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Your Morning dump…where Rondo’s point is cause for concern

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.

“Rondo’s point: Cause for concern” via Steve Bulpett

A war cry for a lot of fans this year has been: “It’s only ____we all know that the Celtics never start playing well until April“. Well, Rajon Rondo doesn’t think that’s a valid statement this season. When talking to the media yesterday in Oakland, Rajon was brutally honest in stating that this year’s squad is quite different from last year’s that came within 1 game of the NBA Finals:

“That doesn’t really matter now, because we’ve got, like, nine different players,” Rondo said yesterday. “There’s only about three guys who’ve been here and did that. It’s not like this is the same team that turned it around late and knows how to do that. So I don’t compare it to last year or other years.

“Even though we’ve gotten off to slow starts the last two or three years and turned it around, each year is different. Each team is completely different. So I’m not banking on that.”

As for the Celtics getting into a pattern where they play well all over the floor almost exclusively when their shots are falling, Rondo said, “Yeah, but that’s every team.”

When it was pointed out that the Celts like to say their defense comes first and that, even if they’re not doing well with the ball, they defy other teams to post enough points to beat them, Rondo offered another cold shower.

“It’s been a long time since that’s been the case,” he said. “For the last couple of years, it’s been, if we score we get stops, and if we don’t it gets ugly.”

Now we all know #9 can be blunt, but I don’t think Mr. Triple Double is in panic mode just yet:

“I don’t think too much of (the current situation),” he said. “We’re a .500 team right now, but it’s just what it is. We’ll get better. We have to trust more. Once our trust factor goes up and we all get on the same page, we’ll be a better team than what we are right now. But until then, we’ll be pretty inconsistent like we have been.

“I think we’ve got to make a change sooner or later, as far as guys’ mentality. If we don’t, then who knows?”

Um..about that .500 thing. So the hot question the first quarter of this Celtics season has been “what’s wrong with this team?”  Rondo thinks, most recently during Boston’s loss to the Clippers, guys are trying to do too much as individuals-the team mentality is lacking:

 “We made it a bigger game than we should have, instead of just playing,” Rondo said. “We put a lot of emphasis on certain guys and didn’t stick to what we do as a team. They have athletic bigs, and we tried to take the dunks out of the equation, and we got lost and got away from playing Celtic basketball and what we did against the Nets (in the win in Brooklyn on Christmas). We got caught up in individual matchups instead of team-concept defense.”

Doc sometimes calls that “hero ball”. A solemn KG reiterated that point after last night’s game saying that the successful Boston teams he’s been on have used solid team defense as a foundation. So what’s it going to take? What is the answer? As Bulpett wrote in another post early this morning, KG had some strong words on the subject:

“This is when you start to see who’s with you,” said Garnett. “This is when you see who really wants it, who really wants to get down and work and grind for it — and we’re about to find that out.”

Rivers was asked for his take on correcting this team’s course.

“We’ve got to keep going and keep pushing,” Rivers said. “Again, our problem all year has been the same problem. It’s not everybody (making mistakes), it’s two or three guys. That’s all you need with this team.

“And it’s not the same guys. That’s what’s been so frustrating about this season. But I told our guys, I’m very honest, ‘You are a .500 team right now, and until we prove we’re not, we are.’ ”

And now, they are a sub-500 team. Simple as that. Thankfully, they’ve got time to fix that. Let’s hope they do, or this could be a long season.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston: Doc’s take-too many jumpers  Rondo game-time decision vs Kings|CSNNE: Warriors crush Celtics   Sullinger’s play lone bright spot|Herald: C’s try to escape what-if mode  Doc plays down Avery  Key events Pierce & KG draw the line|Globe:Wrap-up

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  • LAF

    butbutbut, rondo! you are an MVP candidate! you make everyone so much better with your ball pounding! and you said this was the BEST team you’ve ever been on and that was only 8 weeks ago!

    what happened, MVP?

