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Tuesday Notebook: Rondo’s Minutes, Bench Struggles, C’s Fall in Power Rankings

The C’s will be putting together another lengthy practice session in Waltham this afternoon before hosting the Wizards in a rematch Wednesday night. The lengthy rest between these early contests has been a relief for the C’s who have been heavily leaning on Rajon Rondo early on. The point guard has averaged 42.5 minutes over his first three contests. Chris Forsberg at ESPNBoston talked to Doc yesterday over his concern on the workload:

“I’m concerned, not as far as him getting tired, but I don’t want him to save himself on the floor,” said Rivers. “There’s a minutes number for him, we don’t know what it is for him yet — we’ll figure it out — where he can play his minutes at full pace, instead of knowing he’s going to be on the floor too long and then he starts pacing himself. We need him to be a fast, quick, aggressive player.”

Rondo is no stranger to heavy minutes, averaging 42.6 per game in the playoffs last season (and 38.5 per postgame game for his career). At age 26, and being the team’s only true point guard, Rondo expected a heavy workload this season, but Rivers wants to keep him operating at full throttle, particularly on the defensive end where a high energy level is necessary to maintain the brand of defense Boston desires to play.

“I think [his minutes number] in the 39s [or] 38s,” said Rivers. “Not much lower than 40, but it’s in that area.”

Here’s hoping that volume will be able to decrease once Avery Bradley returns from his shoulder surgery next month. 38 minutes a game is a lot for a guy that gets beat up plenty while he is out there. 

For all of the complaints about the second unit and Jeff Green so far, you can make the case guard Jason Terry has struggled the most early on within the C’s offense. Having spent the last 8+ years in a different offensive system, it can’t be a huge surprise he’s off to a slow start Via The Boston Herald

“It’s a lot different here,” Terry said. “Screens are set. I come from a situation where the majority of the time the ballhandler had to get the guy setting the pick the ball. Here we’re trying to get the ballhandler open and get him opportunities. Then he frees up the other guys. It takes a bit of an adjustment, but hopefully by the end of the week we’ll make progress in it.

“It’s a work in progress. I’m a scorer and I’m going to figure it out. Believe me when I tell you, I’ll continue to shoot the ball and take advantage of every opportunity.”

Marc Stein’s power rankings are out as well, and the C’s took a swift fall from their number 4 rank to start out the NBA season. Despite the three ugly contests, the fall isn’t over the top as Boston still remains in the top 10.


down 6
Last Week: 4

You have to rewind to the first lockout-shortened season for the last time the Celts lost a home opener as badly as they did Friday night, when Milwaukee showed up and, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, equaled the 11-point win Toronto scored on Boston’s floor in 1999.
  • steveb

    Rondo often looks like he is conserving energy on D. He can get away with it off the ball but when his man has the ball he can't just give in and let him get to the basket so often. It would be different if he weren't often guarding one of the other teams best scorers. Hard to sag off and roam the defense when you are supposed to be covering Jennings, Nash, Paul, etc.

  • High Rollers

    That first frame at DC was a great silver lining though for a team trying to find itself. The first line of defense is not Rondo, it’s a first five guys who can come out at the horn and set the tone. But you gotta have that before you can really address other issues. If you need proof, look back at some of those contests with Avery Bradley in the line up last year. It’s another month ’til we have him back, but again it’s not one guy. It’s five guys from the horn.

  • High Rollers

    Don’t forget to vote!

  • janos

    Hi Bryan is Janos
    Rondos here ;us on capacity need, short, long, full. Please ask other guys team do better is less pressure him, less mistake;burnouts.

    I work am night shift this week and kids are do grafete warehouse me?. Make so mad, am need good week Cetlics so not get a depress ok; why is peoples do this on walls draw?

  • Switcharoo

    Hey Janos it’s Switch

    Funny that I like reading your posts almost as much as the Celtic Hub itself, but I have to ask, where are you from?
    I admit sometimes your writing is hard to read but usually get the gist of what your saying. I hope I’m not putting you on the spot but ever since I started visiting this site last year I always liked your personality.

  • Jon Jon

    First, Rondo should play 40 minutes per game, 10 minutes per quarter. Giving him 2 minutes of rest per quarter and giving Leandro Barbosa those 2 minutes to keep up the fast pased game, each game.

    Second, The Celtics need to waive Jason Collins or put Fab Melo on the Maine Red Claws so they can pick up Kenyon Martin. Their rebounding is still pretty bad and needs to be fixed asap. K-Mart will give the C's the proper backup center for KG and the toughness when KG needs rest.

    • Go Celts

      Sadly, K-Mart turned down an offer from the Celts before the season started. Thought he would have made a great addition myself.

    • check12check

      detract a minute or so from each quarter and I agree with you

  • swissflix

    Sully is a really good rebounder but he is really bad on transition. KG had to help him out a couple of times and the wizards got some easy buckets because of that. Sully's lack of athleticism is pretty obvious on the offense, too. I would rather have Bass start again because of these issues.
    To watch KG hit raindrop jumper after jumper was just sweet. i love his shot.

    • Josh

      I actually disagree. I think Sully has alot of good tools already as a rook and will only get better. Bass is a disappointment to me, can't stand him. He has waaaaay too many mental mistakes on D and we don't need a big that shoot J's, we need a big that gets rebounds (Sully).

  • Phil

    Its a little strange that the Celtics would be having the problem of too many minutes for Rondo and finding places to get Terry going concurrently. You would think they would have the same solution: Sitting Rondo and using Terry as the primary ballhandler. Admittedly though, I haven't seen Terry excel in any situation so far, that included.

    I'm not worried about Rondo's minutes personally. The team is missing its second best guard after all, and Doc even mentioned that it's just a couple of minutes a game. I'm more worried that Rondo hasn't really shown that clear step up that a lot of us were hoping for. Its been regular season Rondo so far (all star and very good,) but not playoff/MVP Rondo.

  • ghoulbuns

    First weeks bores us. We’s sleeps in late but laters we’s wakes up and fights until deaths am takes us. Bleeds greens.


    Obama for President !!!
    Boston Celtics sucks

  • WTF

    Rondo cannot play more than 35mins a game if you want him at full speed at both ends. That's why you have Terry and Barbosa. Doc is an idiot if he runs rondo into the ground.

    • check12check

      for all the talk of doc being some sort of super coach i have my doubts. Not saying i don't like like what he is doing, but he's no Gregg Popovich.

      • Phil

        Grading whether a guy is good or not based on whether they're better than the best? Did I stumble onto a Patriots blog by mistake?

        The biggest complaint with Doc has always been based on rotations (playing some people too many minutes, burying rookies, etc.) He's also a very clear 2nd best coach in the league, and any negative is massively outweighed by what he gets out of his players, 'and' his ability to actually manage a game. There are very few people in the league who can do both. Aside from Popovich, who would you really say is better? I wouldn't even take Popovich on the Celtics (or Rivers on the Spurs,) because the steadiness of the coaching situation is such an advantage for the very few teams with good coaches.