Your Morning Dump… Rondo took the night off | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… Rondo took the night off

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.

ESPN Boston

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."

CSNNE – Moore earns playing time

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.

Related links: Herald – Indy's like home to E'Twaun Moore | Globe – Bradley may have rare window of ooportunity

The rest of the links:

Globe- Cs bow to Pacers | Wilcox sidelines for at least 3 games | Herald – Celtics upside down | CSNNE – Celtics lose 4th straight to Pacers | WEEI – Back to back blues continue

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  • BigMck

    Editor’s Note: This blow was written by BigMck, not Red’s Army. We had a log-in mixup.

  • paul

    Absurd. Rondo isn’t a guy who is only good in transition and when the other guys set him up. What rot. He’s the guy who sets other people up. He needs to attack more, both in transition and in the half court offense. Simple as that. What kind of delusional world are you people living in? Rondo is the only guy in the starting five who has a live game, and you spit out crap like ‘oh he needs other people to set him up’ – what he needs is for Doc to give him the ball, and give him the team, and start designing the offense around him.

  • brain dead

    in order for rondo to use his speed in transition the team have to rebound the ball! they just don’t get on the break because there is no box out, no defense rebound what so ever and they’re not running anymore.

  • BigMck

    I think you might be overstating Rondo’s ability to create his own shot. Sure he can take guys off the dribble, but his ability to pull up and shoot (with confidence) is mediocre. I think nearly all analysts agree that is the weakness in his game.
    When he attacks in half court offense, defenses converge on him, hence the assists to open teammates. My point is… if Paul or Ray can draw other defenders, then ball movement would land Rondo an open shot.
    Is it possible for you to comment without venom? You clearly are an angry man.

  • I give a lot of credit to RR for handling the trade rumors so well and the added responsibility of being a scorer. Statistically he’s on track to having his best season, but I can’t help thinking performances like last night is what many of us suspected all along … he is an all star caliber PG, but not capable of carrying a team with glaring offensive deficiencies.
    Although he accounts for 45% of the offense (2nd in the league), the scoring burden thrusted upon him actually undermines the offense. For instance, a great offensive player like Ray Allen is shooting a league best 55% off screens and 80% on jumpers in transition. RR is usually on the other end of that equation. But if he’s counted on to be a primary scoring option the offense is going to have a very difficult time scoring points because he cannot consistency knock down jump shots in isolation. This is precisely why they rank at the bottom tier in pts/possessions.
    But it’s not all his fault. Part of the blame should be placed on the GM. For years Danny settled for free agents on the back nine and drafted poorly. Unlike Pop, over the past three seasons Doc rarely stuck with a player long enough to mold with RR’s skill set. But then again history has proved Doc right. Giddens and Bradely are busts. Gody, Erden and Walker are considered third tier rotation players.
    The roster has never played to his strengths and now the Big 3 are no longer fast enough to keep up with him in transition. Yet there’s still a lot of talent on this roster. But how long will it take for PP to play himself into shape? For Garnett to locate his shooting touch? For Pietrus to integrate himself into the rotation? By my count we have a month or so to find out otherwise we could hear Rondo’s name again surface in trade rumors.

  • c’s running the same play (ray scrambling under the basket) on every possession isn’t hard to figure-out or defend.. not sure if doc know’s that?

  • Most of the people commenting in this site are delusional. You blame Danny Ainge, you blame the Big 3 for getting older and you give Rondo, of all people, a pass. You just can’t seem to see what’s playing out in front of you. You cite meaningless statistics and meaningless observations to tout the person who is this team’s Cancer, not it’s future. He is a fundamentally FLAWED player. First, he is arrogant and makes the wrong decision just as often as he makes the right one. Before this season, he would take off on a fast break and pass, even when he had the open lane to the basket. That was bad, so he changed. Now he never passes the ball on those plays and gets blocked a lot. He is an inconsistent outside shooter. So, his ability to get himself open, is often useless. He is a HORRIBLE free throw shooter and defender. A glaring weakness on the defense that allows his man to get off at will and causes the bigs to get in foul trouble, making up for his free-floating man. Finally, the offense has become Rondo-centric. The ball must run through him for them to get a shot. Bad choice for any team. The Celtics can’t seem to score. The Big 3 have not had one game where they have all gotten off and the bench is inconsistent. Doc appears unable to motivate them. They come out for each test game FLAT. But Rondo, either comes out sensational, like against the Knicks or puts up effortless stinkers like he has half the time this season. Bird never put up an effortless performance, even if he didn’t have it one night. Nor did Russell, nor DJ, nor Havlicek, nor any of the past greats. If Rondo is our future, get ready for another fallow 20 years. Arrggghhh!

  • Jerry Sondler

    Rondo was not the reason the Celtics won the tilte in 2008…nor is he there reason they are now headed for the lottery.
    The reason for the team`s collapse is no more complicated than what Charles Barkley always preaches :
    “Father Time is undefeated!