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Wednesday Roundup: Props for Rondo, Turnover Problems

 

Quick look around the net this Wednesday morning, as the C’s try to snap a 2 game losing streak tonight in Phoenix. No new news regarding Big Baby’s status for tonight’s game but the general inclination appears to be the sprained ankle is not serious. Hopefully it’s just a one-two game thing, if even that.

First we have Steve Bulpett of the Herald, on KG giving Rondo some well deserved accolades after his nice bounceback performance given his end of the game struggles in LA:

Garnett liked the way Rondo got back on the horse.

“Things happen to us that you turn and you ask yourself, ‘Why me?’ ” Garnett said as the Celtics had yesterday off in preparation for tonight’s road trip finale against the Phoenix Suns. “I told him when he went to the line (Monday), I smacked him and I said, ‘Yeah, redemption. Payback.’ I just kept filling him with that. It either makes you or breaks you, man. You can’t break this kid. This kid is made of carbon, man. Everybody knows what carbon is. You know that it’s damn near invincible. It’s just more than a pleasure to be his teammate.”

Rondo shrugged it all off, but he was seriously down in LA.

“I was bummed out up until gametime (Monday),” Rondo said. “But luckily it’s the NBA. We had a back-to-back, so I tried to redeem myself, but we still got another loss. For me, I get down on myself. I’m very hard on myself. But I’m still confident. I’m going to play the game and feel like I’m the best at it.”

Garnett continued to heap on the praise:

“He’s a counterpuncher. But, man, when it comes to turning it up and just taking over a game from all dimensions of it, I’ve yet to see anybody like him. I’m a huge Rondo fan. I stay on his (butt) and I tell him stuff, things that most people probably shy away from, but that’s the trust that he has in me and me being a vet.”

“It’s beautiful to watch his growth. It’s beautiful to see how he’s influenced not only some of his own peers and young guys he plays, but even the older guys,” Garnett added “I think he’s definitely gained our respect. I told him, ‘Man, you’ve got to be in love with getting better.’ And he’s just embraced that so it’s good to see.”

A look at some of the turnovers problems beginning to rear their ugly head, after the jump

Gary Washburn of the Globe, takes a look at the C’s recent sloppy play as well. Danny Ainge takes the reins in criticizing his team:

“I think it’s a combination of we’re getting some pretty good performances by other teams and we’re not playing as hard as we can play for 48 minutes,’’ he said. “We think we can show up for a quarter or a half, and that’s not good enough in this league, and that’s been our pattern. We come out of the gates ready to play and have shown up to play in some cases. Other cases we haven’t; we’ve had to turn it on in the second half.

Danny continued his rant talking about turnovers.

“Just carelessness,’’ Ainge said. “The turnovers, the 25 [total] turnovers. That is just unacceptable. And that just goes to show that focus just isn’t there.

“I see stretches in most games we play where we are playing really good basketball but we’re trying to cruise through other stretches where we think the game might be under control. We don’t respect our opponent quite enough and we let up a little bit and we’re sloppy.

“We take bad shots. We make bad passes. We blow defensive assignments and the focus just isn’t there for 48 minutes.’’

This has been a frequent theme of west coast trips the past two years. Obviously the absence of Paul Pierce doesn’t help things but the Celtics seemed to lack the focus just as much as their legs. The minutes though have been sky high for the guards on this road trip without Pierce and I think it’s time Doc opens up the cabinet for some help further down the bench. More on that to come later today.

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    There is something magical there with Rondo. I went to watch a young Josh Smith dunk at the very, very, very small gym at Oak Hill, Va. It was a high school game. He dunked, but there was this little guy out there who ran the team. He was so quick & yet smooth. He looked young, but there was this experienced air about him. He was doing things which you just don’t see high school players doing. He seemed like he was ahead of the other guys, & his instincts were just off the charts. During the game you just felt, deeply, that this guy was gonna get it done. I didn’t even know Rajon existed, & I had traveled to see Josh, but there I was focusing all my attention on this kid. I remember when he was subbed that I was hoping the other team would make a run so he would have to go right back in. Some high school games you shake your head at & say, ‘why did I waste all my time on this?!’ But, I was so glad I made that trip. I became a fan after just that 1 game.

    I feel like if Rajon really enjoyed free throws he would lead the league in free throw percentage. You can see whatever he enjoys doing out there on the court he excels at. Personally, I enjoy his passes much more than his scoring–although that dunk he had on the wiz was a masterpiece (It was so good Marv was shouting & Reggie was stuttering). I also highly enjoyed when he took the ball right back into the lane after Bradikins Miller fouled him hard.

    When Rajon is excited about a game he is all over the place making plays. It’s like he has psychic powers knowing where & when the pass is coming for the steal or how the ball is going to come off the board so he can zip in for the rebound. You can see that he is thinking ahead of the game & more than a step ahead while other people are just reacting in the moment.

    I think his next big breakthrough will be final 5 minute of the game management. We’ve all seen it with the greats. I hate to say it, but Magic won a ton of close games by taking over the last 5 minutes of games & stomping on the other team (it was not just scoring either. it was getting the ball to the right guy & turning up the heat of the defense to conflagration mode). It was like whole other level, playoff basketball, game 7, maximum intensity those final 5 minutes. It is really impossible to play that intensely the whole game because it takes so much energy & absolute focus that it completely drains you quickly–but you would see it over & over again from Magic in those final minutes. The other team’s will would just be completely broken & overwhelmed. It seemed like the other team was surprised & bewildered again & again by this sudden massive burst of intensity. It was the art of closing games. When Rondo gets it I won’t have to vote anymore for him to be an all star, & we will be talking about banners in a plural sense.

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    It seemed like the other team was surprised & bewildered again & again by this sudden massive burst of intensity. It was the art of closing games. When Rondo gets it I won’t have to vote anymore for him to be an all star, & we will be talking about banners in a plural sense.

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