EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 13, 2012

Elite, or is attitude holding Rondo back?

BOSTON — Impressing Derrick Rose can't be easy.

The 23-year-old Chicago Bulls point guard is the reigning league MVP, won the 2008-09 Rookie of the Year and has averaged 21.0 points per games in 263 career games.

One player who has wowed Rose though is Rajon Rondo — even before the feisty Celtics point guard posted a triple-double yesterday.

"Rondo is definitely fun to play against," Rose said before Chicago's game against Boston at TD Garden. "He challenges you in a lot of ways. You definitely have to play defense. He's a guy who can affect the game without scoring. How can you defend that? It's pretty hard."

While Rose sat out with back spasms, Rondo had arguably his best performance this year, pouring in a game-high 32 points, recording a game-high 15 assists and collecting 10 rebounds, the second-most boards behind Kevin Garnett.

All three numbers were season highs for Rondo as his effort helped the C's hold off the Bulls 95-91.

"He's one of the elite point guards in the NBA," Rose said.

Is he? Or is his questionable attitude holding him back from being great?

Rondo's attitude certainly has come into question.

There was the story in the Boston Herald about him throwing a bottle and shattering a video screen after a coach pointed out one of his errors and coach Doc Rivers shouted at a defensive Rondo at a video session during the Miami Heat playoff series last season.

Others have said that if he had a better attitude, he would have improved his free throwing shooting by now. Instead, he can't shoot over 60 percent.

Then, there was last night.

The point guard didn't just decline to speak with reporters, but he made everyone wait more than a half hour as he went from the trainer's room to the shower room to his locker back to the shower room and then into the trainer's room.

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