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Your Morning Dump… Where Rajon Rondo is catching crap for extending the assist streak

Chuck - Red's Army November 19, 2012 Celtics News, Rajon Rondo, The Morning Dump 27 Comments

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.

“Yeah, why not?” said Rivers, acknowledging that he kept Rondo, who had missed Thursday’s loss in Brooklyn with a twisted ankle, out there for a reason. “You guys keep talking about it, so I figured I’d give him a shot at it. It’s funny; the harder we tried, the worse we got at that. When I called a timeout (with 1:38 left), I said, ‘Guys, we’re going to lose the game, by the way. Let’s not play crazy, but if we can get him (one) more, let’s do it. And if not, that’s it.’ First time we’ve done that.”

Rondo appreciated the gesture.

“It’s good to have a coach that has your back like that,” he said.

Herald

Rajon Rondo played 38 minutes in last night’s slop fest. He went from the bench to the court with 8 minutes remaining with the sole purpose of extending the double-figures assist streak (34 games). He got his numbers and remains in pursuit of John Stockton (37 games) and Magic Johnson (46 games).

There are two arguments against Rondo; the injury risk and the “shameless” pursuit of individual goals.

Rondo missed Thursday’s game vs Brooklyn because of a mild ankle sprain. He returned Saturday vs Toronto and showed no remnants of the injury, then or last night. Could he have used the extra 8 minutes of rest? Probably.

We don’t need to look far for examples of injury risk. Paul Pierce tweaked his ankle in the 4th quarter. Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski will have surgery to mend a broken forearm, an injury suffered in the final minutes of a 59-24 blowout victory.

If Rondo rolled the ankle again or went down with a major injury last night, we’d all be pissed and Doc would surely regret his decision. But athletes and coaches aren’t walking around on eggshells trying to avoid injury 24/7. If they did, they wouldn’t be able to play with an edge.

As for the “shameless” pursuit, I ask critics this – Is Rondo the first player to pursue an individual goal in garbage time?

There are extreme examples, like Andray Blatche and Ricky Davis acting like clowns in pursuit of triple-doubles. We’ve seen players compete for scoring titles on the last day of the season. Remember David Robinson’s 44 minute, 71 point performance in 1994?

I could probably uncover dozens of additional examples if I had the time because guys pursue individual goals all the time. Fifteen years from now when you visit the Basketball Hall of Fame and read about Rondo’s 105 game streak of double-digit assists on his plaque, you won’t remember last night’s game. No one will.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Maine Attraction: Joseph a scrimmage star | Rapid Reaction: Pistons 103 Celtics 83 | Out of gas in Motor city | Globe – Lee getting accustomed to reserve role | Herald – Celtics mashed in Michigan | CSNNE – Pierce will be ok | Nothing goes right in 103-83 loss | Celtics dead-men walking |

 

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  • http://twitter.com/jdotd @JdotD

    To be fair, Rondo has been stat padding since about his third year in the league. Wasn’t as bad last year, but prior to that he’s turned down open layups to force an assist (especially at the start of the season a couple of years ago when he was chasing most assists through the start of the year record) which was even uglier to see as he passed up solid open layups to force a pass which often resulted in a turnover.
    I don’t really care if the game was already lost, what pissed me off before was he was doing it in the middle of close games which we would often end up losing by small margins, that’s not on. If he’s finished doing it when it matters (looks like he wasn’t yesterday otherwise he wouldn’t have needed to come back in later) I don’t care what he does in garbage time minutes.

    • mrchumpy

      Agreed, when he passes up open layups to kick it back out again I go blind with rage. He had a few other plays in the game last night where he took a needless risk to perform something flashy and ended up turning the ball over.

  • Cam

    Who knows what Stockton and Magic were like. Everyone has this image that they (or lots of record breakers) performed and acted a certain way.

    We really have know ideas if their coaches were doing the same thing or if they were “stat padding”.

  • Mike

    This was literally a no win situation. Doc would’ve been criticized either way for playing or sitting Rondo. I’m glad he played him.

    • JG

      Eh, I don’t necessarily agree with this. I mean, you’re PROBABLY right, but I think that the people that would have yelled at him for sitting Rondo would have had less of an argument. That’s just the fans that don’t really know much about the game talking, you know?

      People who understand the game would realize the fact that it’s just a distraction to keep this going, and it’s kind of pathetic to keep him in to get it. The only thing I will say is that it probably made Rondo and Doc closer. However, if you’ve ever played on a team where your coach plays guys just to pad their stats it can really ruin chemistry sometimes.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Can we all stop pretending that anyone outside of Boston actually gives a crap about this meaningless assist record?

    Listen up, “newbies”…dishing out an assist is NOT exactly the basketball equivalent to hitting a home run in baseball! The degree-of-difficulty factor involved is light years apart.

    As a basketball stat alone…assists are far “less sexy” than PPG or RPG! Thus, the lack of any “real” interest in what Rondo is doing.

    • Chuck – Red’s Army

      Rebounds are sexy? Gotta disagree on that one.