    • tm985

      heat fans trolling already?

      • CelticsKid34

        pretty sure thats the case. expect it to be a trend. with a team as horrible as our’s it should come as no suprise.

    • Drew

      All he does is the league in assists per game. He’s had like 3 impressive games at the most all season. That makes him an MVP candidate? How so? Please explain.

  • Quest

    I thought the answer to all the problems was AB. HMMMM Rondo to be leader, passer and shooter as the saviour I thought it was a team sport. How many shots did PP, Terry, Green miss…..

  • thetitleisours

    We need a backup guard. I would even try and find Lester Hudson – anyone.

    Right now Terry and Green are killing us every night. They need some DNP’s. I would even start Kris Joseph at the SG position for now.

  • Rya B

    Rondo is right about one thing. This current Celtics team is not last season’s Celtics, that’s for certain. Last season’s Celtics were defense first. They couldn’t score if their lives depended on it, but they defended when needed. This year Celtics team is the opposite. They can’t defend or rebound. The core of players, Ainge surrounded Garnett, Pierce, and Rondo with don’t mix. I don’t see this team getting better, but that’s my opinion I could be wrong.

    Between now and the trade deadline the Celtics bench needs to be re-constructed.

    • LAF

      the biggest mistake ainge & doc made was giving the keys to rondo. rondo is trash. he is this generation’s antoine walker except walker actually played hard every night. we need to either get a dominant center like cousins to mask his deficiencies or trade his ass while he has value.

    • Rhyso

      Spot on, the roster is full of “offensive minded” players, who struggle to score in this system. I think JETs defense has actually been worse than ray allens, at least ray rotated correctlyc(oh and dont get me started on his poor turnovers). Jeff Green is lost, Bass switches EVERYTHING in a bad way, Sully is a rookie who can’t jump and contest, Lee is passable along with Wilcox.

      There is not ONE defender on the celtics bench, and it is killing us. Should have brought back pietrus and stiesma.

  • thetitleisours

    Even put the new kid, Jarvis Varnado, at center. That is his natural position. And while he is getting beat at times maybe he can spark the team with a few blocks. He needs to get comfortable just like Steamer did. The way we are playing right now, why not?

    Varnado C
    KG PF
    PP SF
    KrisJ SG
    Rondo G

    They cannot do any worse right now ans maybe some DNPs for the other guys might be the medicine they need.

    • tm985

      I respect the fact that you’re thinking outside of the box but to put JV at center when he’s fresh out of the d-league, I just can’t imagine that they’d do that without letting Sully/Melo get some more playing time first.

      • thetitleisours

        Part of me is feeling desperate enough to bring in Melo. But if he crashes and burns to early can he recover? If Varn crashes and burns, then we just know he is not the second coming of Steam. Less risk to the long term, and it would be only a temporary move to shale things up.

  • Collins

    The hole is getting so deep for the Celtics that they’ll have to make up so much ground come January, February, March and April. That is scary, and if things don’t change for the better expect something drastic to happen. And with the poor bench and incosistency change will likely come in Jan or Feb. Bank on it!

    • tm985

      Playoff seeding means nothing. They’ve proven that year in and year out. Every single year they’ve been a legitimate threat at winning a title and this year they’re just an average team right now but I don’t think they need to go crazy trying to get a top 4 seed just to have home court in the first round. They can beat scrub teams like the Nets and Knicks in their building, nobody is concerned about them.

      • Double P

        You think Miami wins that game 7 on the road last year? Playoff seeding is important I’m sick of that argument. We haven’t won a championship since we had homecourt throughout. It means so much

      • Double P

        And the knicks are hardly scrubs.. I love how people are stuck in last year. The road was so easy last year for us up until Miami. We had the hawks without horford most of the series and the Philly.. no chance we get a road like that again

        • LAF

          agreed. and we also had a guy who wore no. 20 and routinely knocked down shots to stop the bleeding, turn the momentum around and/or just win the game for us. rondo drove him out of town but i bet he wishes his “new and improved” mates could knock down shots like #20 used to.

