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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… Where #9 was edgy

Chuck - Red's Army February 13, 2012 Uncategorized 22 Comments

Rrvalentine

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.

“Nine [Rondo] was edgy today, man. I loved it,” Garnett said. “I love the fact that he came out and he set the tone. And I thought he got guys involved and he was all over the place. When we win big, man, it’s because the little fella is aggressive like that. I told him after tonight’s game that I was proud of him. He had a bit of a rough day or whatever, but he played through it, he was professional, and I thought he came out and played with that edge. Any time he’s got that, that makes everybody’s job easier.” 

Earlier in the interview, Garnett said Rivers had put the team through a film session Sunday on the heels of Friday’s lifeless loss in Toronto, and one can’t help but wonder if Rondo was a focal point of that session. (Garnett noted that film is “always humbling.”) Rivers admitted after the game that he resorted to old film to stress what the Celtics had done well in the past — and what they hadn’t been doing recently. 

Chief among that was pushing the pace. Rivers was adamant he wanted the entire team running the floor and that starts with the point guard position. 

ESPN Boston

The Rajon Rondo on display yesterday afternoon is the Rajon Rondo we’ve come to know and love. He was masterful, dominating, and confident. 

The performance was a middle-finger salute to all the critics who unleashed hell on #9 for the lackluster effort in Toronto.

As one of the those critics, I still have the right to ask for consistency. For me, the gripe is not about his poor jump shot or free throws, it’s about seeing leadership and effort every night. The mercurial Rondo couldn’t even finish his big day as a true professional. He had to pull this childish crap:

Rondo was not so great to watch after the game. Cloaked in a towel, he came to his locker several times while a large group of reporters waited to ask him his thoughts. He said nothing, then disappeared into the trainer’s room. Then he came out to get something to drink. Then he disappeared again. This went on for more than an hour until longtime Celtics publicist Jeff Twiss announced that Rondo did not feel like talking.

The kid is a diva. I know it sounds silly to call him that when he can play basketball with a dislocated elbow, but it’s the truth .

Related links: WEEI – The Rajon Rondo conundrum | Herald – Rondo a-Rose to clatter | Investing in Bull market | ESPN Boston – Rondo shows his better side | Rondo’s productive night | True Hoop: Rondo’s silence speaks volumes

On Page 2, Doc Rivers won’t let JaJuan Johnson get a big head.

Johnson scored 12 points off of 6-for-13 shooting in 33 minutes, a career high in scoring, field goals made, and playing time. He also added four rebounds, two steals, a block, and an assist. The long, athletic forward was part of the Celtics fast break game too, in which they outscored the Bulls 33-7.

Rivers liked what he saw from the rookie and wants to see it on a more frequent basis. Johnson entered the afternoon averaging 3.1 points and 1.0 rebounds in 5.4 minutes per game. 

“He’s got to keep doing it,” said Rivers. “One game doesn’t make a star. One season doesn’t make a star. So you’ve just got to keep doing it and he’s got to do it consistently.  He will, like I keep saying. He’s a great kid and he wants to do it. He’s young and he’s still learning focus and all that. But he’s a good player.”

CSNNE – Johnson picks up play

So that’s how young legs can impact a game. Johnson is going to learn quickly that if he busts ass on the break, Rondo will find ways to get him the ball.  

I’m going to channel my inner Tommy Heinsohn and say “this kid can play.”

Related links: Globe – JaJuan Johnson chips in during 4th | WEEI – Wilcox and Johnson might not be Kareem, but they were pretty good

The rest of the links:

Globe – Mondo Rondo | Back keeps Rose from facing rival | CSNNE – Dooling feels good after return | Celtics/Bulls review: What we saw | Talking points: Cs 95 – Bulls 91 | Herald – Bulls left at loss without Rose | ESPN Boston – Rivers compares Thibodeau, Belichick | Wilcox starting to click

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  • paul

    Do you ever, ever, ever listen to yourself? Now you are ripping Rondo’s head off for being a ‘diva’. SO WHAT EVEN IF HE IS A DIVA!!!!!!!!! What do you think Bill Russell was? Dave Cowens? Yeah, so Larry was a guy you could imagine hanging out at the sports bar with, WHY WOULD YOU EXPECT EVERY GREAT PLAYER TO BE LIKE THAT, and why should they?
    Rondo is mercurial. We effing knew that. Stop hating on him for that. It’s the journos who are being unprofessional if they can’t let it be when the guy doesn’t want to talk to them.
    But, to your credit, you are getting at a point, to a point. Rondo has an artistic nature, which is part of what makes him great. Think about it. Open your mind. Larry didn’t set the template for all time of how a great player should be.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Diva is the wrong word. He’s by no means humble.. but a diva expects to be catered to and have everything handed to him. You have to admit, that’s not Rondo.
    Moody? Definitely. Hell, you can call him an asshole if you don’t like his behavior. But diva is the wrong word for what Rondo is.

