A few autumn tidings from Boston and around the NBA. Enjoy with coffee for best results:
- Before the game last night, Doc Rivers presented Paul Pierce with the game ball from the Milwaukee game, where The Truth put in his 20,000 point as a member of the Boston Celtics. With 20,146 points, Pierce is currently 39th all-time and will pass a number of NBA luminaries before the end of the season including: Mitch Richmond (20,497), David Robinson (20,790), Bob Pettit (20,880) and Walt Bellamy (20,941). Sometime next season (if there is a next season), Pierce should pass Larry Bird (21,791) and move into second place on the all-time Celtics scoring list behind John Havlicek (26,395).
ESPN Boston’s Jackie MacMullan focuses in on the evolving rivalry between Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook.
- “It has been Rondo’s modus operandi since he bounded into the NBA to get particularly juiced over matchups with opponents who feature talented point guards.
You think he wanted a piece of Westbrook? Oklahoma City’s “other half” was often the first player off the bench for Coach K last summer during USA Basketball’s run for the gold. That’s right: The team that didn’t save any room (or time) for Rondo, whose subpar perimeter shooting and free throw woes made him undesirable as an international mainstay. In short, Westbrook took Rondo’s spot.
So it shouldn’t have been particularly surprising that, for snippets of this basketball game, Westbrook and Rondo lapsed into their own mini one-on-ones.
It happened late in the second quarter, when a Rondo lay-in off a give-and-go with Shaquille O’Neal resulted in a Boston basket, countered by a Westbrook jumper within seconds, which was followed by a head-down Rondo drive to the hole that rolled off, which was followed by an off-balance heave-ho brick from Westbrook over Rondo’s outstretched arms.
At that point, Brooks yanked his point guard from the game and reminded him of a few things.”
Rondo, Pierce and Garnett all joined the ranks of walking wounded on the Celtics last night (kinda an injury-added-to-insult evening, wasn’t it?). Of the three newly hobbled, Rondo’s injury has the most potential to screw up the next couple of weeks. From the Herald:
Rondo, after taking extra treatment following the game, listed himself as day-to-day. “Just get treatment tomorrow and we’ll see,” he said. “(Coach) Doc (Rivers) made the decision. I guess he saw me limping and decided to pull me.”
Strained hamstrings have a tendency to get aggravated if you push them too quickly. And despite Delonte West‘s quick start, this team simply cannot afford to be without its PG for any length of time. It would be a disaster for the offense. Rondo’s a tough kid, but we may or may not see him on the court in Toronto tomorrow. Holding him out might be the right move.
Five Stops Around The NBA – with the TrueHoop Network
- The most depressing news in the Association this week was the season, and perhaps career-ending, injury to Portland center Greg Oden. On top of the continued uncertainty around Brandon Roy’s knee, Portland fans who endured the Jailblazer-era must be wondering if someone secretly relocated an Indian burial ground underneath the Rose Garden. Andrew Tonry of the Portland Roundball Society weighs in.
- Over at the C’s next port of call in Raptorland, they’re all-a-twitter with news of a possible trade. The principals would be Jarrett Jack, David Andersen and Marcus Banks heading to New Orleans for Peja Stojakovic and the increasingly well-traveled Jerryd Bayless.
- On a lighter note, at least some Knicks fans (and media members) are still split on the notion of whether Eddy Curry should see the floor again. Mike Kurylo over at KnickerBlogger is not feeling charitable. You want him to use the word ‘craptitude’? You got it.
- Weird verbiage coming out of Miami these days. Chris Bosh doesn’t want to practice. He wants to chill. Lebron James doesn’t like playing 44 minutes. Presumably, he too likes to chill. Out of context? Maybe. A thorough look’s available over at The Painted Area (along with a vintage picture of Hubie Brown, which in and of itself is worth checking out).
- In Minnesota, Michael Beasley is playing the 3, putting up some big numbers and might be on the road to maturity. He talks with A Wolf Among Wolves.