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Your Morning Dump… Where Rajon Rondo’s an a-hole like Kobe Bryant

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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.

“I felt pretty good,” he said. “When I got back in the second quarter, I got pretty winded, but that was expected. Other than that, I didn’t feel like I was limited to anything tonight. I missed my first two shots and got to the post, got comfortable, and went from there.”

After a rust-filled five-minute stint to start the first quarter, Rondo bounced back by scoring all eight of his points in a dazzling second quarter. He went classic for his first bucket of the season, coming off a Kelly Olynyk screen on the left block, Rondo did his familiar fake-behind-the-back deke in the paint to create enough space to kiss a layup off the glass overPau Gasol with 5:43 to play in the second quarter

The hardest part, though, for Rondo was simply navigating the lulls between his court time. The Celtics were committed to playing him in five-minute bursts each quarter, but as coach Brad Stevens lamented, that meant 14 minutes between shifts for him to start and finish each half.

“The minute deal makes it really tough, because I want to make sure I get him in at the appropriate times,” Stevens said. “But it’s five minutes at the start (of the half), five minutes at the end, there’s 14 minutes in between that he had to sit and I didn’t love that. So we’re going to have to figure out how best to manage those minutes going forward if there continues to be a minute restriction.”

Added Rondo: “Hopefully this [minute restriction] won’t be too long. It’s my first game in a while. … I just have to stop looking at the clock and just play.”

ESPN Boston

We saw glimpses of Rajon Rondo’s brilliance last night but it’s obvious he’s going to need another week or two to get close to full speed. Rust and stamina are his biggest challenges right now, challenges he must face on limited minutes.

Kobe Bryant can relate:

“It’s frustrating,” said Bryant. “But from what I understand, he’s an a—— like me, so I think he’ll manage.”

Apprised of Bryant’s remarks, Rondo noted, “That’s a great compliment coming from Kobe. I feel the same way about him.”

Thanks, Kobe.

The best news is that Rondo looks and feels good. There is no hitch in his step on/off the court. He’s expecting to play Sunday vs Orlando and Tuesday vs Miami (NBA TV has added the game). There is some uncertainty about whether he’ll play Wednesday (back-to-back) against Washington.

Related links: Herald – Captain Comeback | Globe – Rondo considers captaincy an honor | CSNNE – Rondo feels good in return | WEEI – Despite disappointing ending, Rondo’s return a success

On Page 2, the rookies stole the spotlight.

Though Rondo’s debut was respectable, with eight points and four assists in 19 minutes, the breakout lines belonged to a pair of rookies.

Kelly Olynyk, at one point scoring 10 straight Celtics points in the fourth quarter, kept his team within reach most of the way and finished with team and career highs in points (25) and assists (seven).

Equally strong was Phil Pressey, who absorbed some extra minutes as the result of Rondo’s strict minutes ration. Pressey not only accelerated the pace on a Lakers team not always comfortable being pushed down the floor, but once again played mistake-free basketball.

Pressey’s nine-assist, two-trey performance came without a turnover, giving the rookie 19 assists and zero turnovers in his last two games.

Herald

Glad to see KO have a breakout game. In his previous 6 games, he combined for 26 points. Pressey his generating some staggering assist to turnover numbers. Enough to make you forget about his 23% FG on the season.

I don’t know how the Celtics lost to this Lakers team. The roster is loaded with no-names.

Related: CSNNE – Olynyk’s career high paces monster night

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Rapid Reaction: LA 107 Bos 104 | Globe – Rondo back but Celtics fail to close out LA | Celtics future in Rondo’s hands | CSNNE – Green’s monster rejection on Sacre |

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  • Brad P

    With the Rondo minutes restriction, we’re getting a healthy dose of both Pressey and Bayless and seeing some interesting lineups.

  • Thatguy

    I’m really glad to see a 4 things this season: Sully healthy and productive, Rondo back, Kelly showing occasional flashes of what he can do, and Pressey’s passing.

    Can’t wait to see what Ainge does to better this team.

  • NE_Celt

    Good to see KO put up some good numbers and feel a little more comfortable catching and shooting. Weight room is def calling his name this summer though.

    And I am wicked happy to see Pressey playing some great PG minutes!! Always gotta love rooting for an underdog. And hopefully his shot comes around down the road…reminds me of another certain PG who just became a captain of the greatest basketball franchise in the league who was more of an assist machine then a shooter in his early days…

    • GreenbirdCro

      Agree. Would just add that shooting is about two things… mechanics that can be taught and improved, and self confidence that depends on player’s mentality and experience
      Would love to see both of our PGs investing summers in shooting drills

  • pierce Hart

    In terms of talking basketball that’s a huge compliment. Kobe and Jordan both have that attitude so saying rondo is like him is saying he thinks he can be the guy to lead a championship team. Also that loss last night puts us with the third worst record in the league. Embiid Wiggins Parker baby!

  • vitamin d

    BEAT MIAMI!!! …please. Rondo triple double in 20 minutes BAM!

  • Bayern

    Lost in the excitement of Rondo’s comeback game is Olynyk’s & Pressey’s and teams’ 35 assist great game. Also the number of shots they took .

  • Brick James

    “The roster is loaded with no-names.” – the same could be said about either roster.