 PM

As one begins to blossom, the other wilts away.

John Wall lived up to his All-Star rep last night for the Washington Wizards, driving and dishing his way to 26 points and 17 assists in a 117-106 road playoff victory over the Toronto Raptors.

The Dougie master’s 17 dimes set a new franchise playoff record for the nation capital’s team and awarded the Wizards a commanding 2-0 series lead as the action now shifts to D.C.

And then there’s Rondo.

As magnificent as was Wall’s performance, the mercurial Maverick point guard’s was confounding.

In Dallas’ second playoff game against bitter in-state rival Houston, Rajon Rondo appeared lost an disinterested.

After early foul trouble, lazy ball handing, errant passes, and even a perplexing eight-second backcourt violation, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle benched his starting point in the opening minutes of the third quarter, marooning Rondo there for the rest of the contest.

His meager 10 minutes of action marked the least he’s ever played in his professional playoff career.

Rondo has not only played, but started, in 94 playoff games.

The former champion’s oscillating personality is nothing new. It drove Tubby Smith crazy for three seasons in Lexington, accompanied Rondo to Boston, and only needed a few short months to rear its ugly head again in Dallas as seen through multiple heated on-court exchanges with Carlisle.

Nevertheless, Rondo managed to muzzle his outbursts to display brilliance at both levels, culminating in a NBA championship for the Boston Celtics in 2008 — the famed franchise’s first title in more than two decades.

But that brilliance has faded over the past few seasons and is now merely a flicker.

Reports surfaced today attributing Rondo’s benching to an ailing back, an alleged injury causing the Mavericks to shut down the point guard indefinitely.

But just a few hours later, Carlisle announced he Mavs now don’t even expect to have Rondo back in Dallas next season, healthy or not.

And so continues the curious case of Rajon Rondo.

The KSTV crew did its best to investigate and analyze the contrasting career trajectories of both former Kentucky stars, predicting what the future holds for each one.


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