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Recap: Rondo, Sullinger lead Celtics to win over Orlando

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) February 2, 2014 Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, Jared Sullinger, Rajon Rondo, Recaps 16 Comments

rondo drive against orlando

Get ready to read this a lot:  Rajon Rondo is back.

Rondo hit 9 of the 11 shots he took today for 19 points, and he dished out 10 assists for his first double-digit dime game of the year.  He was backed up by Jared Sullinger, who put up a monster 21 point, 12 rebound double-double.   Brandon Bass and Avery Bradley would have had the headline if these two weren’t so dominant all game long.  Both guys had damn fine games as well.

It was clear Rondo felt comfortable early in this game.  He was confidently stepping into his jumpers while also attacking the basket.  He was finding guys and putting passes where they needed to be.  And he got into the middle of scrums for rebounds.

The Celtics looked pretty good for most of the first half, but the pace of the game was noticeably different when Rondo went to the bench.  Phil Pressey continues to be the only other guard who can match Rondo’s pace out there, but he can’t do it for very long.

The second half was mostly difficult to watch.  There were a lot of whistles, there were a lot of misses, and there were a lot of turnovers. But the last few minutes showed us what the Celtics were missing without Rondo:  someone who was in control of the game in the clutch.  After the Celtics lead was cut to 2, Rondo responded by calmly draining a jumper and finding Brandon Bass on the elbow twice.  He capped the night off with a long outlet to a leaking Bradley for his 10th assist, three of which came in the final 1:22.

The Green:

Jared Sullinger, as usual, continues to use his body very effectively to get himself just enough space to get difficult shots off.  He’s just always in the middle of the action.  Even if he’s not getting the tip in or rebound, he’s making the opponent work for the ball out there.  He also drilled a clutch 3 at the 4:00 mark which helped the C’s maintain their tenuous lead.

Brandon Bass’ performance today is at risk of getting lost, but he had a fantastic first quarter, and he hit some clutch jumpers down the stretch.  19 points, 9 rebounds (3 offensive), and a blocked shot.  That’s a big time game.

Avery Bradley stepped right back into the rotation like he didn’t miss any time at all.  He hit half his 12 shots, went to the line 6 times (made 5), and gave the Celtics offense a spark it had been missing recently.   Yes, Avery Bradley’s return was good for the C’s offense.  Just another day in this weird season.

The Gross:

Jeff Green hit the shot that mattered, but he hit little else.  He was 2-13 from the floor and he only went to the line 3 times to finish with 8 points.  He was terrible offensively today.  But, to his credit, he did other things and didn’t sulk about his poor shooting, so it wasn’t THAT gross… he did have 5 assists, 2 steals, and a block (it was a monster, too).

Kris Humphries had a pretty good month in January, but he’s off to a pretty bad start in February.  2 points on 1-4 shooting and 3 rebounds is bad.  Tough one for him today.

Kelly Olynyk didn’t play much (7:45), and he didn’t deserve to.  He’s looking a little lost out there right now.  I fully expect him to come out of it, because he’s a smart player and smart players don’t slump for too long, but he’s just not right right now.

The Greenlights:

Rondo with the gorgeous bounce pass to Bass

Phil Pressey beautiful no-look to Jared Sullinger

Rondo does THE MOVE!

Jeff Green’s monster block

Nikola Vucevic accidentally tips one back in for the Celtics

The Grid

  • Bass & Sullinger:  3 offensive rebounds each
  • Rondo:  19 points (9-11 fg, 1-3 3pt), 10 ast, 6 reb, 3 steal, 4 TO
  • Sullinger:  21 points (10-15 fg, 1-3 3pt), 12 reb, 1 ast, 1 block
  • Rebounds:  Boston 44 – Orlando 39

It wasn’t a perfect game for Rondo, but it was a wonderful glimpse into the future for the much-maligned Rondo.  I wonder how Gary Tanguay’s going to spin this into something negative.

Box Score

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  • pierce Hart

    Trade everyone but rondo Bradley and sullinger

    • Curt Hays

      Not yet. If we’re going to lose this season, we should lose it all the way.

      • pierce Hart

        Trade everyone but rondo Bradley and sullinger, after the draft

        • Curt Hays

          I actually laughed out loud. #LOLIRL

  • KWAPT

    NBAtv called “the move” the “Rondo Rocker”…hmmm..not bad.

    • Curt Hays

      I prefer the “Scoop”.
      Rocker sounds too much like “shocker”.

      • GoKingsGoCeltsGoTigersGoNiners

        Rocker is a better alliteration with Rondo. Don’t love it, but its decent.

  • GoKingsGoCeltsGoTigersGoNiners

    Why are we beating orlando and getting excited about it? May as well just give up on the notion of a 1-5 pick now. This team is schizophrenic.

    • vitamin d

      We want to lose, but we also want to see Rondo doing well post surgery. He needed and deserved this one.

      • John G

        We? Speak for yourself.

        • GoKingsGoCeltsGoTigersGoNiners

          I’m going to be pissed if the lakers end up higher in the lottery and get a franchise player. Rondo is rondo — don’t expect him to be better or worse once he’s fully recovered from this injury. He’s still a top 5 pg, but we need more than rondo to get back to the top of the league.

  • GranTur

    Anybody else having trouble with the new mobile site? Every time I load it the screen is covered with scrolling directions, and I can’t view it in landscape mode.

    • LA Flake

      I was going to say something but it’s not my site, so…and Disqus is awfully buggy, too. Growing pains of a great blog.

      • GranTur

        Not to mention it’s harder to read.

    • http://redsarmy.com/ John Karalis

      We’ve spoken to the developer… the Landscape mode thing is a problem, they know about it, they’re working on trying to figure out a way to make that work. But it won’t happen for a little while so we’re just going to have to deal with that for now. Sorry. I wish I had a better answer.

      As for the scrolling instructions, those go away once you actually scroll, don’t they? I can see if there’s a way to eliminate that.

      If there are any other complaints, let us know. We’ve gotten a lot of compliments on the site too, so we know there are people enjoying it, but we want to try to make it a better experience for as many people as we can.

      Thanks

  • LA Flake

    Tanguay tomorrow: Rondo’s playing well to prove ME wrong!