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.
After back-to-back games in which he shouldered the Celtics' offensive load by attacking the rim relentlessly, Rajon Rondo was virtually invisible on Saturday night, finishing with just six points in 36 minutes. The C's point guard did dish out nine assists, but there was a noticeable difference in terms of feeling his overall impact on the game. He wasn't as aggressive in taking the ball to the rim as he was in recent games, and he deferred mainly to Pierce and Garnett.
Rondo doesn't have to be Superman for the Celtics every night, but there has been very little balance for this club on the offensive end all season. In years past it wouldn't be unusual to see the likes of Garnett, Pierce, and Ray Allen all score in the 16-24 point range, while Rondo finishes his night with 10-12 points and 12 or more assists. But we haven't seen that type of balance at all this season, and that has to, at least on some level, account for Boston's overall offensive woes. Rondo's performance on Saturday isn't being highlighted strictly to criticize him, but instead to point out the Celtics' continuing inability to develop the necessary balance on the offensive end of the floor.
KWAPT had the same observations about Rondo's game. While Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett showed signs of life offensively, I'm skeptical about the Big 3 churning out solid offensive performances on a regular basis this season. The one constant on offense needs to be Rajon Rondo. He must get his 15 points and 10 assists every game. Some nights he may need to score more.
Rondo did not attempt a free throw last night. That's unacceptable and a forumla for a loss.
Does Doc Rivers need to tailor the offense to ensure Rondo gets his looks? Tough to say. Rondo gets his opportunities in transition and when plays break down. He may benefit most when the other guys make the extra pass to find Rondo open.
Related link: Sentinel/Enterprise: Celtics would be lost w/o Rondo
On Page 2, E'Twuan Moore deserves to play over Avery Bradley.
"I've held up his progress, honestly," Rivers said. "I've been saying for a week now, 'he should play. He should play.' You're trying to give other guy's a chance to take that. And E'Twaun just … the thing I was most impressed, he didn't get discouraged. He just kept pushing forward; kept pushing forward, every practice, everything we had, he kept standing out. His play screamed at me, to put him in. And he was terrific."
If Rivers sticks to his guns and continues to get Moore on the floor, that means Avery Bradley's playing time will be slashed and at times, wiped out altogether.
Moore, who played at nearby Purdue and grew up on the East Chicago, Indiana – about two hours away from Indianapolis – had seven points, three assists, two steals and a couple of rebounds in about 20 minutes.
Rivers added, "he played well tonight and you don't get too excited about it. But I know he can play. We just have to give him more of a shot."
Bradley looks absolutely lost offensively. He's bricking shots in the way I would brick shots.
After the game, Avery tweeted: FML.
Sorry, kid. When you perform on the court, you'll get to play. And it doesn't help that there is no margin for error for this team. Doc needs to play guys who will contribute.
The rest of the links: