Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Scal Defends Rondo

It was nice to see Scal step up for Rondo against Tanguay today ...
On Rajon Rondo:“I think he’s a fantastic player. I think he’s very bright. He is the smartest player I’ve ever played with. He understands the game on a higher level. Does he have his moments that are difficult, like if you had to coach him? I would say yes. His relationship with Doc Rivers was fine. Don’t think it wasn’t. Rajon Rondo is a great player.”
Tanguay brought up the usual arguments against Rondo - that he's not consistent, that you don't max a non-scorer, that he's a liability late in games, etc..   Scal pretty much disposed of all that by agreeing that no one is perfect.  Significantly, Scal made a point that I've not seen anywhere other than here:  that smaller players might not be able to dominate as consistently as bigger players, and have to pick and choose more.  I think that is obviously true.  In a game that is built for tall people, shorter and smaller people have to use energy, speed and effort to make up for lack of height and girth, and that just takes more out of you.  The way I remember it, Isiah Thomas was every bit as good a player as Bird, Jordan, Johnson, etc., but he didn't tend to carry his team night in and night out quite the way those bigger guys did.  He picked his spots more.  Rondo does the same.  Even so, every Rondo fan will agree with the Haters that Rondo needs to be more consistent, needs bring it on D more, needs to play at a higher tempo more offense more (and probably needs shorter rests more often, if you ask me);  the problem with the Haters is that they can't seem to see the forest for the trees.   Scal is blunt  - Rondo is a great player, a stud, and those are the players that win you championships.  Couldn't say it better myself.  But I can prescribe watching this video...

All this is from last season, when according to Haters Rondo was crapola.  Watch the way this supposedly washed up scrub, Rondo, literally toys with opposing defenses.  As I've said many times, it's like watching Bobby Orr sometimes.  Often Rondo seems to have every opposing player on a string, and at the same time, he knows exactly where each of his guys is.  The classic Rondo play ends up with a guy literally dropping the ball in the basket like he's dropping a sock in the laundry, because Rondo has befuddled the defense so completely.

Scal also points out what we here have pointed out many times;  Rondo has never had the luxury of a Big Man who can finish.  Yeah, he had KG, but KG didn't like being around the basket that much.  He had Shaq at the tail end of his career and he made Shaq look like he was still a force.  He had Wilcox, and he made Wilcox look big time.  For God's sake, Danny, find a serious rolling Big Man for Rondo, as Scal suggests!  As I understand it, Scal is saying that if you have a hard rolling big man to play pick and roll with Rondo, and guys who can stretch the floor to spot up for threes, you'd have an unstoppable offense, and I think Scalabrine is right about that.

Scal thinks that Rondo and Smart will be able to coexist just fine.  I hope so.  He also thinks that Stevens and Rondo are very much on the same page with each other.  I hope he's right there too.  This season could be a lot of fun if all that is true and Rondo has the big year we are all hoping for....

Monday, October 20, 2014

Brad Stevens says Rondo may return by opening night

I got the feeling that Rondo may return by opening night, or on opening night. Stevens sounds optimistic about Rondo's return for the first game of the season.

ESPN Boston

Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said there's a possibility that Rajon Rondo could be ready for game action on opening night later this month, but the point guard cautioned against setting a firm timeline while he recovers from a fractured left hand.

Stevens believes he'll be back, but Rondo is being a bit more cautious, or just playing it safe.

"I don’t know. I still haven’t had any contact yet," Rondo said when asked about the potential to play on opening night. "The opener is a little bit over a week away. I don’t want to set goals; I just want to go as my hand heals."

"It doesn’t bother me at all when I dribble the ball, catch the ball," said Rondo. "But it’s night and day from trying to brace myself hitting the floor or going into the lane and somebody smacks my hand."

This is great either way. Rondo will be back sooner than expected.

