Doc acknowledges Rondo needs to use his energy on offense | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Doc acknowledges Rondo needs to use his energy on offense

When you’ve got the skill set of a guy like Rajon Rondo, it’s easy to get knocked for not using all of those skills all the time.    Often, people see these guys on the floor as NBA 2K characters rather than actual people who get tired.  Unfortunately, we can’t turn off fatigue in these games.

Today, Doc Rivers was on WEEI for his regular weekly spot, and part of his interview had to do with Avery Bradley, his defense, and Rondo.

First, on Bradley.

“The ball pressure he can supply takes up clock… When Avery is on the floor, (teams) don’t typically start their offense until 14 to 12 seconds (left on the shot clock).  Right away, your defense is better because you have less time to defend.  The second thing is you can put him on the best guard, and you don’t need a lot of help with him.  The less you have to help a player, the more your team can sink in and be a better team defensively.

“Physically, mentally, he’s tough.  He has great anticipation.  He has great feet.  He was blessed with great feet, great athleticism, but more importantly, he has great instincts.”

Make no mistake about it, Avery Bradley is one of the NBA’s best wing defenders.  What I love about his defense is that he uses intense, in-your-face pressure to mitigate things like height advantages.  He’s a difference maker on the floor.

And then the follow-up question: “You don’t think Rondo could do what he does if he put his mind to it?”

“Yeah, he could, but I think it would be hard to run the team and be as aggressive as I need him to be offensively and do it full-time. I think that would be asking a lot.”

Doc may have said it before, but I don’t recall it getting much attention.  It’s an interesting acknowledgement from the coach that Rondo’s most important contribution is pushing the offense and running things in that regard rather than pushing as hard as Bradley does defensively.

Everyone’s got a role.  And we know when Rondo needs to ramp up the defense, he can do it.  But it’s clear that the coach isn’t exactly pushing Rondo to expend all of his energy on the defensive end.  The Celtics need Rondo to spend it running the team, diving into the lane, and making sure the Celtics score points.

The beauty of Bradley in the starting line up, and why there will be no controversy when he comes back and takes the spot from Courtney Lee, is that it allows Rondo to both conserve energy on the defensive end while still roaming free safety-style to pick off errant passes caused by Bradley’s pressure.  In tandem, because of what each allows the other to do, Bradley and Rondo are a great team.

You can listen to the full Doc Rivers interview here.  Doc also touched on the KG and Ray situation, and Dwyane Wade calling Rondo’s foul a “punk move.”  Let’s just say he echos this sentiment pretty clearly.

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  • paul

    I think Doc is wrong about Rondo on Defense. We’ve all seen for a long time that Rondo saves energy on the defensive end, and we all understand the reasons, but there is another side to this. Energy you expend on the defensive end leads to offense, especially for an up tempo team, as the Cs are trying to be. I’m not saying Rondo has to turn into Avery. But he needs to raise his defensive effort significantly.

    • Rich

      That is why Doc is a coaching and you are commenting on blogs.

      • paul

        Well said, Rich. Also true of you, no?

        Btw, Scal agrees with me.

        • LA Flake

          I agree with you, Paul. A few years ago, Rondo played both ends of the court and put a lot of pressure on opposing PGs. But now he often coasts on D and gambles way too much, relying on KG and other bigs to cover for him. The problem is when Rondo’s on the floor with Bass who is probably our worst team defender. This is why I argue that either Green or Sully or even Wilcox should start over Bass because if we’re going to have a bad team defender starting at the 4 spot, it might as well be someone who brings more skills to the floor than Bass. Bass would be terrific off the bench. But he’s Doc’s worst option as a starter.

          Avery will make a huge difference when he gets back, though. The way he defends is just out of this world and it lifts our team D to a whole new level. And Green will be better. I expect him to have a huge game on Friday. But I’m not sold on Terry or Courtney. Terry is a bad defender and Courtney is Avery-lite. And if Barbosa keeps playing well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Terry and Bass are traded before February.

  • Larry Legend

    Lord knows I love Doc Rivers and the Celtics. I also like this site at times, but for the love of God someone explain to me what John’s post about Doc and how he treated a homosexual player on his team has anything to do with a Celtics fans blog. It was misplaced at best. Just write about basketball. The Celtics. The article reeks of an agenda push. It’s a serious issue no doubt, and I have nothing against homosexual people at all, but I don’t read this blog for those kind of articles. Inappropriate. Not the subject matter but the forum with which you placed it in. It lacked judgement John. Just post a link to the article and be done with it. If people choose to go read it great. We don’t need a diatribe from you on it. And yes I read your disclaimer etc… Doesn’t change the fact it was a self serving post. Disappointing.

