A quick round-up as we head into tonight’s semi-important game at Atlanta, which, the Spurs win there Wednesday notwithstanding, has become among the toughest places in the league to win. Celtics Blog found Rajon Rondo (of all people) telling the Globe the teams are not really rivals:
“I don’t like to talk trash, but in my eyes, it’s not a rivalry. I don’t know if anybody else looks at it as a rivalry. People consider Cleveland a rival. We just went seven with Atlanta. That’s about it.”
I love that Rondo sets up the entire quote by saying he doesn’t like to talk trash.
In more important news:
• Tony Allen has a key doctor’s evaluation on Monday, and he could be ready to play in two weeks–a few days before the playoffs start. The issue then is going to be getting the proverbial rust off in time for the first round. Marc Spears has some nice reflections from Tony and a view into the locker room support for him:
“But the ones I really look at is the freak injuries, like me going to a layup after the whistle, tripping in practice and falling [on the thumb], those are the ones that have held me back. Both of those times when I’ve had these surgeries, I was on the verge of trying to come out of my shadow.”
Sort of a touching quote, especially the “come out of my shadow part,” but the “going to a layup” part isn’t exactly accurate. He was going up for a thunderous dunk well after the whistle blew. Unlucky? Sure. But also very dumb.
The other guys are pumping him up, which is nice to hear.
“Hanging around a lot of the guys, they ask me, ‘When are you coming back? We need you,’ ” Allen said Wednesday. “Rondo will tell me, ‘You got to come back, man.’ [Pierce] says, ‘When you get back, we’re going to be good.’ They say a lot of encouraging things. But it’s got to get done.”
• Finally, KG goes a bit overboard talking up Marbury in the Herald:
Quote 1: “I’ve been telling some of the young guys who haven’t seen a lot of Steph that I thought we got a steal in grabbing him.”
I’m with him so far…
Quote 2: “Not only is he versatile, but people forget that Steph was one of the premier guards in this league for a while. And other than him not playing for a year, we all expect big things out of him. But I think he expects a lot of big things out of himself. He works extremely hard. You just don’t, excuse my French, be the (expletive) from a point guard standpoint, all them years of being who you are. Obviously, the facts are there, but you just don’t become that. You get that through hard work, watching film. I know what kind of drive he has inside, and I think he’s going to help us in the long run.”
He’s starting to lose me here. I’m not sure Steph is, or ever was, “versatile,” and, while he may have been the (expletive) as a PG at some point, that was, what, five years ago now?
I hope Steph proves KG right, though. I watch every game waiting for some sign that’s going to happen. I’ll watch again tonight.