There's More To Fandom

Celticsblog has a pretty good piece on Rondo today.  The gist was this:

Great players are incredibly hard to find in the NBA. You have to get lucky somehow - in the draft, free agency, what have you - to land even one of them. Assembling two or three of them in order to become a contender? Sometimes seems like it takes a miracle. When you get a transcendent talent in the fold, you do what you can to keep it. That's how this league works. And the Celtics, bless their hearts, understand that principle better than anyone.
Russell. Cousy. Havlicek. Cowens. Bird. McHale. Pierce. All were Celtics their entire careers, save for a couple of brief blips in the final seasons. More or less Boston lifers. Who's to say Rondo can't be the next?
Obviously he's seen better days in Boston than the ones he's enduring in 2014, but Rondo could pull through. ...
So if you're one of those people who's ready to move on from Rondo, I have to ask you - where's your perspective? Can't you look back and remember all the great things the Celtics accomplished in their history, and how all of them began by having a franchise player in place? Can't you look past a couple of losing seasons and see the bigger picture? To give up now, well... it just seems to run counter to everything the franchise is about.

Thank god someone in the commentariat finally brings this up.   Yes.  Athletes are NOT just 'pieces' or 'assets'.   I thought we Celtics fans understood that better than most, but in recent years, it hasn't seemed that way.  Danny treats players - whether journeymen or future HOFers - like trading cards, and most fans and commentators seem not only fine with that, but actually celebrate that.   Churn churn churn.  The Ainge Express runs day and night.   I thought it was beautiful when Rondo pointed out on media day, indirectly, that loyalty is a two way street.  I'd like to see fans back Rondo up on that.  Let's slow down the Ainge Express.

As CelticsBlog points out, many Celtics greats have had to endure down years.  Russell and Bird are really the only ones who escaped this fate.  Cousy's career started out tough.   Havlicek. Pierce and Cowens had to battle through multiple losing seasons after being on the top (briefly in Pierce's case).  In Cowens' case, the dark years were especially tough.  Auerbach got into contract disputes with Havlicek and Silas, if memory serves, and started tearing the team apart.  Then ownership changed and Auerback almost left as guys like Macadoo, Wickes and Rowe were brought on board - great players, but not right for a team led by Big Red Cowens.  Cowens even took a sabbatical before coming back and giving his all in one of the Cs' alltime worst seasons.  Then Bird came and Cowens successfully lent his efforts to building a bridge into a new winning era for the Celtics.   Loyalty meant so much  back then.  Where is it now?  Now we have a GM who claims that the Celtics should have dealt Bird and Mchale,  when they got old, and a fandom/commentariat that seems all too willing to buy into that myth.

Loyalty doesn't mean everything, but loyalty does matter.  If Rondo shows this season that he is willing to reassert himself on the defensive end, then it's time for Danny to give him a no-trade contract, and it's time for the fandom to call for this.

Today, CelticsBlog got it right.


This discussion of Kobe Bryant is interesting in connection with the topic of the value of loyalty to players.  The Lakers are taken to task for not dumping Kobe, since Kobe, we are told, is responsible for chasing off top free agents, such as Dwight Howard.
The Lakers meeting took place in Beverly Hills on July 2 in the modernist, windowless conference room at Relativity Media -- the offices of Howard's agent. Kupchak, Howard's closest ally on the team, prepped the Lakers' pitch. One big point: Listen carefully. Another: Dress appropriately. "Our approach," a Lakers source explained at the time, "is that we are interviewing for the job. We want to show that this is a place his dreams can come true."
As the Lakers' contingent settled into the conference room's ergonomic chairs, it was clear that two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash, in a nice crisp shirt, listening attentively, was running Kupchak's game plan. But Bryant showed up, according to a person in the room, in "hoops shorts, a T-shirt and a gold chain." He had also packed an attitude.Galleryf Fame CareergesWhen Howard asked why his teammates let the injured center take all the flak when the Lakers' season went south, Nash said he didn't know that Howard had felt that way and that had he known, he would have acted differently. Bryant, on the other hand, offered a crash course in developing thick skin and a mini lecture on learning how to win. Sources told ESPN Insider Chris Broussard that Bryant's lecture was "a complete turnoff" for Howard.

