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 had said Sunday in Indianapolis that getting back in game shape is the biggest remaining hurdle for him after being off the court for 11 months while rehabbing from surgery on his right knee.
“I would agree with his assessment,” said coach Brad Stevens. “But that’s not unusual when you haven’t played in  months. How do you get to be game-conditioned without a lot of game opportunity or without a lot of practice opportunity, and real game-like scenarios? We tried just a quick little drill at the end to help him with that a little bit and he was huffing and puffing. But that’s part of it. That’s part of why we did it, and especially after three days off.”
But Stevens acknowledged that Boston’s game-heavy schedule limits how much live action the team can do in practice. Rondo is going to have to find ways to simulate game action even when his teammates can’t join him.
“I think a lot of that’s going to have to be on his own,” said Stevens. “Again, that’s not atypical. We can do a little bit more, but you can’t wear your other guys down because it’s a long season for everybody.”
Rondo will spend the next month or so using practice as a sort of training camp. He’s not really where he wants to be stamina-wise, so he’s got to find a way every day to push his conditioning one step further.
If the Celtics really want to push his conditioning forward, they should treat parts of January like the preseason. Get Rondo out there for a game every few days… play him 5 or 6 minutes to start each quarter (with stretches and stationary bike in between to keep loose during time off the court, and get him some game conditioning.
Why not give him a few weeks at practice, then bring him back Monday, January 13 against the Rockets? Play him 20 minutes, strictly at the beginning of quarters. Give him a few days to recover from the game action, work out some of the kinks, practice hard, and then game 2 would be Friday the 17th against the Lakers. Maybe you stretch him out a couple of minutes in the first and third quarters. If h skips the Sunday game against Orlando, gives you another 25 minutes or so against Miami, and skips the following back-to-back against Washington, you can start working him into every game work starting with that January 24 game against OKC.
We’ll see what the timetable is. I have very little doubt that the goal for Rondo is January 26 against Brooklyn. If there’s one medical and training staff I trust to make that happen… well, honestly, it’s the Phoenix Suns staff. They’re, like, witch doctors or something over there. But the Celtics staff is a very close second.
Here’s some video of Rondo at practice. It’s in the second half of the video, but the first half of it leads me directly to Page 2:
Related links: Globe: Rondo’s conditioning still an obstacle
Page 2: Where Rondo isn’t forcing a trade anywhere. Sorry James Dolan
“Rondo has to be the one really to set this thing in motion and, in talking to his camp, he has no intention whatsoever to ask for or force a trade or anything like that,” Blakely told SportsNetCentral.
Furthermore, Blakely said, returning to the Celtics and playing well gives Rondo the opportunity to shape a team in his image, something the All-Star point guard is said to be looking to do.
I started a little rant on Twitter yesterday about this whole scenario, but I’ll add some more to it here (and re-live some of it for those of you who aren’t the tweetin’ types)
If the reports are correct and taken at face value, then it is the height of New York arrogance. To think that they could just float a report saying “we hope Rondo forces a trade to us,” acting as if you’ve just tipped the first domino in a line that eventually leads to midtown Manhattan is basketball conceit at its finest.
Do you not think Rondo has eyes?
And what of this supposed “exposure” that everyone talks about as such a draw to New York? The media capital of the world, we’re told, is where a player plays to make his star shine the brightest.
But where has that gotten Carmelo Anthony?
Did you know he’s a Jordan Brand sponsored player? Where are his shoe commercials? Why isn’t there an ad with fellow Jordan guy Chris Paul where they play ball together on some blacktop or dark gym somewhere (like Pierce had with a bunch of Nike guys back in the day)? Where’s his big commercial blitz?
Carmelo is allegedly one of the league’s best players. He’s always talked about as one of the NBA’s premier scorers. He’s playing in the #1 market in America. If the big Knicks selling point about increased exposure is true, then where’s Carmelo Anthony’s push?
It doesn’t exist, because it’s a big lie. It’s a myth. Kevin Durant is marketing star in Oklahoma City. LeBron is a marketing star and he was in Cleveland and Miami. CP3 was getting big ad pushes in New Orleans.
The thought that you need to go to New York to get under the bright lights is bullshit. This isn’t 1980. In 2013, every game is available to be watched somewhere, somehow, as long as you have an internet connection. The only thing you have to be, is good. It doesn’t matter where anymore.
So, James Dolan, Rondo isn’t going to push his way out of Boston to be a part of your shitty franchise. Because under your bright lights, your abject failures are only magnified. We all see it, and no one wants any part of it.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston: Celtics hit reset button after break | Gloved Sullinger downplays injury | All Star returns: Green drops a spot | Herald: Rested Olynyk eager for more | Breaking Brad not in script | CSNNE: Celtics re-charged after three-day break | Sullinger dealing with injured left hand | Bradley injures knee at practice | MWDN: No holiday joy for Pierce in Brooklyn