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.
Few NBA players bring it every game, but Rondo plays with at least one of them: Garnett. Rondo has the model right before him, if only he can look past his stubbornness, moodiness and deep, often destructive, pride.
Those "off" nights are why his name can't be placed on that "untouchable" list reserved for the very elite in the league. Talent is a gift, but consistency is an acquired trait.
The kid is making strides, but he's not there yet. He still gets caught up in the mano-a-mano moments that often come back to bite you. His courtside manner still grates on his teammates at times, as it did Sunday when he kept chirping at Brandon Bass until his exasperated teammate turned and said, "Shut the [expletive] up!" Rondo, expressionless, merely turned away.
Great column by Jackie MacMullan on Rajon Rondo's performance vs New York. Aside from heaping massive amounts of praise on Rondo, Jackie points out the biggest flaw in Rondo's game.
Not his shooting.
Not his free throws.
Not his attitude (okay, maybe a little).
It's his consistency or lack of it. I'm NOT expecting Rondo to churn out historic triple-doubles every night or even score 30+ points, I just want him to pass my effort eye-ball test.
Push the ball. Defend like a maniac. Stay focused and do not bitch-out your teammates (hello Brandon Bass).
This kid is on the cusp of greatness. It's frustrating that he can't seize it now.
Related links: Globe – Major points earned for this one | Herald – When Rondo rises, KG sees it coming | CSNNE – Rondo triple-double carries Cs past Knicks | WEEI – Can Rondo make Celtics dangerous again? | Rondo makes point, joins Magic and Wilt | ESPN Boston – KG keeps box on Rondo's historic night
On Page 2, Doc Rivers has shortened the bench.
Rivers believed the Celtics needed to use 11 to 12 players in the first half of the season because of the lockout and abbreviated training camp. But after struggling to a 15-17 record before the break, the coach said he has decided to reduce that number to nine.
That means players such as Marquis Daniels,JaJuan Johnson, and E’Twaun Moore will have their minutes reduced.
“But I like our rotation, I tightened it on purpose. I told our coaches after the Oklahoma City game, ‘When we come back, there’s nine guys. And that’ll be it.’ Every once in a while when we can go 10 we will, but that 10th guy right now is going to be a short-minute guy, whoever it is. And I like what we’re doing.’’
Pietrus, Wilcox, Bradley and Dooling are Doc's go-to-guys on the bench.
Dooling is struggling. He's shooting 36% and has a 1-1 turnover-to-assist ratio. Some will say E'Twaun Moore deserves more minutes. But I'm guessing Doc loves Dooling's veteran leadership and defensive effort. Unless the offensive output reaches catastrophic levels, he'll remain in the rotation.
One question mark is Jermaine O'Neal. If he makes it back from the wrist injury, I can't imagine Doc keeping JO on the bench with a DNP-Coaches Decision.
Related link: ESPN Boston – Rotation watch: The fine nine
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Ray leaves Knicks sick to their stomachs | Globe – Lin's return shows plenty to be learned | Beyond good | Herald – Jeff Green gives lift as he sits | Celtics moment of need brings out Truth | Truth, if you like it or not | Behind Lin phenomenon, lies youngster with room to improve | CSNNE – Rondo, Celtics find success in limiting Lin | Allen returns from illness, plays big in overtime | WEEI – Truth surfaces when it matters most |