Recap: Celtics lose in their Captain’s return | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Recap: Celtics lose in their Captain’s return


Rajon Rondo started collecting accolades before his 29,233,380-second absence was even over. First, he received the NBA’s Kia Community Assist Award. But next — to the pleasant surprise of everyone watching — The Boston Celtics named Rondo their 15th captain in team history.

Assuming your a fan who’d prefer to build around Rondo rather than trade him — this is good news. Teams don’t typically name players team captain a month before trading him… right?

Alright, to the game.

The Celtic-Laker rivarly is always good for a little buzz. Even when both teams combine for their lowest winning percentage in matchup history (%.354), we still seem to get lucky lining up important milestones (Ray Allen’s three-point record, Rondo’s return). At a point where both teams are amidst hard times, this game had an old school feel to it. And I’m 22, so by old school, I mean the past six years.

Anyways, you’ve heard of defense right? I don’t think Mike Dantoni’s heard of defense. The Celtic bench came in during the second quarter and torched the Laker D. A Pressey-Bayless-Olynyk trio was oddly successful, particulary Olynyk — who had nine  points and five assists in the first half. As expected, Rajon Rondo mostly played in five-minute intervals. His first stint left him 0-2 from the field, but with his first assist of the year. The second stint was much better: his first bucket came on one of those behind-the-back slinging layups; which was followed by three more layups all within about a minute. The fast pace throughout the second quarter was a nice example of how Rondo can thrive when he’s surrounded by speed. Gerald Wallace scored 12 points in the first half …TWELVE! Even the missed shots were often great looks.

Midway throughout the second, it looked like the C’s were opening things up in their favor.  But the Lakers, who relied largely on Kobe Bryant Pau Gasol’s scoring bunches (finished with 24 points, 13 rebounds), crawled back in just before halftime. Don’t say your’re not surprised.

The Lakers’ three-ball kept them in the game throughout the third and into the fourth. Kendall Marhsall (19 points, 14 assists) was locked-in from deep. In some ways, it seemed like things returned to normal for the Celtics, with a slower pace and a more back-and-forth style. Still, Boston continued to find relief in the Pressey-Olynyk pairing. If you didn’t know, one would think both of these guys played their college ball together — their chemistry was sublime.

Mike Gorman said it best: “Kelly Olynyk looks like he’s in the Summer League right now”.

Rondo checked in for Phil Pressey just after the five-minute mark, and almost immediately found Avery Bradley for a transition three — opening the lead to eight points. The Lakers would not die, however, and a run ending with a Kendall Marshall three gave them a one-point lead.

Rondo had a chance to retake the lead, but his mid-range jumper fell short. Again, the Celtics had an opportunity to do the same, though Avery Bradley missed a tough baseline shot.

With 16.2 seconds left and down by one, a jump-ball video-review led to a …. rejump. To myself and many others, the video showed Wesley Johnson appeared to be the last to touch the ball before it shot out of bounds. On the rejump, Gerald Wallace lost a tip to Johnson and rookie Ryan Kelly knocked down two free throws.

Now down by three and with no time outs, Rondo attempted a three — which fell off-mark. Final 107-104, Lakers.


The Green

The Celtics had 33 asssits, a season high.

Kelly Olynyk: 25 points, seven assists, five rebounds, two steals, and a block.

Phil Pressey’s follow-up game: Six points, nine assists, two steals.


The Gross

Well, we lost a game we probably should have won. But there were no Kevin Ware-type injuries. So we’ll leave it at that.


The Greenlights

Rondo’s first bucket

Jeff Green’s block

The Grid

  • Celtics took 55 shots in the first half
  • Lakers committed 19 turnovers, Celtics had only 7


If you’re sad about the loss, let this distract you: Photo Gallery of Celtics Captains

The Celtics now travel to Orlando to play Big Baby and the Magic this Sunday, 6:00PM.


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  • Jim Eisenman

    Well Rondo is back. God I hate this man. Flashes of Rondo brilliance mixed with infuriating flashes of Rondo laziness. The Lakets didn’t get hot at the 3. They were simply unguarded there. Rondo, himself, gave up 3-4 open 3’s by going back to Rondo the cheater. Plus, he was overguarding his man to one side and got beaten on a few twos. And why exactly was there no play drawn before the last possession came in so that Rondo was left to shoot a 3 at the buzzer? I’m done for this season. This was just the worst. Giving up an easily winnable game to the worst defensive team in the league. Frustrating.

    • TNCeltic

      The man just came back after almost a year recovering. Maybe we could give him at least one game before we rip him to shreds, ya think?

    • eddysamson

      Coach Stevens said these first games back for him are still part of his rehab. What did you expect?

    • B-ball Jenky

      jeez bro you should try to relax

    • Step

      How dare Rondo come back rusty after being out for almost a yr from a knee surgery.Chill the hell out. I swear some fans don’t know how to be rational.

    • tvor03

      What a terrible fan. Why don’t you find yourself a new team.

      • Jim Eisenman

        It’s not about being rusty. I gave him slack for being rusty. It’s that his basketball attitude has not changed. He didn’t not fail to guard his men in the 3-point area because he was rusty. He hasn’t guarded his men in the 3-point area for 4 years. I was simply hoping, that during his layoff, he had time to reflect why everyone in the NBA has had a career scoring night on him for the last 4 years. He left his men to cheat on someone else’s player. I am not a terrible fan and I’ve been a Celtics fan since 1965, which is a lot longer than you’ve been on the planet. This has nothing to do with rust or rehab. It has to do with bad habits. I never went after Cousy or Sam Jones or JoJo or Tiny or Ainge or DJ or Pierce. They didn’t cheat off their man and give up open shots again and again. When you understand that, as long as Rondo plays like this, it will never be possible to win another championship, you’ll understand what it means to be a Celtics fan who understands what he is watching.