So the Lakers should bag on Kobe, who helped bring them five titles, because he didn't sweet talk Dwight(mare) Howard?!!  The article goes on to talk about how the game is supposedly changing, such that ball dominant players are no longer welcome.  So let me get this straight:  because the Spurs have won every title over the last decade, each time with no dominant players, the game is clearly changing, right?  Only, the Spurs have not dominated to such an extent, and when they did dominant, Duncan was the best player in the game.  Yet many fans and commentators will no doubt agree that the Lakers should dump one of their alltime greatest players, and the reason - get this  - is to attract great players (even though the supposedly evolving  game no longer requires great players supposedly)!  So being disloyal to Kobe is going to attract other great players to the Lakers?


The arguments against Kobe parallel the arguments made against Rondo.  Rondo too, we are told, alienates teammates and makes free agents not want to come to Boston.  As far as I am concerned, those are free agents and teammates we don't need.  They should go, not Rondo.  Also, we are told that Rondo should be measured by his willingness to submit to Stevens' system (similar points are made in the Kobe article about Kobe - that one of his faults is not submitting to Dantoni's system). - but if Rondo is a transformational player, which I would say he obviously is - how can he simply fit into someone's system?  Great players shape the game.  It's not the other way around.  Kobe is no saint, but he's one of the game's greats.   Rondo may be one of those too.  You build around talent like that, whatever it takes.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jared Sullinger plays huge in win over Nets, Sully on the mark in preseason

Jared Sullinger has played at an All-Star level so far in the preseason. Sullinger is coming off of back-to-back 21 point games. Sully grabbed 19 rebounds in 28 minutes Sunday against the Nets, and that could be the biggest key for Sully moving forward. Sully is averaging nearly 15 points in preseason action, and that's not a huge jump from his average last season. That doesn't bother me, because it's the preseason, and I see how well he's played in the three 20 plus point games.


"He was good," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. "I want him to play as many minutes as he can right now. It's good for him. He's playing well. Hopefully he can continue."

"He's working hard, a great piece to what we're trying to accomplish," Celtics forward Jeff Green told reporters after the game. "Hopefully he continues to put up numbers like that."

Sullinger did what he had to do for a Boston win Sunday. He grabbed 6 out of Boston's 20 offensive rebounds, and he made three from three-point land. Sully is 22, and this is the year that could help define his career. He could either take a giant leap, or he'll be a solid pro. Either way Sully will be a solid NBA player for years to come.

Maybe the threat of Love put something into Sullinger. Jared has slimmed down a bit, but he still has the size to control the paint.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fly, Rondo!

The way I read some of the recent positive comments from Rondo about the Celtics and about Brad Stevens is that he is trying very hard to make the best of the situation he is in.  I hope it's more than that.  From the Herald:
for the second straight year, and probably more this time, Rondo likes the message. Stevens’ mantra is positive and detail-heavy, and Rondo considers it infectious.
“He’s very positive — the most positive coach I’ve been around in my career, and it’s hard not to play for a guy like that,” Rondo said this week. “That’s every day — not just in the locker room. He’s that way off the court, with his family. He’s a role model. He has all of the characteristics of a great leader. He’s great at what he does. He’s all about the team.”
I believe that Brad Stevens is easy to like - though I would caution Rondo not to think that Steven's likability would prevent Stevens from pushing Rondo under the bus, if that seemed advantageous,  much the way that Doc backed away from defending Rondo when Doc began to feel the heat during the (Bob Ryan produced) controversy over Rondo's double digit assist streak in 2012-2013.    Even so, this sounds like boilerplate from Rondo, much like Stevens' praise for Rondo has often sounded like boilerplate.  What are these guys supposed to say when asked about each other?  Until the situation changes, they are tied to each other.