    • I’m sorry you felt that way. I wrote the piece because I was moved by Doc’s attitude to a very sensitive, very relevant topic. I felt that writing about it was important to Celtics fans to see the type of person they had running their team, and beyond that, impacting his community.

      As you can see from our content, those types of posts are not the norm. But when you consider how often we trash people for “being jerks,” or getting into legal trouble, I felt a nice article on what I determined to be a great show of character would be appreciated.

      I’m sorry that you felt it was misplaced. I’m not pushing an agenda. We don’t get into politics or anything like that.

      Thank for the feedback.

      • Larry Legend

        Fair enough John. Im not trying to start up a debate on it. Just felt compelled to respond. I trust you were not offended by my stance as it was not my intent. I look forward to reading more Celtics articles from you in the future.

        • Not offended at all. Thanks!

          • @John I like how you reply back to the readers. Some posts will bother some and not others but thats perfectly fine because that is why the comment section exists so readers can give their input. I love the site and visit a few times a day everyday even during offseason. Good article. By the way D WADE IS A B&%*#$!!!!!! LOL i cannot get over what he did to rondo’s elbow after he decides to call him out on a foul that wasn’t even “hard”.

    • Greens

      I totally agree with Larry Legend. There was no need for that article on a celtics blog. Doc is a great coach but what coach in professional sports wouldn’t do or say what doc did. If a coach didn’t support or be sympathetic to a gay athlete they would be fired on the spot. Its just the world we live in today. You can’t say anything negative about race, religion or sexual orientation and being the head coach you can’t remain silent and say no comment, so yeah what is doc supposed to say? This article just didn’t make any sense to me

      • KY Celts fan

        C’mon now. John and Chuck are constantly posting things about the teams’ shoes, promo events, a funny video Big Baby or DWest may have put on YouTube, a story about Ray dealing with his son’s diabetes. None of that is technically basketball related. How was that any different?

        • Larry Legend

          Guys I appreciate your respective opinions but let’s just let the topic go. I shouldn’t have started it back up. Although I feel strongly that it didn’t belong here, it’s over and done with. Let’s just get back to basketball! Go Celts!!

        • Drew

          Thank you! How obvious is it that these guys are homophobic? They seriously remind me of the people that used to protest the civil rights of black people. You guys look like fools when beg and plead that there shouldn’t be gay content on this site. Let it go.

          • KY Celts fan

            That really wasn’t what I was getting at. I was just trying to show that the topic was relevant to the site.

          • Drew

            I realize that.

  • Guys, this is why I closed comments on the actual post. Let’s not devolve into name calling. We’re moving on today

  • RedsLoveChild

    OMG….I cannot believe people are still waging a debate over this in 2012!

    Here`s a little NFL lesson : Vince Lombardi coached the Redskins in 1969. He had a very talented wide receiver named Jerry Smith. Smith was gay. Lombardi, in a team meeting, made his position very clear to the entire squad.

    He told the team that any person who gives Smith, or any other homosexual employed by the Redskins, the slightest hint of grief…that person will become an ex-Redskin before that day is out.

    • Larry Legend

      Congrats Red you watched Lombardi a Football Life…gimme a break buddy. Listen like I said previously, and John as well later, let’s just let it go. Move on. I shouldn’t have brought it back up. My bad.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Before it closed, I wish {in 2010-11} I could have seen the play “Lombardi”…on Broadway!!

        • Larry Legend

          Yes I heard it was good. Woulda been a good take

  • Chulinho

    Rondo will need to expend some energy on defense for the next few games guarding Jennings, Ellis, Holiday, Wall, Beal, etc.

    But, I’m not really concerned with Rondo’s defense as much as I’m concerned with the Celtics team defense.

    The encouraging news is that they seem to be angry with themselves about the defense in Tuesday’s game. I expect them to be dialed in defensively tomorrow. Who knows? We may even see Darko…

    • Chulinho

      Exclude Wall from that short list of guards I mentioned. I forgot he’s still out with an injury.

  • vivek NJ

    I hear people in other blogs like espn blogs posting that biggest danger is Rondo’s transition defense.

    • KY Celts fan

      that’s because if you get out in transition and Rondo is chasing you, he has no qualms about putting you on the ground. He’ll fuck you up.

  • yher

    Rondo must limit his errors and fancy moves….Doc should change the starting line up and limit rondo’s playing time…PG: TerryRondo ; SG:Barbosa /Lee; SF: Pierce/Green; PF: Garnett/Sullinger; C: Milicic/Collins…Basketball is not an emotional game..

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