        • KGino

          100% over reaction to one game but this guy is right, Rondo was a lazy / gambling defender before he got injured… It’s something to keep an eye on going forward. He needs to be held accountable like everyone else. I’m giving him a pass until after the all star break tho haha

          • Jim Eisenman

            It”s not an overreaction to anything other than nothing has changed

          • KGino

            Dude you come back from a 12 month knee rehab and play perfect defense against some of the best athletes in the world. You’re a joke for thinking it would be different in his first game back

        • Chief_00

          Just because your older doesn’t make you smarter or better than any other fan here. Quit your yapping.

          • Jim Eisenman

            I’m not smarter than you because I’m older than you. I’m smarter than you because I’m smarter than you. I’ll yap all I want.

          • Chief_00

            I thought with age comes maturity…you just sound like a little baby. Just go away.

          • Jim Eisenman


        • LA Flake

          I agree with this statement. I was disappointed with his matador defense last night, too. But..I liked that he wanted to take all the big shots. If Rondo can hit those, he’ll be pretty good. All in all, last night was a mixed bag. Flashes of good Rondo with a lot of bad including his inability to create easy opportunities for his teammates in transition.

    • RedsLoveChild

      Curb your enthusiasm

      • Curt Hays

        ^This is how we know the guy was wrong to criticize. Lol

        • Chief_00

          True…and redslovechild set the bar real low too.

        • RedsLoveChild

          OMG…did I misread what that guy wrote?!?

          I thought he was PRAISING Rondo!

          1} He wrote that we saw “flashes of Rondo brilliance”{any brilliance is great for RR`s first game in almost a year}.

          2} He referred to Rondo as a “cheater”{hey, if you`re not cheating, you`re not trying, right? RR was trying!}.

          3} He said RR was “over guarding” his man{sounds like RR was playing very aggressive defense. That`s a bad thing?}.

    • Chief_00

      Truly if your done for the season just quit altogether…weak excuse for a fan here people.

  • Alex Costa

    I just… for the life of me… can’t understand how Jeff Green can be THIS bad. Stop shooting goddamn jumpshots if you are bricking every damn shot! Go to the damn basket. Wow…

    And yeah, not sure what happened to our perimeter defense, but the Celtics are allowing teams to shoot wide open 3 pointers…

  • CFH

    Captain Rondo.



    Not going to win many games where your opponent shoots %50 from floor & *gulp* %60 from three. That Kelly kid just killed us-guy can shoot. My only “homer” gripe is those refs were sending LA to the line a ton. 28 FT attempts. And then those same refs I lost my voice screaming at can’t have the b*lls to make a decision on that jump ball. But can’t blame them. Just too many lapses on defense (perimeter mostly) and C’s couldn’t hit the big shots when needed. Oh well. Still love my C’s.

    • adam

      same as always, ticky tack fouls for the celtics. some of them i was amazed because the celts had more contact on the previous basket.,

  • Brad P

    Olynyk was really lighting it up but unfortunately the other Kelly was too.

    Pressey was channeling Rondo pretty well too

  • Mike C

    Did someone in TD Garden perform an exorcism on the ghost of Billy Sianis’s pet goat while I wasn’t looking? I’m starting to feel like we’re cursed! Up 104 to 99 with two minutes to go & we can’t hold on for the win? God, I HATE the Lakers!!!

    • KWAPT

      And to boot a Lakers team missing 90% of their key players. Was a kick in the balls all right-especially watching the idiotic Lakers fans at the Garden act like they had just won the NBA Finals. Hope the C’s remember this one when they play at Staples in February…

  • vitamin d

    Damn, looking at that slideshow of all the Celtics Captains, Rondo is the real deal to be among guys like Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, to lead this franchise…

  • Rich Jensen

    Man it sure must be easy to get named “Captain” of the Celtics.

    Take this Rondo character. Shoot. Barely two days ago the guy’s in the D-League. The D-LEAGUE.

    • Jaedre

      LOL people who downvoted u obviously dont have a sense of humor

    • forever_green

      Sarcasm didn’t work for you this time, hummm.

      • Rich Jensen

        Meh. I figured the right people would get it.

  • Step

    When you give a team that many WIDE 3’s you’re going to lose. Defense loss this game for the C’s. I was encouraged by the ball movement, but they have to be solid on D. I’m tempering my expectations for Rondo. I’m just looking at it as another step in his rehabbing.

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  • Amir Buxbaum

    Let me just say that I really like Olynyk. Highly intelligent player with good stroke and excellent court vision.
    Can’t help to think the reason we were torched is due to his defense. He super-slow and misses out on the rotations. That’s why there were so many open 3s with him on the court.
    So we got an excellent game from him, but he was a liability on defense. I think it’s not the first time he had a great game but it was overshadowed by a loss.

  • swissflix

    Man, everyone was in a passing mood. Pressey, Rondo…and Olynyk’s passing is just superb for a big guy!

    • Curt Hays

      Kelly played point guard is whole life until he grew to 6 feet 10 inches. it was then that he became a big man

      • swissflix

        Really, the passing is the part of his game that i enjoy the most so far. I also liked the confidence with which he took the midrange jumpers in that game. No hesitation, just quick moves.