  • KY Celts fan

    Because he plays for my team, I try to give Rondo the benefit of the doubt. Rondo looked like he was pissed at the world yesterday during the game. He wanted that last rebound badly, and I’m glad he got it. Perhaps he was still feeling angry after the game and didn’t want to say anything to the press while his emotions were high. Certainly, that may not be the case, but if it is you would have to give him credit for watching his tongue.

  • Vivek NJ

    well said Paul. every one can be emotional. i will let rondo to be emotional. let him calm down and come and talk whenever he feels like.
    Indeed he is an artist. no look passes are galore in celtics play because of him. everytime i wonder how he can do that so accurately.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    Ripping his head off? Geez, the Rondo lovers sure are a sensitive bunch. If I wanted to rip his head off, I would have devoted the entire post to criticism.
    Bill Russell and Dave Cowens were divas? I’ve never heard anyone ever go down that road.

  • KY Celts fan

    How about those two fast break alley oops with Johnson and Wilcox in the fourth? Those were freaking awesome!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mannoperry Perry Manno

    It’s not unusual for us to watch RR load up a stat sheet, but even more palpable was his leadership yesterday. Without Rose he attacked throughout the game knowing Tibbs would take away the Ray and Pierce duo that collectively shot 7-19. True, he forced a shot early in the clock and committed a pair of costly turnovers during Chic’s 4th qt. run, but he did atone by hitting 4 straight free throws.
    So where has this Rondo been lately? I took a count of his 19 game log and came up with around 6 sub par performances based on team losses, bad shooting, and assist to turnover ratio. Certainly he’s entitled to an off night, but we all know RR simply doesn’t bring it every night … even worse there are nights like the one in Toronto where he mentally checks out. That’s a sign of immaturity, which should not exist after 6 years.
    Which brings us back to leadership and the burning question of building the future around him. Yes his PER shot up to 18.99 from 17.73 a day ago. His scoring and assist averages are at career highs, and shots at the rim currently ties his career high. But in crunch time he often disappears and cannot score in isolation. Couple that with the leadership and aloofness aspect and we have a true enigma. Therefore it’s reasonable to speak about him in trades because his contract can return fair value. But you can also make the argument that Danny has not given him the weapons necessary to maximize his game. Not a dvia, just an enigma.

  • Jerry Sondler

    Did you actually just type Rondo`s name…in the very SAME paragraph that you typed the names of Bill Russell, Dave Cowens, and Larry Bird?!?

  • Lee in Oregon

    Best part of yesterday- seeing Johnson out there the whole 4th and playing like he belonged.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/bostonsportz BostonsportZ

    Here’s the problem, you knew Rondo would have great game yesterday because of National stage, next game will be soso–He’s like Randy Moss, He plays when he wants to

  • TheW

    Agree totally. Moss is a great parallel. We get pissed at him because he’s obviously capable of dominating at an All-Star level but only seems to play that way when it suits him. Does Chris Paul do this? Derrick Rose? D.Williams?

  • ben

    So much hype. Rondo is usually the best player on the court. What more can you ask for lol. I have an idea, lets be nice to the best player on the court, and maybe criticize the other 20 players on the court instead.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/bostonsportz BostonsportZ

    EXACTLY!!

  • Manny

    You can’t blame the kid for not wanting to talk to a bunch of bastards who were just criticizing his game . I would have done the same thing.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/jmeedu James Eisenman

    I guess maybe he was just pretending the reporters were point guards from the opposing team and he was busy guarding the free throw line so he could increase his steals total. Larry hated reporters so I get that but he won’t convince me that he is masterful until he masters defense. As soon as Avery walked on, their stinky sub point guards sputtered, like their engines were running out of gas. When Rondo was in, they aimlessly ran him off of every pick. Anyway, “the best player on the court” crowd is making sound like a squeaky, broken record. I want to see the effort on this whole upcoming road trip and just a smattering of DEFENSE.