          • KWAPT

            Ray’s a grown man-I hate the fact that he left Boston as much as anyone, but no one “drove” him out. He made a choice to go to our bitter rivals-for less money. He made that decision on his own.

          • LAF

            i kinda agree and disagree, kwapt. yeah, ray left on his own but gary tanguay already explained back in summer that it was rondo’s dickish move of going behind ray’s back and telling doc to bench him that really pushed everything over the edge. and tanguay all but admitted that it was ray who told him so.

            i’m not crying over ray’s departure anymore but this is all rondo’s team now. danny went out and got all the players who can “run” with him. that we still remain one of the worst fast breaking teams should tell us that rondo is grossly overrated and we need to get something for him while everyone thinks he’s an all star. to me he’s more like andre miller in his cavs days but that’s another post.

          • LAF

            oh yeah
            and there was jackie mac’s article last season where she pretty much told us that ray was done with rondo. and remember when ainge was trying to trade rondo for chris paul? NO ONE on the team stood up for rondo. not kg. not pp. not ray. nobody.

            trade rondo. he’s been masked by the greatness and cohesiveness of the new big 3 but those days are gone now.

          • KWAPT

            Great points LAF..the Rondo matter is quite a conundrum either way. We brought in these other guys to “run with him”, but it’s simply not happening. Size does matter.

        • JG

          Miami absolutely KILLED Boston on the road in game 6. So yes, I do think it’s possible Miami would have won the game 7 road game, even as a celtics fan.

    • CelticsKid34

      i see after jan15 there will be a trigger pulled on a trade. i dont think danny wants to take any more “just let the team gel” bullshit. its not working. collins isnt even a good backup center, i could see him 3rd stream benchwarming, but not starting. wilcox and bass have lost their fire. keyon dooling left us in a pickel at last second when he decided to retire leaving us very vunerable when rondos on the bench. lee is just not knocking down his shot and his “cross defenders/dunk on fastbreak”offense just isnt there. i see us keeping terry (just not used to his starting role) and barbose (instant offense). speaking of fastbreak it looks to me that every time we even get the ball up there our guys just chicken out and set up the offense.

      • LAF

        Rondo is hands down THE WORST PG at running fast breaks. Seriously, who else botches 2 to 1 or even 3 to 1 fast breaks more often than Rondo?

  • RedsLoveChild

    Rondo is 100% right….and he`s trying to “warn” the millions of brain-dead fans that the Celtics will be lucky to even make the playoffs.

    Paul Pierce trying to compete at age 35 is one of the saddest sights in sports history…right up there with Ali fighting Larry Holmes in `80!

    Pierce is shooting .279% in his last 3 games…take away the CLE & MIL games, he`s at .404% for the year.

    Ainge has no choice but to either find a sucker to trade him to, or buy out the $15M he`s owed next year.

    • tm985

      lucky to even make the playoffs? Off yourself immediately, thanks. They’re playing like a mediocre team, but anybody who thinks this team isn’t making the playoffs clearly gets their sports “knowledge” from ESPN and show’s like first take.

      • RedsLoveChild

        Very lucky to make the playoffs!

    • JG

      Oh yeah good point about his shooting percentage man. You can also say if you take away the 7 games he played really well in the finals in 2008, the celtics wouldn’t have won the title and he wouldn’t have been MVP. If Kobe just hadnt scored 81 points that one game then his season average wouldn’t have been as high. If only Jordan didn’t have that one incredible game when he had the flu against the jazz we wouldn’t have the legendary clips replaying every other commercial.

      You cannot just throw out games where someone played incredibly well and say “look, he isn’t playing that well if you take out these games!” those games are a part of the season. And when you’ve played a total of 1/4 of a season, two games aren’t even irrelevant.

      • JG

        Another thing. If you take away the last 3 games where hes been shooting 30 percent, then he’s shooting around 44% on the season!

