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Rapid Reaction: Rondo Shows How Awesome He Can Be

 
Chicago Bulls 91 FinalRecap | Box Score 95 Boston Celtics
Chris Wilcox, PF 26 MIN | 5-6 FG | 1-3 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | +4
The stat line jumps out at you but it probably shouldn’t. So much of what Wilcox brings to the table only shows up on the stat sheet in rare occurrences like tonight. Even when he doesn’t post a near-double double, his energy positively affects the game. He runs the floor, he gets his hands on rebounds (even if he doesn’t come up with them), and he’s big enough to bang bodies down low.
Paul Pierce, SF 37 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 9 PTS | +9
Pierce was frustrated all game by Luol Deng. Deng used his length to prevent Pierce from doing much of anything and put him out of rhythm all night. He couldn’t dribble around him. He couldn’t shoot over him. Hell, he couldn’t even pass around him.
Kevin Garnett, PF 29 MIN | 5-8 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 13 PTS | +16
Garnett put up a double-double all while being very physical down low on a Bulls front court that can bang with the best of them. He may have paid a price considering how much he was holding his abdomen during timeouts.
Ray Allen, SG 35 MIN | 3-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 11 PTS | +3
Allen was extremely quiet tonight with only 1 field goal attempt in the first half (a missed three). The Celtics made an effort to get him going in the second half but it just wasn’t meant to be. Allen did manage to hit a big three to keep the Bulls from surging.
Rajon Rondo, PG 40 MIN | 11-22 FG | 10-13 FT | 10 REB | 15 AST | 32 PTS | +8
Quite the way to bounce back. We all know what Rondo did tonight, but we still don’t really know what happened on Friday. And we still don’t know because he abstained from talking to the media after today’s game.
Keyon Dooling, PG 9 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -6
I’ll give Dooling a pass on today’s game because a) it was his first time playing in a long time, and b) he’s actually still just as hurt. Doc informed us before the game that Dooling’s out there because it became clear he wasn’t going to get any better.
Mickael Pietrus, SF 19 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-2 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 3 PTS | -4
Pietrus didn’t log any meaningful stats but his presence was definitely felt on the defensive end and he gave the C’s the luxury of going small.
Greg Stiemsma, C 5 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -5
One big block, baby!

JaJuan Johnson, F
33 MIN | 6-13 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -1
Johnson didn’t shoot great but he used his length to both Joakim Noah and Omer Asik- something that’s not easy to do- and he played 33 total minutes. I’m sure he’ll be tired tomorrow but as he said after the game, “next to Rondo, I didn’t play good at all. I played not that many minutes…”As soon as Bass is back, Johnson is likely back out of the rotation but these next 10 days will be big for the youngster.
Avery Bradley, SG 8 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | -4
Bradley did a great job of pressuring CJ Watson but with Rondo playing so well there wasn’t really a spot for Doc to sneak him in. After bricking his first jumper, he nailed two with confidence. Baby steps (which you can really visualize from Bradley’s Twitter page).

Three Things We Saw

  1. The Celtics had a bunch of unforced turnovers that really kept the game closer than it should have been in the first half. Many of these TOs came as a result of the C’s trying to push the pace, which was a very welcomed sight.
  2. Luol Deng was pretty bad offensively, but still gave an All Star performance on the defensive end. The buckets Pierce was able to make were extremely tough shots. It’s really hard to see why people don’t think Deng’s deserving of an All Star nod.
  3. The C’s were incredibly active on defense tonight, reacting well, crashing the boards, and getting their hands into passing lanes. It was great to see so many deflections.
  • I_Love_Green

    Start Wilcox and bring JO off the bench. Gives Rondo a big that can run with him, and JO would be going up against the lesser players off the bench.

  • ripsonics

    Absolutely. Bring Wilcox into the starting lineup. He kicks ass.

    Go C's

  • jajuans wingspan

    two observations from the game today (which i was lucky enough to be at): although avery did a good job hounding watson and co, most of the time he did it he wound up over-pressuring him and he eventually drove past him to the hoop. He needs to continue to pressure but not go for the steal. Too many times he gambled and went for the steal and watson would just spin and go to the hoop. If he just plays aggressive but doesnt gamble he's going to be more effective. Number 2, yes rondo had an unbelievable day. But he was undoubtedly in one of his lazy, gambling on defense moods. Wayyyyyyy too many times did he go for the steal or not hustle on defense and it cost us a lot of the time, fortunately he was hitting his shots today and wilcox and the gang did a great job of running the floor to give him easy assist opportunities, but if his outside shot isnt falling, this is a very lazy rondo performance

    • ripsonics

      Your right on the defense. He was great offensively. But, in my opinion, worthless on defense. Got beat a lot.

      Could be attributed to what he was doing on the offensive end tho. Don't get me wrong.. He played a hell of a game, but if rose were there that would have been a very different game.

  • DanDan

    The Bulls are garbage. Wow, what a terrible team.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Thats just foolish

  • LovinTheColorGreen

    Sorry, but it is after a performance like today's that gives Danny a great moment to trade Rondo. Sell high. Because it is only a matter of time before he makes your belief in him look like fools gold. He had some great moments and tonight but for those with discerning eyes, he also did some consistently stupid things that hurt his team, like throw the ball away by making bad decisions, miss close-in jumpers when literally no one was guarding him, and gamble off his man over and over resulting in wide open shots for the other team when playing straight up defense would have gotten the job done against a Rose-less Bulls team. I respect Rondo but having faith in him is pure fool's gold. He will never change and never raise his game to the next level because he is flat out stubborn and doesn't think he needs to change. He is what other teams know he is and that won't get Boston a title.

