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Your Morning Dump… Where Danny Ainge crashes the Rondo return party

Jay December 15, 2013 Celtics News, The Morning Dump 29 Comments

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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.

Rajon Rondo participated in a full-contact practice Saturday for the first time since undergoing knee surgery nearly 11 months ago, meaning the Celtics’ All-Star point guard is one step closer to returning.

But Rondo will not make his season debut this month — and January isn’t a guarantee, either, said Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

“I don’t know a timetable,” Ainge said. “None of us do and none of us can. As we can recall from every one of these incidents that have happened from the past few years, it’s all just guessing. So it’s sort of silly to speculate.

“We’ll just take it week by week. He’s stepped it up — and after a few good practices, we’ll see if he can step it up more. But we’ll just take it week by week from here on out.

Ainge added, “I don’t anticipate him playing in any games this month, for sure. I also don’t know if there’s a time in January or a time in February. I really don’t know the answer. A lot of it is going to depend on how he responds to this next phase.”

Boston Globe - Rajon Rondo participates in full-contact practice

Following yesterday’s practice session, it was revealed to reporters that Rajon Rondo had participated in a full-contact 45-minute practice session for the first time since tearing his ACL last January.  While head coach Brad Stevens didn’t put a definite date on Rondo’s return he did eliminate December, and opened the door for January.  An online party began amongst C’s fans and rightfully so.  Except today, Danny Ainge crashed that return party just a little bit.

In the above piece by the Globe’s Baxter Holmes, Ainge did say that Rondo has been cleared by his doctor, Dr. James Andrews.  But he also said that he doesn’t know if there’s a time in “January or a time in February…” Let that stew for a bit before we all get too excited to soon.  Is it awesome that Rondo has been cleared? Yes.  Is it great to see him participating in full practice, looking like he’s nearing a return sooner rather than later? Damn straight.  Does he look good during pre-game warm-ups? I’ve watched him several times before games getting to the Garden early and I can tell you the answer is a resounding YES.  Isn’t it exciting to allow your mind to dance around the thoughts of him doing this, this, and this?  Or all of these glorious, amazing, endless passes?

But, like a stern dad telling his 16-year old son who just got his license and got all giddy at the thoughts of buying a Lamborghini for his first car, Ainge is telling us all to calm down.  Ainge is clearly doing his job, and given the recent incidents with injuries to star players on his team, he’s probably being extra cautious.  The KG 2009 knee-gate was a fiasco.  The 2011 Shaq-chilles tendon-gate was a disaster.  Pierce’s foot injury in 2007 didn’t quite qualify as “gate” status by lowering eyebrows in an angry-look sort of way, but it did raise them in a “hmm, might as well hold him out since the team sucks anyway and there Oden and Durant are waiting for us!” sort of way.

And maybe Ainge is doing a little bit of that here as well.  No, I don’t think they’re tanking, I went over that already.  Unless Ainge jettisons half the roster by the deadline I think it might be too difficult for them to get a high lottery pick this year anyway.  They’ve already won too many games (and are on pace to win too many) and with the east, especially their division, being abysmal, I’m not sure it will happen unless the Nets, Knicks, and a handful of other teams get really good while the C’s reverse course.

With a return of Rondo, as well as Brad Stevens coaching as well as he does, it’s unlikely we’ll see a repeat of 2007.  But that’s still a few months away.  For right now, Ainge just crashed our party and told us to go home and sober up.

Page 2… Where Rondo could be a head coach someday in the NBA

“I watched Doc [Rivers] for seven years,” Rondo said. “I watched how he handled certain players, how he handled certain situations, how you handle a four-game losing streak, how you handle a 10-game winning streak.”

And now Rondo is doing the same with Rivers’s replacement, rookie Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

“I’m watching him very closely,” Rondo said.

He watches how Stevens studies and prepares for games, how he draws up plays and picks out lineups, and how he delivers speeches.

He asks Stevens questions, about the names of the plays an opponent is running, how many times it runs each of them per game, and if he can have the clipboard — to draw up his own plays.

Boston Globe - Easy to see Celtics’ Rondo as head coach

The Globe’s Baxter Holmes wrote a fantastic story about Rondo’s (long-term) future as a head coach in the NBA.  Don’t worry, it’s still a long ways away, but it’s a great read with quotes from several people.  Give it a look.

