Red's Army

Your morning dump….where Doc goes old school to replace Rondo

Nick Sannicandro January 30, 2013 The Morning Dump 57 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.

According to Rivers, NBA history is filled with examples of teams that took a community approach to bringing the ball up and setting up an offense. Rivers mentioned the Dennis Johnson/Danny Ainge backcourt, which is the direction the Celtics took following the departure of Tiny Archibald.

Boston Herald: Doc brings up a good point about C’s – Mark Murphy

The Celtics are left going back to the drawing board after the loss of their starting point guard this past weekend. While many fans jump off the ship and “write the obituary” as Doc Rivers mentioned this weekend, the Celtics are giving all indications that they are planning on keeping this unit together, despite all the odds and making one final push together.

Doc, when asked how he plans on replacing Rondo:

“It’s just basketball. There’s no point guard. It’s basketball by committee,” Rivers said before Celtics practice yesterday. “I had some teams in Orlando (when coaching the Magic) — Darrell Armstrong was my point guard, and he’s a little like JET (Terry). Grant Hill brought it up sometimes. We had the year with Grant Hill, Mike Miller and Darrell Armstrong, and whoever brought it up brought it up.

When we take a step back, this really makes sense for the Celtics go pursue. One of the strong points coming into this season was the Celtics depth at the 1 and 2 guard position. With Lee, Terry, Barbosa, and Bradley all in the mix, the Celtics have a glut of talent that they should be able to make something comparable to what Doc referred to work. While none of the aforementioned players are wizards at the point, they are all serviceable and certainly better ball handlers than Eddie House was when he took over as the teams backup point guard for a length of time a few years ago.

Rivers also hinted at an clear effort being pushed on the fast break now through the pass, comparing the Celtics efforts to that of the DJ/Danny era and their need to beat teams with better passes as opposed to blistering speed due to the lack of speed on those teams. By all indications, it sounds as if the team we are being told about is undergoing a complete reformation. For many, this is the team we all had hoped to see for a while now, one that presses the fast break and utilizes a team game more as opposed to “hero ball”.  It doesn’t sound as if the earth shattering trade that everyone has been predicting will happen, maybe the Celtics go out and get another point guard, but by all accounts it seems as if this is going to be the roster we see right up to the end. And as Bob Ryan has so famously stated, since this team is in “year six of a three year plan”  don’t you think they’ve earned the right to give it a fighters chance without blowing it up?


The Rest:

Boston Herald: Shrugged off, Celtics shrug shoulders- Mark Murphy  , Boston Herald: Big 2 out of Rondo fog- Steve Bulpett , ESPN Boston: Lets get to the point , ESPN Boston: Melo recalled from Maine  , CSNNE: Sullinger’s game substance over style- A. Sherrod Blakely  CSNNE: Celtics will learn to deal with defensive pressure without Rondo – A. Sherrod Blakely  NESN: Report: Rajon Rondo Looking to Dr. James Andrews for Second Opinion on Torn ACL


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  • Shawn

    Really early dump. Hopefully Rondo being out the rest of the season leads to Doc realizing the offense needs more movement even when Rondo is in the game. People blame Rondo for the stagnant offense but its the system doc put in place (and it worked well in previous years circa 2010) . Rondo could thrive on cuts by KG feeds like bradley does and possibly mid range pin downs.

  • Me

    lets see what the 4 sg has got to give, in this case, im not panicking, my only concern is kg needs a back-up center

    brandon bass for timofey mozgov + anthony randolph

    • Shawn

      improbable trade again. bass stock is rock bottom. mozgov still has good value and randolph has more value than bass too. even if buried on a depth chart they can get picks for both or package for abetter player than bass

    • KY Celts fan

      we’re not getting mozgov or randolph. Will you please stop mentioning it every post.

      • Andrew

        we will get him, unless you call yao ming and shaquille o’neal back

      • Andrew

        seems like you trust bass a lot

  • RedsLoveChild

    The only sensible thing to do is for Boston to ride out this “train-wreck” of a season with what they already have…Lee, Terry, Barbosa are getting paid a combined $11.2M this year. Might as well use them.

    Boston was 20th in offense with a healthy Rondo…without him, they`ll be lucky to be 25th.

    The real “roster demolition” will occur in July.

