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Post-game Reactions

One reassuring, one not-so-reassuring:

• Rajon has played 40 minutes or more in 23 regular season games since entering the league in 2006-07, according to Basketball Reference.

Six of those 23 games have come since Dec. 22 of this season, including a career-high (for the regular season) 50-plus minutes at Miami in last week’s OT classic.

I know he’s a young guy, but he has been carrying a heavy load for the last three weeks.

• Rajon has now played in 34 games this season, and if you break his season in half you see some positive trends from the foul line.

First 17 games: 9-26 (34.5 percent) on 1.5 foul shot attempts per game.

Last 17 games: 50-74 (68 percent) on 4.4 foul shot attempts per game.

To me, the attempts are more important than the percentages. Barring some sort of bizarre Steve Blass/Steve Sax/Rick Ankiel thing, Rajon was not going to shoot 40 percent from the foul line over the course of the season. Now, 68 percent is not what one might call a good free throw percentage. You want your guards shooting 75 percent or better from the line, especially if they handle the ball as much as Rajon. (And if you want to play Small Sample Size Theater—and who doesn’t!—Rajon is 21-of-26, or 81 percent, from the stripe in his last five games).

But 70 percent is progress, even if it’s progress we all knew would come fast. (And it would be an improvement over his 64 percent mark last season).

The lack of attempts early was more problematic, and it had Kelly Dwyer and I (and most sentient Celtic fans) speculating that Rondo wasn’t driving to the rim aggressively late in games because he wanted no part of the foul line.

I think we can put that fear to rest—for now.

If Rajon averages about 4.4 free throw attempts per game, it will put him into the upper echelon of guards in that category, according to Basketball Reference. That per-game figure would rank about 22nd in the league among guards, right with Chris Paul, Jason Terry and Will Bynum, guys not exactly known for being shy around the rim or (in Terry’s case) at the end of games.

Progress.

Now, let’s get the kid some rest tonight on the second night of a back-to-back, Doc. How does 38 minutes sound? What about 35?

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Zach Lowe

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  • Sam

    I love the idea of playing him a little less tonight, it’s been worrying me how much we’ve been playing Rondo lately anyway.

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  • dont_drink_the_koolaid

    i think rondo will top 40min again tonight. i’m cool with that…..we really gotta cuts the hawks wings. but agree doc just has tuse him less against inferior opponents.

  • I’m not worried about the minutes right now as long as they are winning. I think Rondo is able to play 40 mins a game the entire year and still be healty. Kids 23, looks to be in the best shape of just about anyone in the world, and is a freak. Now would I like a back-up point guard and less minutes…sure. You will see his minutes decrease when KG and Marquis come back (KG will boost the team all around and ‘quis will be able to defend and handl the ball).

  • Cptn Bubbles

    It’s sorta astonishing when you think that the greatest triple double threat on the Cs is Rajon. How many of us saw this coming 1+ year ago? Although, it is a little bit troubling for Rondo to lead the team in rebounds in any game… Sometimes I see the ‘you get that’ look on the bigs faces when it’s time to rebound

    Rondo will play a lot of minutes because he is so competitive, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a real backup point guard who could play defense & pass the ball? I think we have all kinds of shooters, but a backup ball handler ??? Rajon is the best ball handler on the team, but shouldn’t the Cs be grooming or looking for someone who is good at handling the ball to backup Rajon? Most people go after a scoring point, but the Cs need a good defending backup point who is not uptight about passing it to all the scorers on this team. We have backup bigs, shooting guards, but good ball handling points??? TA is doing a lot of good things, but I’m not 100% sure about his ball handling, especially under pressure I hope Rondo can stay healthy, & this doesn’t come back to bite us.

  • is this updated often?