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Danny Ainge Unsure When KG Will Return, Expresses Doubts about Trading Rondo

Boston’s presidents of basketball operations, Danny Ainge joined Felger and Mazz late yesterday on 98.5 The Sports Hub, to cover a wide-ranging set of topics including Jeff Green’s ability, Kevin Garnett’s status and the future of Rajon Rondo. Here are a few of the more noteworthy highlights from the interview.

On KG’s status this week: “I’m not sure[when he will return]. I really don’t know. Last night, he was not only still a little bit sore, but he was sick, he had the flu. We’re being extra careful with Kevin. We don’t want him missing a short time turned into a long time, so we’ll be very careful with him and just take it day by day. I honestly don’t know. I’m not even sure if Kevin knows whether he’ll play Wednesday or Friday, or the next week. No guarantees, I don’t have timetable. I don’t know. Day to day.”

On whether Rondo or Bradley will be traded this offseason: “I can’t envision any scenario, no. I love those guys,” said Ainge. “Rondo is right in the prime of his career and Avery isn’t even there yet – he’s going to continue to get better. I think they’re a great guard combo. To even consider something like that would have to be something significant.”

On Green’s recent hot streak: “If you look at his last 23 games, since the Rondo injury, Jeff’s offensive efficiency is like fifth in the league. That’s really all you can ask for, because the way we play we need different guys. We don’t have a Durant or Kobe to score 30 points every night we need different guys to step up every night,”

On the team playing better without Rondo this year: “Our team has played better, but what’s interesting is when we went on our first winning streak Rajon was playing great basketball. Then we went on a losing streak and Rondo was one of the few guys playing good. Then Rajon gets hurt and we’ve responded well, with a couple bombs, in the last 20 games. This is the pattern we’ve been with or without Rajon,” explained Ainge. “We did the same thing last year; we were miserable and had a terrible basketball team and then we went out and had a great second half and almost got Miami.”

Interesting words, especially about KG’s status. Team obviously wisely wants to play it cautious with him. Ainge wants to defend his guys and I get that, but I’d also say that’s a bit of revisitionist history with Danny saying Rondo was playing great basketball before he went down. That’s just simply not true, but it doesn’t matter now anyway.

To listen to the full interview click HERE

  • Sophomore

    The KG situation is definitely preying on my nerves. I remember the way the Cs handled his injury in 2009 and then Shaq's. Hoping this really is a minor thing, as advertised….

    • hydrofluoric

      Seconded… this is the single biggest story to me.

      Of course we're 2-1 without KG this season including zero embarrassing losses to the Bobcats and a thriller against Miami, maybe the team is better without him?!?!

      (On a more serious note, the two games without KG were the same ones where Jeff exploded…)

  • KillerGymRat

    Wow Brian, what a stupid comment to add to what was a pretty solid article up until this line:

    "But I’d also say that’s a bit of revisitionist history with Danny saying Rondo was playing great basketball before he went down. That’s just simply not true.".

    I think you might want to check the stat sheets because your comment is absurd. Rondo was playing incredible before he went down. I'll spare you the effort and let everyone else on here see for themselves.

    Rondo's last 5 games prior to injury (including playing an OT with a torn ACL in a SEGABABA on the road)

    ATL: 16 pts 11 ast 10 rebs (4 oreb) and 1 stl
    NYK: 23 pts 11 ast 10 rebs 3 stl
    CLE: 17 pts 8 ast 13 rebs (3 oreb)
    DET: 8 pts 15 ast 9 rebs (3 oreb) 3 stls
    CHI: 30 pts 7 ast 2 rebs 2 stls

    Final 3 games average:

    18.6 ppg 10 ast 11 reb (2.33 oreb) 1.3 stl

    Final 4 games average

    16 ppg 11.2 ast 10.5 rebs (2.5 oreb) 2.3 stl

    The guy averaged a friggin tripple double and over 10 rebounds from the friggin PG spot through his last 4 games and had back-to-back true tripple-doubles before his injury .

    That's not great basketball????

    Tell you what those numbers say to me. It is absolutely true Rondo was killing it. And you have a selective memory.

    • KillerGymRat

      Just to put Rondo's play into perspective. Over the same 5 game stretch here are the other top players averages:

      13.8 ppg 3.6 ast 6.6 reb 0.8 stl

      16 ppg 1.8 ast 8 reb 1 stl

      9.6 ppg 0.6 ast 4.2 reb 0.2 stl

      6.6 ppg 0.4 ast 8 reb 0 stl

      Over his last 5 games Rondo led the team in points, assists, steals AND rebounds – and of course turnovers. Rebounds wasn't even close. It's easy to remember Sully as killing it on the boards, but Rondo was even better before he went down.

      • hydrofluoric

        Phenomenal post. It's forgivable for a fan to forget how well Rondo was playing since every single one of those incredible performances came during a 6-game losing streak (hell I did…) But Brian should have done more research before contradicting Danny…

        • KillerGymRat

          Thanks hydro!

  • fabzzz

    Well he did put up good numbers, true. But don’t we have a better record without him? And do you think its a coincidence guys like green and pierce and lee are playing better now? Also, how many turnovers? How was his defense?

    You can’t simply take three or four statistics and understand a players performance, especially over only a five game stretch. So I don’t think Brian was wrong. Its not a fluke that the Celtics are winning and although rondo is a great player, we can partly thank his absence for the victories

    • KillerGymRat

      Then I'll leave you and Brian in delusion-land. Where you ignore a players remarkable stats (especially when compared to the rest of the team) and act like they don't mean anything. While instead using deductive reasoning and coincidence to measure value.

      By that insanity we must be better without Sully and Barbosa too.

      If we beat Miami you'd probably be saying we are better without KG because we won 2 straight.


      • fabzzz

        I don't think I would ever say that.

        And Sully and Barbosa were role players, they did not have the ball in their hands for 60% of the game. Its not that Rondo isn't a gifted player and the most talented or most productive player on the team, its that his style and the roster's style don't mesh. So when Brian claims he didn't play well he has a point. Its his job, while on a roster that isn't the suns or the bobcats – a talented roster – to win us games. Too often he lost them.

        Would you defend Rondo

        • fabzzz

          Forget the last line. Wasnt going anywhere with it.

          • KillerGymRat

            Brian has a right to say whatever he wants (as do you). But there are simply no facts to support his point. Or yours. So it's just a baseless opinion. The facts point to Rondo not only playing great – but at an elite level as good as anyone in the league, leading the league in assists (he still does), and his rebounding average would rank 9th in the entire NBA.

            But somehow that's all being ignored because we lost those games. Don't PP, KG, the rest of the team or even Doc get any of the blame?

            Apparently not in this argument.

            Look at Pierce's numbers during that losing streak. He was terrible. He also averaged almost 4 turnovers a game. Danny was accurate when he said Rondo was the only guy playing well during those losses.

            You can put the entire blame of the losses on Rondo if you want. But that isn't a fact. It's an opinion. And another groundless one since if you look at the numbers of everyone else in those games – they are terrible (save for KG who was about average).

            Teams win games. Not one player. And definitely not a player averaging a tripple double.

            Rondo never had a chance to play in the spread, so we'll never know if he meshed or not. But I wish I got to see it. IMO you add Rondo to this current roster and we not only beat Miami, we give them nightmares.