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)