    • CelticsKid34

      for one paul is not being traded. two im pretty sure that we will make playoffs seeing how horrible the rest of the east is. and three its not even the big 3’s fault this blame is only put on the bench. they just arent performing like we thought they would (include bass in there too)

  • ZabJudah

    But Avery Bradley is gonna take us all the way to the ECFinals……syke! BOOGIE ! BOOGIE ! BOOGIE !

    • The General of Green

      @Zab

      What’s with the trolling and fair-weather talk? Are you bored that u need to talk wreckless. Boogie? smh

  • Frank

    The problem is we put a team together that was going to play small ball but what Doc hasn’t figured out is small ball doesn’t mean having small players, it’s a style. Run, spread the floor…. But we still walk it up and try to play like the 2010 team. We trade Perkins and then start Collins, then why trade him? They should start Green at the 4 position and let him do what he did in OKC. Putting him in on the 2nd unit and expecting him to be the man will never happen, that’s not who he is. He’s a starter, a third option where he runs the floor and hits corner 3s

    • JG

      All good points.

    • LAF

      +1,000,000,000,000,000

    • misel

      THIS.

  • Cal

    I’m not like these Celtics panic mode fans and trolls. I call like I see it. I see a team that has no chemistry. I see a team that’s not giving 48 minutes of effort which leads to inconsistency. I see a team that can’t execute basic defensive schemes. I see a team that can’t score, because poor ball movement. And I see a team that can’t rebound, because guys won’t box-out.

    The bench is a major problem. The core mix of players don’t blend with KG, PP and RR. To put it blunt, the bench consists of guys that simply can’t defend.

  • frickenWaaaltaaah

    More than his scoring, this team is missing Ray’s perfectionism.

    Yeah it turns out Ray was kind of an uptight prima donna, but he was also really good at quietly setting the standard for professionalism on the team.

    When you have a guy like that, people watch how he does his thing and they try to match it. Some try more than others, but it rubs off a bit on everybody.

    I wouldn’t say it’s really bad now, but it has noticeably slipped.

    • KWAPT

      Couldn’t agree more. Huge “locker room” guy and would’ve been great mentor for guys like Lee & Green this season. But oh well.

      • RHoward

        Ray was also very important as he was constantly running w/o the ball on offense which creates open looks for other players, regardless of whether he actually shoots the ball

    • Drew

      So you’re saying that Rays perfectionism inspired people to work hard rather than to chuckle at the fact that he worked freakishly hard to perfect his 3 point jump shot? I’d assume that our team saw him as more of a funny guy than anything else. A guy that stands behind the three line and shoots a billion shots is an Inspirer? I don’t think so.

  • RedsLoveChild

    He`s 35 years old…he plays like he`s 41…the skills are gone…the legs are gone…he is killing us!

    Why is this not registering with you, Drew?

    Seriously, it`s not like you are 12 years old. I realize most of these bloggers are too young to shave, and cannot grasp the “concept of aging”. You have no excuse!

  • Drew

    First of all, he plays better than most 35 year olds we’ve seen. That’s just a fact. His skills ARE NOT gone. He IS NOT killing us. I personally don’t see how you can’t register that Pierce is almost at the bottom of the list with ‘things wrong with this team.’ You come here every day writing about how Pierce is such a problem. You fail to mention everything else that’s wrong with us. It’s confusing why you pin point Pierce so often.

  • RedsLoveChild

    By no means is Pierce the only problem.

    This year is over, but Pierce is a $15M problem next year we cannot afford!

  • Drew

    This year is over? Haha, you’re ridiculous. I’ll just leave your comments aside and disregard everything you say at this point on.

  • LAF

    RedsLoveChild
    i believe paul’s final year is only partially guaranteed. i am a paul pierce guy but it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if we don’t bring him back…at least not for 15 mil.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Hate to break the news to you….but, this year is over!

    Number 18 will NOT be arriving in 2013.