  • Bob

    I like Rondo, but sometimes the focus doesn’t seem to be there. On two consecutive possessions against the Bulls, the Bulls showed a soft halfcourt trap and Rondo picked up his dribble in the backcourt. IIRC, he turned the ball over both times. Pierce looked clueless with ball a couple of times, too. But the Celts biggest problem is rebounding. When Garnett wasn’t in the game yesterday, the Celts got killed on the boards.

  • KY Celts fan

    You say this despite the fact that all defensive statistics still show Rondo as a better defensive player than Avery.

  • aaron

    rondo is over-rated. is he good? yes? all world or elite? NO. could he be, YES. WHEN HE WANTS.
    DEBATE OVER.
    he plays when he FEELS like it. thats NOT a celtic.
    trade him, he is good (highly over-rated) and we need a center.

  • James Eisenman

    I don’t know what pretend statistics you’re talking about. I only know what I see on the screen when I watch the game. I usually tape the games and watch them after they’re done so I can always reverse the tape and see exactly where the play broke down and who was supposed to be guarding whom. It is plainly obvious when you look at the game this way, what is happening. Rondo got picked off at least a dozen picks yesterday and his man was wide open numerous times. When Avery was in the game for his big 8 minutes, he pushed their point guards out beyond the three point area and pushed the clock down below 10 seconds for them to set up plays. When the guys got by him, he still stayed right on them and they ended up forcing their shots. I can only think of about 1 out of 5 or 6 shots made by Avery’s man when he was in the game. I can think of at least a ten wide open shots that they got when Rondo was guarding them. The numbers made up by some statistician who may or may not know what he’s looking at have yet to impress me. My eyes and the trusty reverse button tell me what I need to know. Try watching Rondo on defense, ONLY, when the other team comes at us on offense. You will see him drop to the free throw line or the side of the key instead of staying on his man, when the ball goes to the other side, and then rush over to him when the ball shifts over to his man. Yesterday, I say him get picked off at least a dozen times, mostly because he was not up on his man so he could slide over the picks. Record a game, watch him, reverse the tape when his man goes off on us and then tell me about the stats. For instance, Avery was in for 8 minutes last night and my recollection is that their point guards scored only one basket off of him. Where did their other 32 points come from and who was “guarding” them at the time? That’s a simple enough stat, isn’t it? How about the point guards who have had huge days against us this season – Jack, Rose, Norris Cole, Calderon, Westbrook, etc., etc.? Who was guarding them? The one point guard who didn’t go off on us? Jameer Nelson. Who was guarding him? Figure it out.

  • http://jimbaumer.posterous.com/ Jim

    I liked Sunday’s game. However, DRose was on the bench for all 48 minutes. Glad Rondo pushed the ball up the floor.
    Personally, I could care less about his post-game interview demeanor, or whether he’s a diva, or not. What I care about is this next stretch of games, and Chicago again, Thursday night. Show me a string of 5, 6, or 7 consistent games and winning the head-to-head w/ Rose (if he plays) and I’ll start considering the “Rondo is the greatest Celtic” hype. Heck, put together 5 Lin-like games and I’ll be happy!
    It’s all about the consistency. Great players bring it every single night. Kobe does, DWade does, LeBron does, KLove and Blake bring it every night. That’s greatness. Rondo, on the other hand, brings it when he feels like it.

  • NorthernGreen

    If a player isn’t playing the coach has the responsibility to make the needed changes (get after the player or sub with a up and coming rookie or another back-up). The coach has to shoulder some of the blame!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mannoperry Perry Manno

    If you're referring to Doc playing him 41 minutes in Toronto then I completely agree. However, Bradley was nursing a sore shoulder off a back-to-back. Still E'Twaun was available and could have received some valuable on the job training.
     
    We can all sit in judgement of Doc, but there's always a method to his coaching style and if Danny decides to rebuild from the ground up, Doc will be the star of this franchise. You're not finding anyone better equipped to handle young players in the vernacular of Baby, Perk or D.West. If they have talent he'll bring it out. If you're drafting Giddens, Hudson, etc it's harder for him to find space for them in the rotation. If you're going to lay blame on him or management blame them for not drafting and making the necessary trades to comport with RR's skill set.