  • paul

    It sounds like we may finally see the team we hoped to see this summer. It’s sad, though, that Rondo couldn’t be a part of it. I am waiting for the inside story of why things went so wrong with Rondo.

    • LAF

      Um, because his game is garbage? Like Antoine Walker?

  • Larry Legend

    Here’s a thought. Rondo is talented, no question about it. He’s tough. But he’s moody. He gambles on defense and puts his teammates, especially the bigs, in bad situations. He can be very careless with the ball. And really, he dribbles too much. That’s the thing I’m most excited about, that maybe now we just get on fast break via the pass. That in half court the ball moves. Look I’m not biggest rondo fan, but he’s a good player. Nobody wants to see a guy get injured, especially an ACL. But I’m very excited to see how the Celts play sans rondo. I know we’ll miss his ball handling in press situations and that may become a problem for this team going forward, but I think it can be handled. I wish rondo all the best in his recovery and hope he makes a full one. But I’m also re-energized to see how the C’s play from here on out.

  • JBcelticsFan

    I’m excited. Can’t wait to see how the team looks tonight!!

  • Danno

    I’m betting their second half of the season is more like .667 or .700 instead of .485 like the first half. Rondo is not irreplaceable. All 4 of the guards wh have left could be starters on most of the teams in this league.

    • Stephanie

      I kinda get what you’re saying, but most of our guards are better suited coming off the bench, especially since that’s what they’ve done most their careers.

      I think the guards can pick up Rondo’s slack with points and assists, but Rondo still brings something totally different to the team with his uniqueness of the game.

      • Danno

        Yes. Rondo brought really nice stat lines in his 45+ minutes every night that truly “elite” point guards would give you in 30 minutes a night.

        • Stephanie

          I’m not talking about his stats..I’m talking about the intangibles because stats don’t give the complete picture of a player.

          • LAF

            but everyone from bob ryan to bill simmons to casual observers and astute fans agrees that all rondo did was play to blatantly pad his stats.

          • Quest

            What intangibles?

        • Shawn

          Name a point guard that gets even five rebounds a night in 30 minutes or less? how about one that also averages 18 points and 11 assist as Rondo did this past month? or up the rebounds to rondos 8 a night.

          • eddysamson

            Lowry grabs tons of boards.

          • Shawn

            Lowry also only gets 4.5 rebounds and 6 assists in 28 minutes while shooting a worse percentage and averaging less points.

          • eddysamson

            And with 10+ more minutes (like Rondo) I’m sure he’d be right near Rondo in both categories.

          • Shawn

            He’d be shooting 50% magically?

      • Quest

        Rondo was a player who was always aware of his stats. Being a good player he was also able to manipulate his stats to enhance his career. But in the end record triple doubles means nothing if the team is not winning.

  • Stephanie

    I think this injury is giving the fans renewed hope..and it sounds weird because we lost one of our best players. I’m one of the fans that really didn’t see us winning it all this year before his injury and I feel the same way now.

    But I think we can get a better look at what this team can be without the crutch of Rondo being on the floor.

    Hopefully, Doc can FINALLY see that he needs to change some things in his system once Rondo returns.

    • art

      Things may actually get better without Rondo. There seems to have been some player discontent with Rondo’s game. It’s Rondo’s job to make everyone contribute and to make everyone better, and honestly, he was not doing it. This is why I just don’t get it with Doc Rivers. Does he have blinders on? Or is it a fragile relationship with Rondo? Rondo has not been the leader we need. Why not compare him to Chris Paul? Who would you rather have on your team? Doc and Danny need a different approach with Rondo if Rondo’s future is in Boston.

      • Stephanie

        I know CP3 is better to an extent, but I can’t speak on his leadership since I don’t really follow him. It’s easy to be considered a leader when you’re winning though. I wonder what they thought of him in NO.

      • Quest

        Thank you

      • Quest

        Art I think your comments are totally accurate. The team dynamics are going to change with him out. Given all the grumblings by Lee Barbosa Terry and Bass that locker room was fractured and it mirrored the same complaints of Ray Allen. Rondo not controlling the ball gives Players opportunites to showcase themselves and to get out of Doc’s system rut. Rondo can not assume that things will be the same on his return and that is a good thing.

