Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Ainge was asked if he was ever concerned that Rondo would be at all affected by the rumors that had the point guard potentially being swapped for Chris Paul.
"I sat down with Rondo when he got back into town, when the lockout ended, and I just told him the truth of what was going on. And that was it," Ainge said. "I've had conversations since, told him exactly what was happening. … I was not trying to trade Rajon Rondo. There's a big difference between trying to acquire a player and trying to trade a player. Rondo knows what I was trying to do, and he knows I wasn't shopping him around and trying to trade him, as has been reported. There's a big difference."
As for Rondo's early-season performance (15.3 points per game, league-best 10.7 assists per game), Ainge credits the point guard's work ethic during the lockout.
"I think that that he was very motivated, we had received reports all summer how hard he was working this offseason," said Ainge. "He showed up in great shape and he came out of the gates playing fantastic basketball for us, and he had a great training camp and he has the right mindset when he goes out on the court."
Leave it to the boys at WEEI to beat a dead horse. Ainge has only made these statements 57 times since the season started.
While it's very early (7 games into the season), Rondo is averaging career bests in FG% (53%), 3 FG (42%), and free throw attempts (5.3) and makes (3.1) per game. He's been a more aggressive player, at times. With Paul Pierce and Ray Allen still playing at a high level, I don't think we'll see Rondo impose his will on games night in and night out. Aside from the free throw percentage and turnover rate, it's hard to find fault in Rondo's game this season.
Ainge hinted that Mickael Pietrus could make his debut next Wednesday vs the Mavericks.
On Page 2, Doc says Brandon Bass is the team's best defender?
And even though Bass is still learning the Celtics’ system, coach Doc Rivers also considers him an asset on defense.
“He’s already a very good individual defender,’’ Rivers said. “If you told Brandon to just guard his guy, he’s probably our best at that because he can move his feet extremely well and he can switch on smaller players.
“He’ll get it. I’m not that concerned about it – just during the games, of course, because of rotations. But he’ll get that. It’s not a concern.
“It’s just going to take time. Chris [Wilcox] is behind a little bit. A lot of their weak-side helps are late, stuff like that.
“Just trying to get them to understand – you guard your guy and the ball at the same time. They’re still into guarding their guy, especially on the weak side, but they’ll get there.’’
If they don't get it, they won't play. That's the way Doc rolls.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Playing one-on-one with Ainge, Rivers | Herald – Celtics youth not always served | Rivers doesn't fault David West | CSNNE Video: Where's the love for Stiemsma? | ESPN Boston - Tough for young guys to earn spots | 5-on-5: Early season Cs | Fox – Pacers/Celtics preview |