Will it change?  I still think it will.  I find a paragraph like this quite ominous:
Not all of the theory connects, either.
“The only thing I don’t like about those [advanced stats] is that they don’t measure your heart,” he said, using a former teammate as an example. “They told me that Big Baby (Glen Davis) shot only 33 percent from the elbow, but I want Big Baby on my team in the playoffs and in crunch time, when I’m in the fight. You can’t tell me Big Baby is all about the shot he’s taking. He’ll take the charge. It’s also about the intangibles.
“Everything depends on how you look at it, who a person is on the court with all of those things. But you can’t measure heart.”
Rondo is more open, though also not sold yet, on the idea of quantifying group chemistry.
“With them, anything is possible,” he said of Stevens’ staff. “If you study teams from the past it varies. Last year you had San Antonio. They put up a stat about how many passes they threw and how many guys touched it. Or you have a team that runs the triangle. Every team varies. I don’t think we passed the ball as much when we were winning. We had great plays, but maybe it was one pass and shot, because you had the players. If not, maybe you have to have more ball movement. You have less talent, you probably have to pass the ball more. When you have a guy like KG (Kevin Garnett) or Paul Pierce, you let them make the plays. You just have to know what you can do as a coach.”
Rondo believes that this is the best part for the Celtics. Stevens has accomplished something that eludes many first-time NBA coaches. His team has bought in.
“The key for any successful team is for everyone to buy in, and he has everyone believing in his plan,” said Rondo. “If we continue to do that, we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

When one watches old film, one can see that Rondo and Big Baby had a very good feel for each other at times.  At his best, Baby really was a scrapper, who didn't shy away from mixing things up inside.  He was not as consistent as Bass is, but I understand why Rondo would stick up for him.  Rondo is also talking good talk about signing onto Stevens' gameplan, but what I notice is that there is no talk of Stevens' signing onto Rondo's gameplan.  All this talk about numerically evaluating the number of ball touches makes me a bit sick,  as does all this emulation of the Spurs.  It's not the game of basketball I love.   The stats-obsessed folks are out to destroy the romance of the game, which as far as I am concerned, is the only reason it is interesting.  I remember playground days.  I remember everyone trying to work out their own unique approach to the game of basketball, their own unique ways of trying to make the most of whatever skills they had.  We felt that we were re-creating the game.  We weren't trying to perfect already understood skills.

I'm not saying that well thought out strategies are pointless, or that well-considered and detailed statistical analysis is useless, of course.  What I don't like is obsession with these things.  I don't like suppression of the role of the individual player and elevation of the role of the coach.  Specifically, as regards Rondo and the Celtics, it sounds to me like Rondo is being subjected to the group think that has also, I would say,  become the dominant group-think around the blogs:  that we need to have a no-name style that emphasizes extra passes and ball movement.  No matter that we have the best playmaker in the game on our team.  Doesn't matter.  The way it sounds, the player must be forced to suit the system.  Rondo must be forced to bow his head to the Spurs paradigm.  And what are they going to do if Lebron wins a title again this year?  Are we going to see everyone genuflecting to the star system again?

Rondo made me love basketball again, and it's because of the things about him that the bone-crushing system people seem to hate - Rondo's eccentrically unique personality and his creative approach to the game.  We don't need to be taking the ball out of the hands of the best playmaker in the game.  What we need from Rondo is tougher defense and faster pace.  When you have the best playmaker and the best transition pg in the game, you should give him the ball and fly.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Joel Anthony spends a short time in Boston, how long will Bynum stay?

The Celtics earned or saved some money with the latest deal that sent former Heat center Anthony out of Boston for Will Bynum from the motor city.If the Celtics ultimately elect to waive Bynum, the $900,000 savings from the trade would give them additional flexibility with the goal of staying under the tax line this season.


