“I want to see if I can bring them back” | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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“I want to see if I can bring them back”

I heard some guys on the radio comparing Alex Rodriguez’s numbers to Reggie Jackson’s.  One guy is a post-season choker, the other is “Mr. October.”  The numbers:  They were almost identical.  Which just went to highlight one thing that defines clutch in sports.

It’s not how many stat lines you can fill out.  It’s WHEN you fill them out.

Last night, Rajon Rondo’s shooting numbers weren’t great… but he was clutch.  He wanted to be clutch.  He needed to be clutch. 

“He wanted to stay in, he begged to stay in,’’ coach Doc Rivers said of Rondo. “I said good, go ahead, let’s do it. [Rondo said] ‘I want to see if I can bring them back.’ And he did it.’’

Down as many as 14 points… down 7 to start the 4th… Rajon Rondo saw an opportunity to be a leader.  It was him and mostly a bunch of guys who might not see as much time on the floor all season as they did last night. 

In the time the C’s were down 7 to start the 4th to the time they took an 83-82 lead, Rondo had 6 points, 2 assists and a steal.  That’s 5 and a half minutes worth of work.  He tacked on 5 more points, another assist and a couple of rebounds to end the game.  11 of his 18 points came in the 4th quarter.

It’s too early to declare anything.  It’s hard to get overly worried or excited about anything in the preseason.  So I’m not going to sit here and make any definitive statements about Rondo.  I will say that Rajon showed some balls last night.  The Nets kept most of their starters out there in the 4th quarter.  Rajon led a mashup of second and third teamers back from a huge hole to win the game.  That counts for something.  His jumper looked more fluid.  His vision looked sharp.  His decision making was on point.  All good signs.

Assuming Rondo’s contract situation gets worked out, and he does stay a Celtic for his entire career, then this will be his team soon enough.  It’s nice to see the ability to lead a team without the Big 3 this early in the process.  It might just be a nice little glimpse into the future.

Herald: Hudson fits in with Vets  |  Team reserved in victory  |  Courant:  Allen, Celtics return to Hartford 
Photo courtesy AP

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  • I thought Rondo was a product of the big 3?
    Oh yeah, that myth is garbage and has already been destroyed. Good job Rajon

  • Walk

    Is it possible for you guys to start posting video highlights of every game? At work I can’t get any streaming videos but for whatever reason the “Rondo dunking” clip from the other day came thru no problem. If it’s not difficult to do, I request a highlight reel…could be a new section for the site.

  • Orb

    Baby was great as well last night, especially in crunch time. Great energy from those guys. I think Frank put his starters back in to avoid the psychological blow of a loss to our second and third string. Big mistake.

  • I’m going to be recording games during the regular season and cutting some highlights… maybe doing a mix here and there.
    So it’s coming soon.

  • anyone see the Rondo/Harris head-to-head stats last night when they showed em? lmao@ trading rondo for harris…danny, wtf?
    why in the fucking world would you trade a 23 yr old with tthat type of talent,upside, championship and playoff experience for ANYBODY…still pisses me off

  • Bas Rutten Jr.

    That was great last night. There was a key possession where Rajon knocked down an 18 footer, and the camera then changed to Garnett. The face Kevin was making was like fantastic. Totally wide-eyed and in love with Rajon. And I’m right with him.
    Those free-throws though…peeeeeeyeewwwwwww!!

  • Bas Rutten Jr.

    “The face Kevin was making was like fantastic.”
    Haha, like totally!

  • Walk

    Just made my job / this site that much better

  • Ryan Dawson

    If a good game for Rondo consist of shooting 40% from the field(against the Nets, and their 2nd string at that) and 46% from the free throw line, we have somethings to worry about this season,hopefully Lester Hudson will be able to contribute.

  • DRJ

    As Tommy H said…
    Rondo is shooting free throws FROM HIS EAR, which is kinda like shooting a gun from your hip. Not going to be very accurate, ever. I guess he and Price never got around to free throwing. Or whatever.
    What amazes me is that after 3 full years in the NBA… IN THE NBA!… nobody has taken the time to point out that hey, Rajon, you’re shooting free throws like a little girl. WTF? Isn’t that why they pay all those assistant coaches? I don’t get it. Is it not a big enough deal that the difference between a good free-throw-shooting Rondo and a bad one could = 15 more lost games in the season, and a little thing like the championship?

  • Like I said in the post… it was WHEN he hit his shots. When a guy has a bad game yet picks it up in the 4th quarter to lead his team to a comeback win…. that’s balls.
    Yes, the FT shooting is an issue. He’s working on that. But he came through when it counted… and that’s huge.

  • Orb

    Nice to see you Doc.

  • DRJ

    Thanks, good to be back…
    I was very disappointed by what happened last season, especially with Paul’s apparent loss of interest and heart. What I came to understand, finally, was that last year the team’s heart was beating in KG’s chest. Posey was a great locker room glue guy, and with him gone the only major glue left was KG, so when he went out, the team was lost.
    This year the chemistry is dramatically changed. Sheed is a HUGE factor… he’s the guy to whom the big 3 pretty much promised that the Celtics with him would be one of the best teams EVER. Definitely a major glue guy, and Quis looks like he might be another Posey too. Plus Rondo, Perk, Baby, even JR… all are seriously improved. This year, even if something happens to one of the big 3 (but not KG, please!)… it won’t be a death blow. Hell, they beat the Nets with NONE of the big 3, and only 1/2 Sheed and Quis. Hmmm… this is going to be one hell of a season to watch.

  • Jason

    Dude, seriously? Heart. That’s it? How about talent? How about actual production on the court, offense and defense? How about match-ups? The Celts didn’t have high-flying, active 4s to shut down Thomas, Noah and Lewis and it hurt big time. Pierce can’t make up for that. Don’t put that on him. A seven foot, athletic 4 with elite offensive and defensive talent, plus IQ. You think missing that person had anything to do with it? Stop trying to weave yarns of heart and chemistry. You dis everybody, including KG, because he’s so much more than just that. He’s an immensely talented player, top 3 in the DECADE!!! He’s won an MVP and a DPOY. We didn’t miss him because he’s Rudy (Notre Dame movie, just in case you didn’t get tha), we missed him because he’s an All-NBA talent. Do you think he’s just that replaceable by others caring more? You don’t think the rest the team cared enough? Did you watch the 14 games they played? You think they were slacking off or something? They played 82 games and figured their work is done, that they didn’t have to try hard to win playoff games? You think somewhere in those four weeks of play they should have looked deep into themselves and said “I’m not wanting this enough.”? This isn’t the local rec league. This is the NB-freaking-A. They all want it.
    You’re a doctor supposedly? Please try to formulate smarter, more informed arguments for why last year was disappointing. It boiled down to one thing and one thing only. The team was without it’s best player.
    Take all 16 playoff teams last year and take away their top player and they are all as hampered as the Celts were without KG, because of talent, not heart. Do the Lakers win without Kobe? No. Rockets without Yao? That was proven in real life. How far do the Bulls push the Celts without Rose? Does Orlando get past the second round without Lewis or Turkoglu? Where’s Denver without Melo? Atlanta without Johnson? Utah without Deron? Where is SA without Duncan? The Mavs without Dirk? The Cavs without LeBron? Nowhere. These are elite players. Losing them damages their teams immensely. Poseys don’t make up for that just because they hug their teammates a lot. Did his heart somehow make up for the talent void in New Orleans? No. You can’t just win 16 NBA postseason games because you simply decide to. It takes much much more. Heart helps, but talent trumps heart, in a very big way.