Nate Archibald was a key piece to the 1980-81 Boston Celtics. Without his ability to penetrate, score, and dish, the Boston Celtics might very well have missed the Finals (heck, even with Tiny on board, it took a Herculean effort for the green to comeback from 3-1 down to Philadelphia in the ECFs). Archibald's ability to perform at a high level took some observers by surprise, as he had been plagued by injuries for some time when the Celtics aquired him from the Buffalo Braves in 1978.
Similarly, many observers did not expect much from Rajon Rondo this year. He only had one year of experience, and only started for part of his rookie season. When he did start, he was responsible for leading a bad, losing team. There was no way a second year player would be able to take over the reins of the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics and direct veteran players like Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, was the standard view.
The season isn't over yet, but let's just say Rajon has opened some eyes. In particular, many long-time Celtics fans find it hard to watch Rondo drive to the hoop and make impossible-looking passes or impossible looking lay-ups over, under, and around tall timber without recalling the play of Mr. Tiny.
Isiah Thomas may have paid Rajon the highest compliment to date: "He's the guy who really makes them go. He's tough, he's gritty, he rebounds. He's smart. He's a perfect complement to those guys."
I thought it would be worthwhile to see if maybe Rajon deserved an even higher compliment, a comparison to the Celtics last great point guard. Rajon clearly is no Tiny at this point of his career, but at least statistically they are not too far off.
Nate Archibald 1980-81
Field Goal .499
Free Throw .816,
Three Point .000 (0-9)
Rajon Rondo 2007-08
Field Goal .501,
Free Throw .617
Three Point .333 (3-9)