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Doc doesn’t want Rondo saving himself on the floor

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) November 5, 2012 Celtics News 23 Comments

Rajon Rondo has played a lot of minutes.  That’s probably because, as usual, there isn’t a reliable option behind him to run the Celtics offense.

We knew going into this season that Rondo would play a lot of minutes.  But there have been way too many instances of Rondo slacking off.  The most egregious examples come from the Milwaukee game, where a lot of guys were coasting on the front-end of a back-to-back.

Jay, our the Jedi Master of our video department, put together a little compilation of the Celtics horrid pick-and-roll defense from that game.  Here’s a video with two of Rondo’s worst moments.

Rondo lazily trails Brandon Jennings in the first play off the top, forcing KG to step out on him.  Then, Rondo just sort of hangs around, never gets back into any sort of defensive position, nor does he rush to pick up KG’s man.  At :30, Rondo ends up sort of getting screened by own guy, Jared Sullinger, but he makes no effort to get between Jennings and the basket, leading to an easy dish and foul on Sullinger.  (Sullinger, by the way, played that poorly.  Also on the video, Jason Terry getting smoked at :17 and at :49).

Those plays by Rondo were simple laziness.  Or rather, it was a conservation of his own energy for later in the game, and for a game the next night.  But Doc Rivers isn’t a fan of it, and said today that he’ll take care of saving Rondo, so Rondo doesn’t have to do it himself.

“I’m concerned but not as far as him getting tired but I don’t want him to save himself on the floor,” Rivers said. “There’s a minutes number for him. We don’t know what it is yet. We’ll figure it out where he can play his minutes at full pace instead of knowing he’s going to be on the floor too long and then he starts pacing himself. We need him to be a fast, quick, aggressive player.”

And the number?

“I think it’s 39, 38 but it’s not much lower than 40 but it’s in that area,” Rivers added.

There’s an added focus on Rondo this year.  He’s the catalyst on the offensive end.  He’s the first line of attack. And he’s at his best when he’s aggressively attacking and picking teams apart.

I’ve said this a million times, but Rondo thrives in chaos.  HE is the one that needs to be causing it.

KG likes to compare the team to Hyenas?  I like to compare them to Killer Whales… who create an organized chaos to accomplish their goal.

That’s what Rondo need to do to succeed.  Create chaos, and get the defense confused, chasing, and out of position.  He can only do that when he’s full speed.  If he’s saving himself, then he, and the rest of his teammates, will miss their chance to succeed.

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  • http://slapdoghoops.blogspot.com Slap Dog Hoops

    You’re a prick and those who agree with you are pricks too. Expecting Rondo to go at full throttle for a full 48 minutes is completely unreasonable. The man does everything and more while he is on the court, so to call him lazy is you simply being an ass. This does not surprise me as I consider most Boston Celtics fans complete assholes.

    They like to shit on their players every chance they get, even when they do not deserve and then kiss their asses when good things happen. To be quite honest, assholes like you don’t deserve a player of Rondo’s caliber. He’s already amongst the elite PGs in the league and all you can do is shit on him for rather trivial bullshit. With fans like you, Rondo certainly does not need any enemies.

    • Joseph

      Way to assume that all Boston fans and the author are pricks because they said something (true) about a player that doesn’t play for your team.

    • paul

      We expect a lot from Rondo, Slap Dog. What do you want us to do? He’s a great player. We expect greatness from a great player.

    • Yogi

      It’s true that Rondo is not fully appreciated even by Celtics fans, but this article is not one of them. The author doesn’t argue that Rondo should play 48 min. However there are certain misconceptions about Rondo’s defense that eludes most fans.
      Rondo has the gift to see plays ahead. He knows the Celtics defense in and out, so instead of fighting through screens and injuring himself and wasting energy to try and keep up in front of the faster guards EVERY play, he uses his IQ to predict how the other teams offense would react and try to get steals or roam and pressure the ball if it winds up in ISO. He gets burned sometimes and it’s easy to piece together a clip of a couple of times the gamble doesn’t pay off, but he’s consistently a steals force in the league and he holds opposing guards to horrible offensive numbers. He did have a bad game against the reigning east player of the week, but bad days happen.
      When Rondo “lazily” stands after losing Jennings, he predicted the Celtics defense would force Jennings to take a bad shot or a turnover so he’s getting ready to run the fast break. Jennings is playing the best basketball of his career right now and is facilitating more than ever in his career. The scouting report just has to make adjustments to how much he’s grown. I’m sure Rondo won’t allow Jennings to go off again.

    • http://redsarmy.com John – Red’s Army

      I thank you for your thoughtful and reasoned comment.

      What I find humorous is this entire piece come off Doc’s quote that Rondo is, in fact, pacing himself out there and that doesn’t help the team.

      The fact is that I’m one of Rondo’s biggest supporters. I do believe that he’s one of the league’s top point guards, and one that’s irreplaceable. But Rondo has said himself he needs to be better than he has to start the season.