Page 3… (Wait there’s a Page 3 now?!?!) Where Miami wants Jordan Crawford to take his talents to South Beach

With rumors surfacing around the Heat looking to acquire backcourt depth, “a few GMs” now believe that the Heat will target the Celtics’ Jordan Crawford, according to the New York Daily News‘ Mitch Lawrence:

Slam Online - Miami Heat reportedly interested in Jordan Crawford

Well this is interesting.  Crawford has been playing so well that apparently the best team in the NBA wants him to help Dwyane Wade.  I’m not sure what Miami could offer, other than expiring contracts and low draft picks but it’s worth considering.  John posted a late night/early morning thought on Twitter.  Time to fire up the trade machine… the thought of helping Miami?  Yeeeeesh.  But, if it helps the C’s, well.

The rest of the links:

Boston Globe  - Magic’s Glen Davis embracing role as leader (Sunday Notes)

Boston Herald - Rondo OK for next step in comeback | A hard fall from top (Sunday Notes)

ESPNBoston - Rajon Rondo cleared for full contact | Bradley diary: Strong starts, xmas gifts | Bradley turning into two-way player

CSNNE - Rondo cleared for contact; Crawford ‘prepared’ | Faverani embraces being member of Celtics family

 

 

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  • Justin

    Can’t allow hatred for an arch rival to stifle a (possible) good deal for our Celtics.

    Giving one our current ‘hot’ players to the Heat will sting fans, but it’s all about what’s best for the C’s.

    Disclaimer: I hate the Heat.

    • Rjd12345

      I would agree if the Heat actually had any assets to offer the Celtics. Their pick will basically be a second rounder for the foreseeable future and they can’t take on G-Wallace if they want to resign their Big 3. Not to mention, DA and Riley had that not-so-friendly exchange last year. I don’t see any reason this happens with them.

  • jason benn

    haha yes! sell high on jcraw too bad we cant fleece them and ruin their cap space for the future or wait a sec nevermind thanks lebron dwade n posh spice for that. idk who they got that would help us if they trade beasley forget it couple more draft picks wouldnt hurt so we can trade our way into lottery what team would turn down like 4 first round picks for one pick this year?

    • Robert Hodgman

      Any team in the top 6-8 range. Which is the only area in this draft worth trading to get into.
      Nobody is trading a top pick this year.

  • RedsLoveChild

    Huh, no “Danny-Tanking”?!? The Celtics have “already won too many games”…”not sure it will happen unless other teams get really good while the C`s reverse course.”

    70% of the season remains to be played….FIVE teams currently trail Boston by 1 game or less…FOUR other teams trail Boston by 3 games or less. That`s NINE teams well within striking distance.

    Take away Jeff Green`s answered prayer in Miami, and NY blowing a double-digit 4th quarter lead in Boston on Fri…and the Celts would be trailing 6 of those 9 teams.

    • Frank Aziza

      You can say that with any team … Take away a basket here and there and every team could have 3 or 4 more losses. Miami wants Crawford to help compete for a title, I think we should keep him and see how much better he can get. I think he can be way better than the Crawford in LA. He passes better and defends better and is younger and getting better everyday.
      Tanking is dumb!!! What’s next, trade Sully?

      • RedsLoveChild

        Ainge does not seem particularly happy these days…and it`s NOT because he felt the Celts should be 19-6 after 25 games!

        The one thing that has gone wrong—in an otherwise perfectly executed tank season—is that DA never anticipated Boston being 3-0 in close games {games decided by 4 pts. or less}.

        Had those 3 been losses…the Celts would be 8-17…and breathing hard down the necks of the “cream of the tankers” {Milw, Utah, Sac}! That`s a set-back, but DA has 57 games to do what is needed to rectify the situation.

        In the NBA, you must always be “competing for something”. Top teams compete for titles…bad teams compete for top picks…but at all times you must be “competing for something”.

        • elgirrl

          This was always a rebuilding year. The C’s are already too good of team to tank. This wasn’t a tank season to begin with, so it hasn’t gone wrong. Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens,, and the Celtics’ owners specifically want to create a ‘winning culture’, even if this means that the team will end up somewhere around 500. There’s no use competing to ‘tank’ if every player forgets what it takes to win a game and has completely low morale.

    • KGino

      I wouldn’t call Jeff Greens shot a prayer… Guy is pure skill when it comes to corner 3s… I trust him from the corner just as much as I trusted Ray (if not more) and that’s saying something

    • Paul Pierce

      You are the absolute worst Celtics fan on Earth.

      • david

        hahaha

      • Robert Hodgman

        Agreed. I’d rather talk to a Laker Fan than somebody who claims to be a Celtic fan but constantly hates on them. Now a Miami Fan…wait, I forgot…Miami fans are a myth.

