Putting Rondo’s impressive loss in perspective

If you were a Boston fan and I told you that Rajon Rondo would score 44 points on 75% True Shooting — a measure which takes into accounts three pointers and free throws — AND also told you LeBron James would only have a True Shooting Percentage of 55% (LeBron is really good) then you’d probably be psyched. Somehow this exact scenario resulted in a loss. Celtics fans should feel the sting remarkably bad as this exact scenario is ultra rare.

Let’s start with Rajon Rondo’s performance. He put up a Points over Par (PoP) of +15.6. This tells us how much of an edge a player gives us. For instance a +3.0 PoP player gives his team a three point edge against the opponent. How did Rondo’s performance stack up? To remind you, here’s the scale:

  • +0.0 PoP – Average Player
  • +2.5 PoP – Star
  • +5.0 PoP – Super Star

Rondo was three times as good as the top level of the scale! He was aided by playing all fifty three minutes of the game but I feel that should add to the impressiveness of the feat. What’s more Rondo is the ONLY NBA player to have put up a game with PoP of +15 in the playoffs thus far and of yeah…he’s done it twice!

Rondo has been a top player in the first two rounds of the playoffs and his performance in this loss was great. As to how the Celtics could lose? Sadly, former greats in Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce combined for a -17.5 PoP, which completely undid Rondo’s truly remarkable game.

I tried to find Rondo company. How many players this season put up such truly remarkable games and still lost? I was only able to find three names:

Yesterday Thunder fans got similar salt in their wounds when they had two players shoot lights out and each grab 30+ points and still lose. Such an event happened in six regular season games this season out of 990 total games or 0.06%. Having a player put up the type of numbers Rondo did and still lose though, is even rarer. I’m sure it doesn’t ease the pain but Celtics fans should know that most of the time (25 out 28) such a performance results in a win, just not when Garnett and Pierce play like Bargnani and Morrison.


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