      It’s possible to level a critique without the insane extrapolation that I don’t like him or I think he sucks. He just needs to be better than he has at some points.

      • Yogi
      • GreenCro

        Nice read :-)
        I must say that in the past year or so at this blog we have had an increase of insults, foul language, border-line hate speech, empty arrogance, provocations etc.
        Really annoying :-(
        When it goes against the veterans, I’m particularly amazed…

    • Drew

      Either you don’t watch Rondo play much, or you’re being extremely subjective. He IS lazy. At times he can be the laziest player on the floor.

      • LA Flake

        We all know Rondo has another gear. That he rarely plays at that level is why I’m not a fan. In a way Rondo reminds me of Antoine Walker and his refusal to play in the post.

        • Drew

          I agree 100 percent. I’m not a Rondo fan or defender. He’s too frustrating to watch at times. Don’t get me wrong, when he has those huge games I get very excited. I fully expect him to go from a triple double against a contender to a 7-3-7 performance 2 games later when he’s playing a lottery team and he mentally checks out. That’s not cool, and I don’t see how any fan would be able to appreciate that.

          • CelticsKid34

            glad im not the only one thinking this… if he is gonna go out in the media and say he is the LEADER OF THIS TEAM HE NEEDS TO MAN UP AND ACT LIKE IT!!! as far as i am concerned KG is still the leader. the lack of effort from rondo is bringing down the team as a whole and it makes me sick that he is wasting the chance to make an above average team good.

    • http://msnhotmail.com belinda

      I agree totally, so you want this young man to go full speed, EVERY game, attack, EVERY game, play 40 plus minutes…… this is bs. This put this kid at such a high risk for injury, then where will that lead the team? Boston is too deep at the guard postion for Rondo to be playing 40 plus minutes. Boston needs to get Derrick Fisher to come in and eat up some minutes for Rondo, thats all they need him to do. I dont hear of any other team in the league expecting this much out of their p.g.

    • Chi

      Rondo was been extremely lazy on D. He doesn’t fight around screens or pressures the ball enough. Pick and Defense starts with the guard in the back-court. I love Rondo, but he defense hasn’t been there these first few games.

  • LA Flake

    Mrs. Rondo in the house?

  • paul

    It’s a dilemma. We need Rondo playing massive minutes. We need him playing with intensity on both ends. We need him playing aggressive, intense basketball, creative on the offensive end, chaotic on the defensive end. Most importantly, we need him to get after his opposite number on defense.

    But he’s not literally made of steel, even if he seems that way at times. So what’s the answer? Lebron is huge. Lebron can accomplish a lot of what he does just by being there and being big. Rondo has to do it all with brains and energy, and yet we essentially expect him to be our Lebron.

    But how can we not? He’s that amazing a player.

    I think the answer is spot rest. Shorter bursts of rest, more often.

    • LA Flake

      I don’t buy that because Rondo is only 26 years old. When Pierce was in his mid 20s, he was routinely averaging 40+mpg and his production never dipped. And Pierce routinely faced double, triple teams every night. Hell, I see Ray Allen playing harder than Rondo right now. Time for Rondo to man up and raise his game.

      • Yogi

        Why don’t you check Rondo’s stats before you make yourself look more foolish. Next thing you’ll say Rondo can’t shoot…

      • http://msnhotmail.com belinda

        What its time for is Boston to stop relying on a big three. That has killed us every since we lost big baby and nate robinson, we have not had a bench since, i dont care how well paul, rondo, garnett, bass bradley play, at some point with injuries and the grind of the entire season, boston will run out of gas in the playoffs, Boston need a bench, point blank period. Rondo has elavated his game so much its not to much more you can ask of this kid, its not fair to rest this whole team on his shoulder throughout the whole season and the playoffs. Lebron couldnt do it by himself in cleveland and Rondo wont be able to do it in boston.

        • PicketyP

          The Celtics are worse off without Nate Robinson? Heh…this is funny.

          This Boston bench is the deepest it has been in years. I’m also not sure how losing Big Baby has anything to do with Rondo playing more minutes.

  • screaming jay

    We’ve played 3 games people! 3 friggin games!! Holy hell, I can’t believe all the goddam chicken little’s here…Oh, the sky is falling the sky is falling.

    Gimme a break…

  • DJ Kahn

    Rondo needs to ATTACK plain and simple. Right now the offense is suffering because there is no spacing, and as a result, no crisp ball-movement. Rondo needs to attack the basket and he needs to take the open jumper. No excuse not to take the jumper when teams sag way off of you. As a leader, he needs to be the first option.

  • Donnie

    Sorry, but Rondo is a lazy defender. He cheats on screens and pick-n-roll defense. Even color commentators point out Rondo’s lazy defense at times. There’s no reason for him to get beat off the dribble especially with his quickness and long hands.

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