Bynum, 31, is in the final year of a contract that will pay him $2.9 million this season, while Anthony, 32, also in the final year of his contract, will earn $3.8 million.

It is unclear exactly what role, if any, the Celtics envision for the veteran guard, who joins a roster that's already stuffed with perimeter players.

"Right now, we're just going to take a deep breath and let the trade go through," said Mark Bartelstein, Bynum's agent. "Danny [Ainge] and I, I'm sure we'll talk and see what makes the most sense for everybody. We're gong to keep an open mind right now and not jump to any conclusions."

It appears that the situation Bynum was dealing with in Detroit - too many guards - is as bad or worse than what he's walking into in Boston.

I don't see Bynum staying long for Boston.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Rondo "I'm Doing pretty good"

I get the feeling that Rondo will be ready to go opening night, which is about 2 weeks away. This could be Rondo's year, and it's expected to be as he's looking for a new deal. The NBA ranked him as the 37th best player in the league, and that should be some fire under Rondo.

ESPN Boston

"I’m doing pretty good, my hand is feeling better each day," Rondo said in an interview posted on the team's website. "I’m able to do new things with the ball on the court, just not accepting contact right now. ... It's frustrating. I’m staying in good spirits and, in due time, I’ll play."

"I’m just giving advice when [teammates] need it," Rondo said. "I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, but when they are out there and they might make a mistake or they’re not sure what to do, I just give them some advice. I let Coach do his job, but at the end of the day, I am the leader and the vet on this team and I try to coach when I need to."

That's right Rondo, and at the end of the day. I believe the best player needs to partner with the coach. But, at the end of the day Rondo is the leader, and Stevens needs to know that and use that. Rondo can understand, and get the players more so than Stevens. They need to share a partnership to make this team work and partnership work.

Celtics beat the 76ers easily, Sullinger shines again

Jared Sullinger scored a team-high 21 points for Boston while connecting on eight of 10 shots in Boston's 111-91 win over Philly. The Celtics as a team player very well against a sixer team that has been pretty bad since the 2012 season. Jeff Green had 18 points in 31 minutes, as he looked better in his second game back. Marcus Smart missed all four shots he took and was held scoreless, and it's just the case of inconsistent play as a rookie. His defense was great though, and that's Avery Bradley like, or the young version.

The Celtics improve to 3-3 on the exhibition season. The Celtics look better than last seasons version, and it's all without Rondo. I think this tea will be even better with their captain back. Oh, let's not forget the sound game by Turner. Evan finished with 6 points, but he had 10 assists, and he finished with 5 rebounds. I love how he's played so far.

Box Score

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Green returns against Raptors, but Celtics fall on final second three

I liked how the Celtics played tonight. They missed a lot of baskets that should have went in, or could have went in. Green is still trying to get his legs back, but in Boston's first play Turner, and Green perfected a pick-and-roll that led to a Green slam. Green finished with nine points on 3-of-12 shooting in Boston's 92-89 loss. Marcus Thornton played great off the bench again, leading the Celtics with 17 points in 17 minutes.

I think Thornton is Jordan Crawford all over again, but better. Thornton doesn't need to hold the ball, and he doesn't need to create his own shots. He reminds me of a taller, and bigger Eddie House. Will see if his hot shooting trickles into the season. I think Thornton of course brings great value off the bench, and for the Celtics overall. But I think his value could come in a trade for Boston. He's a playoff teams dream. The Celtics could be a sleeper in the Eastern Conference. But Thornton could be huge for a team right on the verge of a title.

Tyler Zeller had his best game with 13 points, off of 6-of-6 shooting. Evan Turner was solid again with 11 points, 6 assists, and 7 rebounds in 27 minutes. Turner started over Marcus Smart as Green started at small forward in his return. Speaking of Smart, he struggled a bit. He hit a pair of three's, but he had some rookie issues. Smart did hit three big freebies in the 4th to put the Celtics in place to steal this preseason game. The Celtics attempted 30 three's, but they only made 8. Only if a few more had went in. The Celtics may have won this game in Maine.