      I’ll take a highlight of a pretty pass over an intense rebound anyday.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Using size and strength….to grab a clutch rebound in traffic…during a wild scrum in the paint…to preserve a narrow win?

        C`mon….that`s hot!

  • paul

    Why doesn’t anyone complain when KG and Pierce come out flat and we lose games? For some reason, Rondo’s faults always go under the microscope.

    • 70-celt

      Because Rondo’s the best player on the team. Here’s a streak; 132 min. 0 free throw attempt.

      • LAF

        yeah, well, but if he wins the MVP, that’s all that matters!

      • WinstonSalems

        you really want a guy, who shoots 55% from the line, to be more aggressive and look for more FT attempts? rondo’s biggest weakness is FT shooting.

  • Stephanie

    I don’t mind them going for his record. Hell he can’t help that those shooters were COLD all night with wide open looks. And Wilcox or KG couldn’t complete an alley to save their lives. He wouldn’t have even needed to try for the 10.

  • Cameron

    Assists = Points, Im fine with it

  • Mike E

    The game was out of reach, but I’m a bit surprise Doc and Rondo would feel a streak is more important than trying to win an actual game. It’s seems like false pride, looking to keep a meaningless streak alive instead of playing to beat a bad pistons team. I think the critics have to speak their minds.

    It’s not about what other players did to keep their own streaks going, because what they did might not of been sportsmenship. I thought the Celtics had higher standards than a meaningless streak and if they’re doing these kind of things; it tells me and others the Celtics aren’t serious at the moment.

    Come April, May or June fans might be disappointed reflecting on certains loses that prevented HCA. Maybe home court could helped raise banner 18 in 2010 or get the C’s back to the Finals 2011 and 2012.

    It well be embrassing losing to teams like the Knicks, Nets, Bucks, or Sixers in the playoffs.

    • Willowgreen

      they got blown out, they knew it. Its not like they gave up on winning. even if Rondo had 20-30 points they wouldve still lost.

      what you do they do when they get blown out? they just put players in who hvent played.

      Avery is out, Darko is tending to his mom, Fab and kris is in d league.

      Is it really that bad that they kept Rondo to play garbage minutes?

      Doc just showed concern for rondo’s achievements, that creates trust, rather than rumors spreading that they are not in good terms. I wouldve done the same, id rather put in rondo to build his confidence.

  • Cha_Cs18

    1. How do we know that magic or Stockton didn’t have a game like this.
    2. I don’t mind because his teammates should have hit those wide open shots.
    3. Detroit was still playing defense and we were going to loose anyway.
    We should be talkin about how we got out worked, not some assist record most Celtic fans don’t even know about

    • Cha_Cs18

      I mean non-Celtic fan

  • Trevor

    Why is everyone hung up on this and nit the fact we got blown out by the Pistons, THE PISTONS! I now know we’re in trouble, maybe it’s time to insert DarKo, and see if he really will kill someone! If we don’t figures a way to turn this around quick, Rondo’s “stat padding” will be the best thing we talked about this year!

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

    I think people are making a big deal over nothing. So what Rondo wanted to keep his assist streak rolling. He’s being chided for selfishly wanting to be unselfish. How stupid does that swound? If anything he should be comended for continuing his unselfish streak that has kept the celtics a playoff contender for the past five years.

  • GarnettsGrl

    Anyone that has problem with what Bos did as a team screw them….why should Rondo let all the hard work he’s put in go to waste because his team mates sucked all night and could not hit it in the ocean????? If I was Rondo I would have played the whole game if I had to, he’s doing his job if a record is set then so be it. I’ve seen a whole lot worse in the NBA as well as other sports.

  • WinstonSalems

    This has been Rondo’s most consistent year, as far as being the leader on offense. In the years past, it seemed like he would take a night off or not show 100% effort and it would be frustrating to watch. It hasn’t been the case this year. The kid is transforming into a legitimate star in the league. That being said, it shouldn’t be an issue for him to stay on the court, in garbage time, to get that 1 assist. He deserves the record. This is his game and it will continue to be his game if he breaks the record or not. It’s not like he completely blew it and had only 4 assists all night. He’s being portrayed as selfish for trying to break one of the most un-selfish records in the history of the league.

  • Chris H

    “Sometimes you just got to be an asshole out there” KG.

    So who cares if he goes after the record. That’s is “padding” if the C’s lose and “legendary” if it isn’t. Since Stockton never won the big one, am I to imagine EVERY game in his streak was a “clean win”.

    Stupid subjective standard. Rondo has a chance to make a record stand for a long time. His efforts help the team win, even in a blowout loss, he didn’t fall on his sword as some would have him do as “honorable”. So what. He wants it, he works for it, he will earn it for him. Good for him.

  • Esther

    What are people’s problems? Rondo played a game and got 10 assists within that game. It’s not like he hacked the score keeping computer and generated false counters. By the haters’ logic, all scoring records should be the points scored during a game minus the points scored during the garbage time of said game.

    Absurd.

  • nyceltic

    Get over it people. They are haters I tell you.

  • Bill

    Stats are for losers

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