“Just miscommunication really,’’ Rondo said, explaining the sloppy first quarter. “I wasn’t happy with my play, but I knew the team needed me and it was bigger than myself, so I tried to go out there and do what’s best for my team and run the show. Once we got on the same page, guys knew where they were supposed to be and I delivered the ball where it’s supposed to be and we connected.’’
“Efficiency, man,’’ Kevin Garnett said about Rondo. “When [No.] 9 is at his best man, it’s pretty hard to beat us. I’m just being honest, not being arrogant or cocky here. When [Rondo] is on his one-two, he’s making precise decisions. He’s aggressive at the basket. He’s getting rebounds. When he’s like that, nine out of 10 times we win those games. He re-gathered himself after the first quarter and never looked back.’’
Rajon Rondo had a rough 1st quarter. Four turnovers. Two missed lay-ups. Two missed free-throws.
With Rondo out-of-sync and the team's arena arrival delayed by traffic by more than an hour, I was ready to write off this game. But… they kept fighting in the 2nd quarter. And while KG is willing to give Rondo all the credit, it was Garnett who played big (with help from Brandon Bass and Paul Pierce).
Rondo did hit the throttle in the 3rd quarter. He and Bradley were running like madmen. But a better indicator of the Celtics aggressiveness is rebounding. Garnett and Bass were big on the boards. Half the team's offensive rebounds came in the 3rd quarter.
KG's right about Rondo, but the same applies to himself.
On Page 2, Brandon Bass' new injury.
The hyperextended left knee injury that Brandon Bass suffered at Toronto on Friday is a non-issue.
But that has led to him having discomfort in another part of the leg.
"My knee was good … I was so thankful," Bass said. "When I hyperextended my knee, I tweaked my hamstring a little bit, so my hamstring has been bothering me a little bit."
Bass doesn't expect any time off. At 26, he's at the back of the line when it comes to guys getting rest.
Look for Paul Pierce to sit-out and rest his jammed big-toe tonight vs Charlotte. Ray Allen is also going to sit.
Prior to this back-to-back-to-back stretch, I didn't expect KG to play in all three games. But with Paul and Ray out, will Doc rest KG too? I would.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Bass, Bradley continue to flourish | Rapid Reaction: C's 94 – Nets 82 | CSNNE – Celtics/Nets Review: What we saw | Gerald Green appears to have found his way | Herald – Celtics shore up game | Three straight is old school hoops | WEEI – Celtics clinch playoff berth | Rebuilding the Celtics: Restricted free agents | Globe – Pietrus forced to play catch-up | Taxing schedule has some paying the price | Bobcats thumbnails | Celtics clinch playoff spot with win over Nets |
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images