    • Mark

      Piss off. Tired of you fucking trolls coming to this site and taking a crap all over Rondo.

      • ripsonics

        yikes mark.. i dont know where you've been but there have been a lot of "trolls taking a crap all over Rondo" all week.. and rightfully so.

        Even Bill Simmons, one of the biggest Celtics fans out there believes its time for him to go.

        Just sayin..

        • Mark

          Sorry, I'm just sick of it from C's fans.

          I'm a huge Rondo fan and while I fully agree with those that make the well argued case he isn't an elite PG I disagree with those who don't think he sits at the top of the 2nd tier of PG's. I can name four PG I would take over him right now. Paul, Westbrook, Rose and (maybe) D-Will. We really want to dump, arguably, the fifth best PG in the league? Sure, maybe you don't build around Rondo like the other four but you can clearly build with Rondo and he can make anyone around him better. Very, very few PG can you say that about including the flavor of the months Lin and Rubio.

          As for Simmons, I like him, but he still has a Super Bowl hangover.

        • Jamie

          Simmons had a rant on how he wants to move Rondo on his podcast on Friday (after the Lakers game). said look every team plays 5 feet off of him and if he won't take the 20 footer he's useless.

  • cezsays

    The Rondo hate has been pretty extreme lately. He's having his average Rondo season of extreme ups and downs. However, I feel like the extra urgency that comes with the shortened season is making you guys over-react a bit. No reason to go neurotic after 27 games tho.

    I say trade him in the offseason, if anything. We already knew they were not going to win it this year as is. And, knowing how sensitive they are to change, they aren't going to win it with Gasol/Bradley and the big 3 either.

    • ripsonics

      A rondo – gasol trade would probably go down as the worlds DUMBEST trade in the history of the world.

      lets all pray to Red Auerbach that that doesnt happen.

  • LoveInTheColorGreen

    Trading him during the season makes sense actually. Because A) there will be a lot of teams desperate to make deals at the deadline and B) Deron Williams is still out there. And getting Deron before he becomes a free agent may be the only chance to upgrade the position AND position themselves for a big signing in the off-season (not even going to mention that player's name). I would be shocked if the Rondo rumors don't continue, as I think Danny knows what he has to do to better position the club for the future and trading the older guys isn't going to return enough to get that done.

    • CelticsBIG3

      We're not getting Deron or Dwight so chill

  • CelticsBIG3

    I was in the garden 2nite. When Johnson and Wilcox went back to back on alley oops the roof came off. In contrast, the garden was very upset with Rondo walking the ball up the court when we had a ten point lead and getting trapped unnecessarily. PUSH THE DAMN BALL. I could hear Tommy Heinsohn screaming even though he was only watching 2nite. Good win, but if Rose was there we lost. JJJ and Wilcox were F'N awesome 2nite by the way

  • CelticsBIG3

    Dude he got trapped in the backcourt when we were up ten twice. Ridiculous

  • IBleedGreen

    It doesn't matter what Rondo does this season, I think Ainge already has made up his mind to trade him. He's been shopping Rondo for the last two seasons and will continue to do so. The only reason Rondo is still on the Celtics is because no other teams want him (not even the awful Hornets).

    Forget about DWill or D12 because they are not coming to Boston. I'd say go after Philly, Indiana or Atlanta, try to get some packages around Collison/Granger/Hibbert or Lou Williams/Holiday/Iguodala or Teague/Josh Smith.

  • skeeds

    Aaaaand here we go with the Rondo issue again. You wanna know what's wrong with Rondo? Fans demanding that he's a top 3 PG. Expecting from him to be the franchise player of their dreams. He has to be doesn't he? He's so great at times…
    Guys, that's YOUR problem. Rondo is no Chris Paul, and he'll never be one. He is better than most PG's, and a very, very good player. That's it.

    So stop acting like he's a bust, get a bit realistic and chill out! You don't see Denver bitching about Ty Lawson, or the Pacers desperately wanting to trade Collison do you? What's the matter with Celtics fans? Ofcourse he's tradeable, but giving away your starting PG for anything less than a gamechanger, (read: better pg than him, or player top 5 in his position) makes no sense whatsoever right now.

    • CG12

      It is not unreasonable to get a little miffed with Rondo for such wild swings in his play. There isn't another PG in the league who could follow up a stink bomb like Rondo's Toronto performance with a monster game like yesterday against CHI. And that is what is so frustrating – what is with the blatant mail-it-in effort in Toronto? I get that this season is even more of a slog than an ordinary NBA season, which is bad enough, but if you aren't ready to play, then don't play. Let somebody else get some reps and try to bring a little energy.

      Doc has been yelling at Rondo and this team to run for 5 freaking years and they still only do it every once in a while. Maybe having JJJ and Wilcox running the break with him will get Rondo a little juiced to push the pace. It is a bit of a novelty to have guys who can actually throw down alley-oops.

      As others have said, Rondo's D is worse than it has ever been. I could understand the shoddy team defense when he actually pressured the ball, but the crappy positioning and rotations when he isn't bothering his own man is very frustrating. Rondo giveth, and Rondo taketh away.

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