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News » Rondo offers up advice

Rondo offers up advice

Rondo offers up advice
BOSTON - Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo was willing to offer a few words of advice to Russell Westbrook, and the Thunder's rookie point guard would be wise to listen up.

Before developing into an NBA champion in only his second season, Rondo heard many of the same criticisms about his game that cynics have used to dismiss Westbrook as the Thunder's lead guard of the future.

Rondo, critics said, couldn't consistently hit wide-open jumpers when he declared for the NBA Draft following his sophomore year at Kentucky. That scouting report was identical to Westbrook's last June when the Thunder selected him fourth overall. It's one that has become spot on now that Westbrook is shooting just 40 percent from the field.

And while Westbrook has shown more patience and precision as a playmaker, like Rondo, he entered the league capable of knifing his way into the lane at will but also struggled to make the right play while having a tendency to get out of control at times.

Now in his third season, however, and feeling as comfortable as ever, Rondo can look back and easily dissect all he wished he had done.

"Just try to run the show," Rondo advised Westbrook. "Never try to do too much. You pick your spots when to attack. And just do the intangibles on the court. Offense will come."

Of course, it's the defensive end that persuaded Thunder general manager Sam Presti to select Westbrook, who once was perceived as a gamble at No. 4. Presti envisioned Westbrook evolving into a guard who can contain players such as Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Deron Williams and Rondo.

"The ability to contain penetration out front is something we think is important in today's NBA," Presti said last June, "and we feel like Russell's got the potential to be one of the best at that."

Westbrook has struggled on defense lately against the likes of Utah's Williams, Chicago's Derrick Rose and Toronto's Jose Calderon. But the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Westbrook, many say, has the size, speed, strength and long arms to make him an ideal defensive stopper.

"He shows the quickness that will allow him to lock up pretty much anybody if he stays with it, stays in the weight room and stays humble," Rondo said. "But it's really just determination. That's what separates a lot of the great defenders from the regular defenders."

Rondo advises Westbrook to continue working on his offensive repertoire rather than relying on his God-given quickness to get him what he wants on the court. A mid-range game, Rondo said, will be the most important aspect Westbrook could add. Rondo praised Westbrook's effort in Sunday's game.

"Just work on floaters. Work on the in-between game," Rondo said. "There's going to come a point in time where he can't always go to the rack. He's going to have to stop and have an in-between game."

All words Westbrook should live by considering Rondo's rapid rise from erratic to elite.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: April 2, 2009


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