Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle and Rajon Rondo appear to have made up after their late-February on-court shouting match, but it remains the case that the enigmatic point guard can be a difficult player to coach. That's not always a bad thing, though, because, an unfettered Rondo often comes up with some of the most unbelievable and inventive plays ever seen in the sport. Simply put, Rondo is able to make and execute decisions that others can't even imagine.
Such was the case on a Mavericks fast break late in Wednesday night's game against the Orlando Magic in Dallas. After Victor Oladipo lost the ball on a drive to a Monta Ellis, Rondo picked the ball up to initiate a fast break. Except, instead of dribbling or getting himself in any kind of position for a simple pass, Rondo grabbed and threw the ball in one motion to hit Ellis in perfect stride with a long, loping arc. This description barely covers the incredible nature of the pass, so check it out here:
I would attempt to explain this pass, but more words are only going to detract from the video. Watch it as many times as you can handle.
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The Mavericks looked well on their way to a comfortable win at this point and pushed their lead to as many as 22 points early in the second half, but the Magic battled back to make it a game in the final minutes. In fact, they may well have come away with a victory if not for some questionable decisions from their otherwise highly impressive backcourt in the final minute. Down just 101-100 with 30 seconds remaining, point guard Elfrid Payton (who put up a triple-double with 15 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds) badly missed a two-for-one mid-range jumper 30 seconds left in regulation and 17 seconds on the shot clock.
Orlando got another chance to win tie late after a three-pointer and some missed free throws for Dallas made the score 105-102, but Oladipo forced an off-balance triple with four seconds still on the clock. The Mavericks came away with a 107-102 victory, and the Magic left town having learned another lesson about what it takes to turn an impressive comeback into a win.
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