Brad Stevens likes the NBA thinking outside the box

I agree with Stevens on the fact that it's great to try new things, and to allow your brand to change. On the other hand I hate the experiment that the league will put on the court this Sunday when the Celtics and Nets clash. I personally believe the NBA should cut a commercial or two out to save time, but that's money out of their pocket.. Or the NBA could cut the pregame crap down? Try that first.

ESPN Boston

"I’m just interested in experiencing it," Stevens said. "We were in our coaches’ meeting and we brought it up briefly in the coaches-only meeting, then we met with everybody else in the NBA. [Nets coach] Lionel [Hollins] and I talked a little bit about it, and we both said, ‘Hey, we’re playing three straight times,’ it’s something that, if we’re both interested in doing it, why not try it?"

The Celtics and Nets play three times in the span of 11 days later this month. Boston's final two exhibition games are against Brooklyn (Sunday and Wednesday) and the Nets return to TD Garden for the season opener on Oct. 29.

"One of the neat parts about being in the NBA is they are very forward-thinking," Stevens said. "I think one of the frustrations about being involved in any major industry is how slow change can happen. But I’m really encouraged because the NBA seems to be really quick to try things and to see if it works. To be in that experimental game is going to be a neat experience for our guys."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jeff Green set to return Sunday, and will he start this season for the Celtics?

Brad Stevens said Jeff Green responded well to his return to practice on Monday after missing 10 days due to a left calf strain.


Green, who led the Celtics in scoring last season with a 16.8 points per game average, has been out because of a left calf injury.

It did not appear to be serious, but the Celtics were not in a hurry to bring him back for fear that it might evolve into a lingering-type injury.

Stevens said he has received no medical reports indicating he should remain out or be limited in any fashion upon returning.

"So I'm assuming he's good to go tomorrow (versus Toronto)," Stevens said.

Green's return to the lineup comes at a time when the Celtics, like most teams around the NBA, are trying to get a better feel for what their regular season rotation will look like.

Jeff Green is returning with some competition. Evan Turner has been solid, and consistent so far, and I think he has a good chance taking Green's starting spot. Grantland talked about Jeff Green being the one traded, and not Rondo this season. I think that's about right. Jeff Green is replaceable, and I think Ainge found that in Turner.

ESPN Boston

Boston will keep Rajon Rondo and trade Jeff Green

Gather all the intel you’d like, and this will still be a borderline 50/50 guess on both guys.

Boston has gauged the market for both over the last year or so, and its expected price for Rondo has been sky-high, per several league sources. That price will drop as Rondo’s deal ticks toward expiration, but the market for him is thin. Point guard is stacked leaguewide, and Rondo is 28, coming off ACL surgery, and seeking a max contract as he approaches free agency. A few suitors could wait to chase him in the offseason instead of dealing assets now and risking that Rondo walks in July. ...

I truly hate bagging on a player, but I think the Green era needs to end. I think the Celtics need to get "assets" for Green at this point and time. That's the smarter deal any day of the week over trading Rondo. Rondo's the franchise player and Green is not..

The NBA wants to experiment with the Celtics, and Nets Sunday

I'll tell you right now. I don't like this. The game is already fast. This isn't baseball, and it's not football. This doesn't shed a lot of time overall, and why mess with it?

USA Today

The NBA will look how a 44-minute game impacts length of the game, player-substitution patterns and flow of the game to determine if there's a better experience.

One game is a small sample size, and it's possible the NBA experiments with 44-minute games next preseason and in the D-League, which is often used a testing ground for ideas.

The Nets and Celtics volunteered to participate in the 44-minute game experiment, which will include a different mandatory timeout schedule.

