By Cory Mageors | @inthemageors
HOUSTON (105.3 The Fan) – It was two completely different sides of the coin Tuesday night as the Dallas Mavericks lost to the Houston Rockets 111-99 in Game 2 of the first round of the playoffs.
On one side, Dirk Nowitzki gave so much effort on the boards he appeared drained on the offensive end. I give him credit for not being a turnover king this game.
Tyson Chandler battled with every big body that came into the lane, but was unable to keep Dwight Howard from owning the air. Al Farouq Aminu was flying all over the court, and even Raymond Felton gave whatever Raymond Felton had.
On the other side was a worthless waste of jersey filler. Rajon Rondo was useless.
He was despicable. He was absolutely non-existent.
With Chandler Parsons and Devon Harris out with injuries, seeing the pathetic excuse of an effort by Rondo in an every body on deck effort, was the biggest slap in the face to Dallas Mavericks fans, Mavericks ownership and those teammates who fought desperately.
Missed shots? Sure.
Beaten on the boards? Ok.
You can give me a number of reasons the Mavericks lost this game, but a glaring void was on the front line with a wretched outing by Rondo.
Absolutely mindless personal fouls.
An 8-second violation.
A complete cop-out in the face of adversity.
He played 9 minutes and 55 seconds of insignificant basketball. I’m not even going to round up to 10 because if he wasn’t going to come out prepared to play, then why should anybody else give him the benefit of the doubt.
I defended the idea, the paper philosophy that Rondo was going to be a difference maker. I held out hope that at some point he would man up and take his place as the brain piece of this Mavericks roster. But while he sat idle on the bench smirking and staring into nothingness, the head case of Josh Smith, the one nobody wanted was delivering lob passes, threes and monster jams to the Mavericks defenseless defense.
Could Rondo stop the big men down low from owning the paint? No, but Tyson Chandler isn’t stretched all over the court trying to cover defensive deficiencies giving up a 30-15 turnaround that destroyed the Mavs 4th quarter.
If Rondo is trying to say “okay tough guy, you bench me and I’ll be a nipple on a wart-hog” then he won that battle, and he proved to be more of a child than anybody in the NBA, NCAA, UIL and 1st-grade church league.
I never thought I would see a player check out mentally like Lamar Odom again, but at a critical time in the Mavericks attempt to steal one from the Rockets on the road, we saw the most cowardly performance Mavericks fans have ever been privy to.
And nobody deserves to play with, coach or root for a spineless athlete giving that little back.
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