    • MrCuret

      The corner 3 is the most efficient 3 pt shot, since it’s closer to the basket. It’s not rocket science dude.

      • RedsLoveChild

        You`re so right dude.

        It`s basically nothing more than an “uncontested lay-up”—especially when you`re catching a cross-court pass, with 00.6 seconds left on the game clock, while your body momentum is forcing you backwards/out-of-bounds as you take the shot!

  • Frank Aziza

    Can someone explain this rebuild to me please. If you have a young guard he is becoming a great combo guard right before our eyes, why trade him? You need guys like that on your team in the future. We are already set up pretty good for future , but it seems like none of our young talent is part of the future.
    I feel if you put Rondo on this current roster we are not that far away from being a contender. We will need a true center and maybe one more star. Look to move guys like Bass, Wallace, Brooks , Lee and Humphries expires this year. With Sully, Green, Rondo , Bradley and the improving Crawford we are so close.
    Maybe if a Carmelo Anthony is ready to play team ball we can bring him in next season. I’m not a big Melo guy, I’m just thinking we are closer to being an elite team then people think. If Rondo was healthy all season this team could have 15 or 16 wins already. Trading Crawford is dumb and it means Ainge wants a top 5 pick.

    • Duke

      EXACTLY , keep the growth, the chemistry, actually let these young players prove they can keep this up. Humans, not products , say it with me now

    • MrCuret

      I’d keep Bass & Lee (unless they can get someone better), you always need those type of guys in your team.

    • elgirrl

      I agree. There’s no reason to trade Jordan Crawford. He has the ability to be a sixth man off the bench, or both guards (Rondo and Avery) and still play 30 minutes per night if the rotations are done correctly.

      The Celtics shouldn’t make the same mistake like the Knicks did,in letting Lin go to another team. We should give Crawford a decent deal at the end of this season and renew him. We have a good thing. This team needs offense and Crawford provides that. There’s no guarantee that a future draft pick will pan out. I don’t think that Miami has anything valuable enough to trade for Crawford anyway. they have Norris Cole, but there’s no reason to trade him, and they’re not going to trade Chalmers. Crawford’s a better playmaker than Chalmers is anyway. Battier has been playing for years and probably has just a few good years left, so this trade idea does’t work out for the Celtics.

      • Frank Aziza

        I’m glad you guys agree. I’m sick of over doing the rebuilding project. You can be an average play off team and rebuild at the same time. It doesn’t have to be lottery or bust.
        Rondo and Green are at the age that if u decide to keep them you have to build fast. It can’t be a five year plan because by them they’ll be 32 years old and on the way down. I think with Rondo this roster is one star away and maybe some more size. I truly believe that.

  • Duke

    Can’t stand fans who want to break up a good thing going so easily. greedy

  • KGino

    No no no no we do not help the Heat. Ever. EVER. I don’t care how much it helps the celtics!! I’d rather see the mother-bleeping lakers win another championship before those undeserving disgraces to the game in South Beach

    • Paul Pierce

      100 percent agreed.

  • MrCuret

    I don’t think Rondo will be out until February, I think he comes back before or right after the west coast trip.

  • Chuck Da buck

    The heat must think ainge is dumb Crawford is finally showing who he can be and I think ainge will sign whichever one is cheapest between Crawford and Bradley at the end of the year to sign to a long term deal. Hopefully we can keep both I think Crawford is the perfect backup point guard.

  • Raoul

    I’ve always said, I don’t want Rondo back until February. Preferably against the Lakers on Feb 21. He’ll have exactly a 3rd of a season to get ready for the playoffs. That’s pretty good with 2 solid months of practice.

  • Mannie

    I’m sure Rondo will do everything in his power to be back before we play Brooklyn.
    As for Crawford, Miami has nothing that can make it a good trade for us, always late draft picks for them. Keep him!

  • jason benn

    crawford being traded is gonna be a sell high pt since if avery wants 8 mil who knows what jordan wants when he is due for another contract especialy now so trade him before we get nothing in return its a business yes they are people but its a business first which means if we need to save a few mil and get some cheaper role player after loading up with big names again whether the big name is names that are in our current roster or name yet to be on the roster and of course we all know rondo sounds like his first game back would be brooklyn

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  • bill_nair

    I highly doubt Rondo sits all year so late next month seems likely. I don’t think Danny would keep him out until February but if so Id bet my house that he comes back after the all-star break.