Rajon Rondo recently claimed he told assistant coach Ron Adams, who has worked with the Celtics guards on their shooting, that he wanted to come back “shooting like Avery Bradley.”
Some thought he was joking, but maybe they were playing the joke on themselves.
“It goes in,” Rondo, his expression deadpanned, said of Bradley’s shot.
And on some nights it won’t stop. Bradley, in his fourth game back from an ankle-induced absence, shot 6-for-9 from downtown for the bulk of his 23 points in the Celtics’ 101-96 win over a Miami team missing its brightest star. Bradley’s six 3-pointers were a career high.
Rondo finished one point shy of his first triple-double of the season with nine points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds. According to statistician Dick Lipe, Rondo became the first player in the league this season with two performances of 14 or more assists and eight or more rebounds.
“I think we can be very good because we both want to play defense, we both are going to go out there and play hard for our teammates and we just work very well off each other,” Bradley said of the partnership. “I love playing with him.
“I would love it,” Bradley, an impending restricted free agent, said of whether the collaboration can now take on a more permanent quality. “I would love to play for Boston, I would love to play with Rondo so I wouldn’t mind it at all. I’m pretty sure any guard in the NBA would love to play with Rondo.”
Let’s temporarily set aside our angst over the Celtics’ position in the draft lottery (slipped to 6th) and marvel at it’s backcourt (of the future?).
I know there are questions about money and health regarding Avery Bradley, but when the kid plays like he did last night, I want him here long term. With Rajon Rondo.
Bradley’s right, they work well off each other. Rondo is masterful at finding spot-up shooters. Even nemesis Ray Allen would have to admit that. Rondo never misses back door cutters. And as Bradley’s long distance shooting continues to improve (37% this year), he’ll help spread the floor for Rondo.
I’m sure Danny Ainge has Plan A, B, C and D when it comes to rebuilding this team. For me, landing a top 3 pick is the simplest solution. You draft Parker, Wiggins or Embiid and insert any of them alongside Rondo, Bradley and Sullinger. Boom. See you in the Finals in 3 years.
On Page 2, Ray Allen would love to have his number retired
But here’s something he didn’t watch — the video tributes for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Doc Rivers. He still talks to Rivers. The other two continue to shun him with an Amish intensity.
But Allen’s faith in his Celtics connection is resolute. He’d love to have his number retired, an experience he’s curiously never known on any level, including at UConn or high school.
“It’s not something I worry about,” he said. “The big games we played here are the things that will stick out in my mind, and people will always remember that. There’s a banner up there in the rafters I look at, and that’s what makes it so special.
“Of course (a number retirement) would mean something,” said Allen. “It would be one of the single greatest honors in my career. To have an impact on a generation of kids, the city and the organization is truly an honor, and to be recognized for something like that would be something that can’t get any better.”
You want your number retired, Ray? Go to Milwaukee.
Props to the fans who booed Ray heavily last night.
The rest of the links:
Globe – Celtics hold off Heat | Celtics bring back memories vs Heat | ESPN Boston – King’s welcome for Stevens | Celtics 101 – Heat 96 | Herald – No audience for Lebron | CSNNE – Babb’s future uncertain as 10-day expires