In Tuesday’s column handing out awards for Round 2 of the NBA playoffs, Bill Simmons puts Rajon Rondo’s Game 4 performance in historical perspective. Here’s an excerpt from the piece, in which he awards Rondo “The Magic Johnson Award For ‘Box-Score Lines That Have No Resemblance To Anything Else Currently Happening In The League’”:
To Rajon Rondo, whose series-saving Game 4 against Cleveland (29 points, 18 rebounds, 13 assists, total control over the game) was a pantheon-level Celtics performance and had little in common with anything we've ever seen. Keep in mind …
-- Since the 1986-87 season, only eight guards have grabbed 18-plus rebounds in ANY game (regular season or playoffs). Michael Jordan did it three times (once in the playoffs); Jason Kidd only did it once.
-- Larry Bird had 69 triple-doubles but never a playoff game that looked quite like a 29-18-13. The closest: 24-17-10 (1981, Chicago), 19-16-13 (1986, Milwaukee), 25-15-11 (1986, Houston), 18-16-11 (1987, Milwaukee), 24-18-10 (1990, New York).
-- Only Oscar Robertson (1962: 32-19-13) and Wilt Chamberlain (1967: 29-36-13) had at least a 29-18-13 in a playoff game before, and in the past 40 years, only LeBron (2007: 27-13-13) and Magic (1986: 29-15-14) had at least a 25-13-13. So, um ... yeah.
-- If you read my basketball book, you might remember how I created a 42 Club for playoff performers who averaged 42-plus for points, rebounds and assists combined for an entire postseason (12-game minimum). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rondo also joined Wilt in the 60 Club for players who submitted a 60 (points, rebounds plus assists) in one playoff game without scoring 30 points in that game. Wilt did it three times, all in 1967: 29-36-13, 24-32-13 and 16-30-19.
-- For the playoffs, Rondo is averaging 17.9 PPG, 11.4 APG, 7.1 RPG and 1.9 steals. Only Magic Johnson ever averaged a 16-11-6-2 in the playoffs, and he did it twice: 1983 (17.9, 12.8, 8.5, 2.3) and 1984 (18.2, 13.5, 6.6, 2.0).
-- We just compared Rondo to Magic, Wilt, Bird, Oscar and Jordan … legitimately. Kind of insane when you remember I was writing about him in "Rajon The Late Bloomer" terms just two springs ago. I continue to think we should dump "The Big Three" nickname and just start calling Rondo "The Big One."
Also in the Sports Guy’s column is his call for Celtics fans to join a Twitter account as a way to synchronize crowd chants at the Garden:
When LeBron shot his first set of free throws during Game 3 of the Boston series, I was disappointed that the Boston crowd didn't chant either "You're a fa-ker! You're a fa-ker!" (to tweak him about his injured elbow) or "You're gonna leave! You're gonna leave!" That's when I realized something: Thanks to Twitter, we could mobilize crowd chants almost to the minute during playoff games.
For instance, let's say someone created a Twitter account called @CelticsChants (just for fun, I did it) and became the go-to chanting coordinator during games. Before Game 3, I post the tweet, "Chant for first LeBron FTs: 'You're a fa-ker! You're a fa-ker!'" Then, during garbage time, I post another one: "If LBJ goes to line again, chant, 'You're gonna leave! You're gonna leave!'" Even if 500 people at the game were following that account, wouldn't that be enough fans to get those chants rolling so everyone in the stadium joined in? Just for fun, I'm trying this for Game 6 in Boston: www.twitter.com/celticschants.