Each quarter will have two mandatory timeouts at the first dead ball under 6:59 and the first dead ball under 2:59, and the game will have two fewer mandatory timeouts than a normal game. In a 48-minute game, there are three mandatory timeouts in the second and fourth quarters, and the first mandatory timeout comes at the first dead ball under 5:59.

The league will pay close attention to the length of that game. The total time of an average NBA game is about two hours, 15 minutes.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Evan Turner, and Avery Bradley don't want to let up once the season starts

Avery Bradley has worked hard to become a two way player in the NBA. Bradley's growth on the offensive end has been well documented, and it's earned him a key role as one of the Celtics offensive weapons. Bradley averaged a career best 14.8 points per game last year in the post Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett era. Bradley intends on taking his scoring to an entire different level this season.


"I just try to be aggressive, take what the defense gives me," Bradley said. "One thing that [Celtics coach] Brad [Stevens] always tells everyone, if you have an opportunity to shoot the ball, shoot it. Don't hesitate."

"I feel like I take some good shots, but there are some shots I can improve," Bradley said. "I sit down with the coaches and they help me to continue to get better every single day. That's what I'm going to try and do, whatever I can help this team win games."

"I've come very far," said Bradley, whose scoring average has increased every season he has been in the league. "It comes from me being hungry and continuing to get better. It's crazy. Like everyone on this team is like that; they want to get better. We're all young. We know the sky's the limit for us. We want to continue to improve."

I think Bradley is young enough to reach greater heights in the NBA. The only thing that has truly set him back has been the injury issues in the past. I can't wait to see if Bradley can knock on the door of being one of the best two guards in the game. As for Evan Turner so far, he's been a pleasant surprise.

ESPN Boston

"Evan is a prideful guy," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "When you're a former national player of the year, who is a guy that wasn't all that heavily sought after coming out of high school, he's got a little chip on his shoulder.

"We talked about one of the things we are excited about the addition of Evan for us is that he's got even more hunger added to his norm, just because of the way last year ended for him. And I think he's looking at it as a fresh start and a start that he can take advantage of. He's certainly done that. I very much trust him in the game right now."

I think Boston brings out the best in some players. Evan Turner wanted to be here, and now he's looking a nice clean slate. Turner is only 25, and he has around 6-8 years if he stays healthy to be a really good player in the NBA.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Celtics take another loss, fall to New York 96-80

Thornton and Jared Sullinger each scored a team-high 15 points, in Boston's loss to New York 96-80. The Celtics dropped their second game in a row after they won their first two games. Brad Stevens rested some of his guys after the Celtics played 4 games in 6 nights. Kelly Olynyk and Gerald Wallace were the players who took the night offer. Marcus Smart had his third poor shooting game out of four preseason games. Smart was 1-of-5 from the field Saturday night.

"When we went to our bench, we struggled to score," Stevens said. "Those young guys played really hard, but they're tight. They don't get a chance to play all the time and all of a sudden, you throw them in the fourth quarter of a game and expect them to do something."

The Celtics seem inconsistent, but come on, it's the preseason. The Celtics looked great in the first two games, and not bad Friday night against the Raptors, despite the defense letting up for the C's. The Celtics player their worst game of the short preseason against the Knicks..

"You learn a lot when you play four games in six days," Stevens said. "It's been more positive than not. But we've got a lot of room to improve."

Box Score

Friday, October 10, 2014

Rondo particpates in non-contact work

Good news on the Rondo front. I believe that he'll be back by opening tip, or at least I hope he'll be. I can only imagine how well Rondo and the Celtics would be doing right now..

ESPN Boston

Stevens noted Friday how Rondo has engaged in some light shooting and skeleton offense, but is unlikely to do much defensively until he's cleared for contact.

Stevens said Friday that it will still be a bit before Rondo is likely to be cleared for contact.

"We’ll know more hopefully in 10 days or so when he will get that word," Stevens told reporters before Friday's game in Toronto.