  • Larry Legend

    Look, this team could look pretty different this season. Pierce, KG, etc… So if I’m a celtics fan take it in now while you can. Ainge should NOT blow this up now. Hope the team galvanizes and find out alot about the Lees, the Terry’s, Barbosa, Green etc…and a re-emphasized commitment to defense has me excited

    • Stephanie

      When was the last time we’ve had the same roster from a previous season? I can’t remember.

      • Larry Legend

        I’m talking major players…faces of the franchise. KG, Pierce, maybe Rondo. Those guys been together for a little while no? Celts would look really different without them no?

        • Stephanie

          I’m not mentally ready for that change yet..lol.

          • Larry Legend

            I hear ya. Nor am I.

  • Larry Legend

    Offseason^ sorry.

  • http://www.science-pope.com mrchumpy

    The Celtics need to copy the Spurs, in so many ways. The Spurs figured out the right way to blend a powerhouse aging team with new young talent, and how to spread minutes around players stay fresh and new guys get valuable experience. None of their guys is independently amazing, but they world so well together thanks to Popovich that he can rest Duncan and Parker some nights and they still get double-digit wins.

    The biggest difference between the Spurs and the Celtics is on offense. Spurs play totally unselfish basketball, and don’t rely on a point guard to find them open shots. Tony Parker is usually more of a scorer, the assists get spread around through many different players who are taught to find the open man. Watching the well-oiled Spurs offense and then watching the stagnant Celtics offense always makes me cry a little bit on the inside.

    Celtics, pattern yourself after the Spurs!

    • Brick James

      Do you have trouble sleeping?

    • Art

      The Boston Celtics set the standard for basketball. They copy nobody. Others copy them. Get your twisted brain untwisted.

    • Mike C

      I totally agree. Another positive thing the Spurs do that the Celtics dont, is keep the lead once they’re out in front. When was the last time you heard of the Spurs giving up a 27 point lead like the Celtics did a week ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a die hard Celtics fan, but as a professional athlete, you should be able to maintain your focus for 48 minutes. I WOULD HOPE.

  • Nathan

    will being more of a factor on offense affect bradleys defense?

  • Nick Sannicandro

    Agree 100% with the sentiment here in the comments, in a strange way it seems almost as if losing Rondo is addition by subtraction in a way. Does this not indicate that Rondo was hamstringing the team doing what Doc really wanted them to do?

    • Larry Legend

      Not sure but it’s plausible. At the very least I think RR makes the celts play a certain way. Less team bball in my opinion. Look he’s a really good player but I think celts definitely just got better defensively. We’ll see offensively. Fair?

      • LA Flake

        that’s basically what Bob Ryan, Sean Grande and the likes have been saying all season, that Rondo is playing only to make himself look good to the detriment of the team. It’s really baffling how some fans can’t see that, the way he was blatantly padding his stats with absolute disregard for the outcome/flow of the game. Now suddenly you’re hearing about how players like Lee have been unhappy because all they’ve been doing is watching Rondo pound the ball to death.

        Rondo to me is a combination of Antoine Walker and Ricky Davis. A tantalizing talent but a guy whose game is fatally flawed yet is too damn stupid or stubborn to change.

        • Larry Legend

          Where did u hear that about Lee? I bet Terry in that category too

          • LA Flake

            Bill Simmons’ most recent podcast with Sean Grande and Zach Lowe.

  • Frank A

    This team can win plenty of games without Rondo but in the playoffs Rondo is probably the third best player after James and Durrant. Rondo doesn’t mess around in the playoffs. That’s what scares me, we forget how good he is in May

    • Stephanie

      Also, in the playoffs, you need someone with that type of IQ because the game slows down in a series and it’s all about execution. That’s what makes Rondo special in playoffs. He has time to dissect and study the players for that series. That’s one thing that we will miss for sure.

      • LA Flake

        Rondo looked good because he had a system and the players to execute that system to perfection while covering up his flaws. But he no longer has the best pure shooter in history to bail him out. And he no longer has guys to erase his mistakes on D. And that’s why, despite all his triple doubles and double doubles, we were a sub .500 team with him. The team changed but Rondo never bothered to adjust.

        Lee, Green, Terry, Barbosa and those guys aren’t spot up shooters. Rondo never figured this out either and there was no indication that he will eventually figure it out.

        • Stephanie

          Well we really didn’t have Ray in the playoffs last season and Rondo did pretty good.

