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.
“He had some good moments. But I’m not judging Rondo right now. He’s just trying to find his way back. I’m excited to have him back and anxious to see him progress.”
“It’s not frustrating,” Rondo said. “I want to be patient. I knew going into it (that) it would be 20 minutes. This is the first time in my career when I’m on limitations, but it’s part of it, and it won’t last forever. It’s temporary. It’s not frustrating. It’s just a matter of time. I’m very patient with myself. I haven’t had a preseason or a training camp or even any other games to play, so I try not get too down on myself. But at the same time I’m very competitive, and I expect the best out of myself already.
“But that’s part of the NBA. There’s a lot of ups and downs. But the best thing about it (is) you have one day to think about it and the next day you’ve got to move on.”
Remember when I kept saying to expect a drop off in performance when Rondo returned because guys would be out of sync?
Welcome to the past two games.
Rondo has shown flashes of his former self, but there is no way to expect a guy to come off a year-long break and just jump back into being his former self. On top of that, all his former teammates are gone, and he’s coming back to an almost entirely new team and a new coach. And as much as he’s been around them all season long, playing in the games is just different.
We’ve essentially entered the second pre-season, where Stevens and Ainge are trying to evaluate which mix of guys works best now that there’s one more guy in that mix. It just so happens to be a guy who can do this…
I remember more than a few times this season where Green took steps towards the rim because an alley oop was there, but Jordan Crawford just never seeing it.
When you’ve played half a season with a guy who doesn’t see things, and now you’re playing with a guy that sees everything, it takes a little while to get used to the transition.
One thing we saw down the stretch last night is a more aggressive Rondo down the stretch offensively… a guy willing to take the shots in pressure situations. He didn’t make them all, but that’s not the important thing right now. It’s important that Rondo, always the passer in these situations in the past, is willing to become the shooter and scorer now. Time to get his legs and rhythm back will help determine if he can become that scorer consistently.
Related links: CSNNE: Rondo being patient, learning on the fly | Rondo working his play calling back into shape too
Page 2: About that last possession
“I thought we had some openings on it,” Stevens said. “I don’t think we were perfect on screening and all that stuff, but I thought we had some openings and it just didn’t go our way with that.
“The first hope and option was Jeff on that little pin-down, and he wasn’t able to get that shot. I thought Jeff had a good shot that he passed up, and we probably didn’t hold our screen long enough on it.”
Said Sullinger: “I just think we lost track of time. Avery got the ball, and he probably thought he had more time than he did. It was just bad timing on our part.”
That last possession last night was a hot pile of rancid garbage… and I may have to apologize to the hot pile of garbage for the comparison.
Rondo gave the ball up to Green with a chance to take a jumper. Green decided to drive, apparently feeling like the defender was too close to him to get the shot off. Avery Bradley couldn’t catch his pass cleanly… and then… well…
It was an ugly possession that showed the Celtics are still nowhere near where they need to be. This is a bad basketball team that will need some time to be comfortable on the floor. As bad as that last play was…
“I don’t think that one play is why we lost the game,” [Bradley] said quite correctly. “We still had a chance. The thing tonight is we weren’t able to get stops consistently the whole game, and it showed in that last quarter. We were just trading buckets with them, and that hurt us a lot.
Another tough loss that will go down as a learning experience, and a step closer to a top 5 draft pick.
Related Links: CSNNE: Good, bad, and ugly: another failed possession
I have determined that Kelly Olynyk is actually “King Slender” from the old Nintendo “Pro Wrestling” game.
There’s got to be some way to get the “King Slender” nickname to stick. That’d be such a cool nickname. There’s NO ONE named King Slender out there right now…
We have to find a way to make this stick.
The rest of the links
Globe: Stevens reflects on first half of season | Celtics drop the ball against Magic | CSNNE: C’s come up short vs. Magic | Davis: “It’s kind of weird” playing C’s without Pierce, KG | WEEI: Celtics keep on losing | ESPN Boston: Aggressive Green lived at the line | Bayless departs vs. Magic | Doc: Expect “crazy” Boston for Pierce, KG