  • Stephanie

    We know that we’ll win regular season games without him and we know that we’ll lose some as well. What’s really telling is how we do in the playoffs without him. We don’t know.

  • OlSkool1972

    The only guard that played at their best with Rondo was Bradley because he was better off the ball. Lee, Terry, and Barbosa are better with the ball in their hands and they really got no chances because Rondo dominated the ball. I would expect all of these players to improve but whether or not Rondo was still playing the Celtics season was going to come down to three things.

    1. What do KG and Pierce have left physically?.

    2. Can Green and Sullinger take their great talent and become consistent every game players?

    3. Will they be able to acquire another Forward or Center to rotate with KG and Sully since Bass, Wilcox, and Collins are nothing more than reserve spot players.

  • Celtic Geezer

    I feel like such a prophet of basketball. I have posted several times on this site (J Eisenman) over the last few years about the myth of the absolute need for a point guard. The coaches and analysts have taken what Red Auerbach created – the idea that you have role players and that you don’t need to have the 5 best athletes on the court to win – into this rigid system of point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward, center. Point guard systems, where one guy always brings the ball up court and is the source of 90% of the passing, create a certain sameness in the offense. I cited Danny/DJ, Sam/KC and JoJo/Chaney as examples of great teams where no one was assigned the sole job of bringing the ball up the court. I’ve heard the myth of the need for the “coach on the court” idea of a point guard. I want 5 coaches on the court at all times. I know this team is actually better as a team without Rondo. Without him, the passes to the open men can come from anywhere. Pierce is very effective as a passer (as Kobe is finding out himself) because the other team fears his offense more than Rondo’s and has to adjust to his presence when he is handling the ball, allowing him to drop off easy passes. Everyone needs to move the ball around and pass to the open man so that the whole team is involved. That’s how the 60’s, 70′ and 80’s Celtics played. Plus, Rondo may be the worst fast break point guard I’ve ever seen. When he starts a fast break, there is only about a 20% chance that it will end up in a driving layup or open shot off the dribble or pass. When Magic handled that ball, it was more like a 75%-80% chance. And, without him on defense, everyone is playing hard and not having to make up for his poaching for steals over in-your-face harrassment. I think, just like last year when he missed so many games, they will easily adjust and even improve as a team.

    • LAF

      Rondo *may be* the worst fast break PG? He IS the worst fast break PG.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Nobody was ever better than Magic in the open-court…he`d either score, dish off an assist, or get fouled.

      As a player, Ainge was excellent at pushing the ball up court quickly, into the attacking zone. DA had the opposing defense expending energy for the full shot clock.

  • Larry Legend

    I really tend to agree with you. Not sure you are bball prophet tho. The best teams in NBA history all had good bigs. Celtics, Lakers, Spurs etc…all had great bigs. Only exception was the 90’s Bulls. But even they didn’t rely on having a great PG. Magic was special and before his time. Point is yes PG position important, but it’s much more important to have bigs and good passing than it is to have a dominant pg. Think of the best PG’s in NBA history what have they won? Cousy/Magic aside. Isaiah Thomas won a title. Who else? Magic had Kareem and Worthy. Cooz had Russell and Heinsohn. Dominant PG’s, offenses that revolve around the PG don’t win.

    • RedsLoveChild

      NBA titles are won in the paint…control the boards, and you`ll control the game.

      The team that does the better job of defending, rebounding, scoring in the paint will win. Period. It`s what pitching is to Baseball.

      Even Jordan`s teams had 2 HOF forwards. Rodman won 7 rebounding titles, Pippen was unbelievable defensively.

      • Mike C

        100% agree. It would be interesting to see some stats of past championship teams. Specifically, how high the percentage is for winning the title, compared to the team who dominated both the offensive & defensive boards during the series. If I had to guess, I would say it was over 75% of the time. Anyone know?

  • Mike B. in DC

    Totally agree with all the posts about our other guards being better with the ball in their hands. Two former Sixth Men of the Year coming off the bench is a nice luxury to have. Still think we could use a little more length at the 4/5 and a pure PG to handle the ball at times. I’ll take the bait and be an Armchair GM and propose the Celts and Bobcats swap Bass, Lee, and a 2nd rounder for Sessions, Mullens, and Warrick. Not a blockbuster, but would address needs for both teams and gives the Celts a little more flexibility where those guys are all only signed through next season.