Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rondo Debate Over?

Unofficially, the Haters have won the Rondo debate.  The Celtics are flying (sort of) and the Mavs are dying (four game losing skid, many losses against key opponents in West).  Rondo affected the Mavs much as the Haters predicted - well, actually, as nearly everyone predicted - the Mavs offense, once the league's best, has struggled.  Rondo has hurt the team's spacing and he's confused Carlisle's flow offense with his ball dominant ways and the loss of two key bench guys in the Rondo trade has also hurt the Mavs.  The debate between Haters and Rondo fans seems to be so over, so run and done that it's not even heard anymore.    Smart is the future.  Rondo is the past.

The debate is so over that the Haters have mostly stopped crowing about it.

I'm not really so surprised at how things have turned out.   I tried to talk myself into believing in the Celtics this season,  but I felt that things would go badly.  I think that Danny made a deliberate point of shaming Rondo this summer and this year.   He made a point of focusing on pgs as he prepped for the draft and then he drafted the most NBA ready pg in the draft, clearly Rondo's heir apparent.  Then the first guy he called when free-agency started was a pg.  Then Danny brought Evan Turner in and Stevens groomed Turner to be a point guard.  IT WASN'T EXACTLY SUBTLE!!  And it wasn't hard to figure that the result would be difficulties for Rondo.  Rondo's demeanor is infamously stoic, to put it nicely, and Rondo's approach to the game of basketball can be calculating (the search for triple doubles, assist titles and double digit assist streaks), but underneath that, his game is all heart and his heart had to be hurting when he was playing for the Celtics this year.

So let the Haters crow all they want, or whatever.  They may eat crow yet.  Neither they nor anyone else could have predicted Rondo's historically bad shooting and it's foolish to suggest that this bad shooting proves Haters right.  Yes Rondo's shooting has always caused some problems for his teammates on offense and it was predictable that the resulting 'spacing' problems (Rondo's guy being able to cheat off him too much) would cause some problems for Dallas, as it has this season for the Cs, but Rondo has typically been a decent-to-good shooter from some spots.  This season he has at times shown some improvement on shooting threes, but every other shot, it seems,  has been not just bad, but truly awful.  Rodman level awful.  Or even worse.  Clearly, this has more to do with Rondo's heart and mind than with his actual shooting ability, which actually seemed  to have improved when he first returned from his ACL injury.

Meanwhile there have been some good surprises in Rondo's Dallas sojourn.  The Haters said that Rondo couldn't play defense, but he's been good defensively since he went to Dallas, overall, and at times brilliant.  The Haters said that Rondo couldn't sublimate himself in favor of his star teammates in Dallas, but Rondo has done exactly that, taking a back seat to all four of his fellow starters and accepting without challenge some  late game benchings.   Rondo has set his ego aside to the point where he has given up the assist race, something that I think Haters and fans can agree had to have been close to his heart.  And lately Rondo's game has been showing signs of coming back...
It's not just that he's been making some pretty plays, even dazzling plays.  It's that he's showing flashes of the sort of authoritative play that bodes well.  Slump or no slump, funk or no funk,  Rondo is one of the most talented players in the game and the Mavs are one of the most talented teams in the league.  If Rondo keeps playing tough D and if he starts to play with more authority without sacrificing pace and if his shot starts to fall and if he and his teammates start to 'feel' each other more, this season could turn around for both Rondo and the Mavs.  Life is no fairy tale, but sometimes talent does triumph over adversity.

I hear you cawing crows, Haters and boobirds.  But dawn may be coming and it may be time for you to scatter.   You love the darkness and you leave a lot of crap, but your misrule may be over before you think...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tanking not happening in Boston

Didn't Danny send put the memo after the Rondo trade that winning games is not okay? This season has been an ultimate gut punch.. I have watched mainly Rondo games in Dallas over the rebuilding Celtics. I know I sound like an awful fan, but I feel wronged by Ainge. So that's my story. I love my Celtics and I will soon move on from Ainge's trader Danny ways. Maybe he's right for all of the moves, but time will tell. I still can't stand what has become of the Celtics. Let me put aside my pity party for a moment, so I can talk about what's happening with the Celtics.

As most of you know the Celtics are 2 games out from the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference. They have managed to pull off a winning record on their 6 game west road trip. The Celtics have won 3 of 5 games, and they nearly beat the best team in the NBA Sunday night in Oakland. This young, and slightly old team has put together some nice basketball. Tayshaun Prince came over from the Jeff Green trade, and the 34-year-old has proven to be a true teammate despite being a possible rent a player. He's not apart of the future, but at least he's making the best of his current status in the NBA.

The Celtics coach said this about Prince after Boston's win Monday night in Utah.

"[Prince] made us better today," Stevens told reporters in Utah. "He made us better with his play."

Tayshaun Prince, scored a team-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting with five assists and two rebounds over 30 minutes. Prince is likely moved by the trade deadline, because come on Ainge is Ainge. Prince is showcasing his skills so a contending team bites by giving Ainge another draft pick or two. I would be shocked at this point if Ainge is unable to deal Prince. I question Ainge because the Celtics are still winning, and they couldn't do that with Rondo and company? I know that the Celtics wouldn't contend this season, but Ainge gave up because he didn't believe in Rondo, and he's looking for a team that rebuild for the next 5 years or so. Ainge has put the Celtics in a good spot. I admit that, but your crazy if you don't believe that Ainge has hurt the Celtics in free agency. Who wants to play in Boston? Not many players, and that's how it's been. Now Ainge has shown to other high profile players that you won't retire here, and that will toss you aside when we're done with you.

The fabric of the Celtics has been loyalty, and that is truly dead, and I guess that's not pro sports anymore. But when you do see other franchises showing loyalty in this age. It makes you think of what could have been. This season has been unpleasant for me, and hard to stomach. I'm of course still broken up about the state of the Celtics. I hope I snap out of it..

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rondo finds his game in Mavs to New Orleans

It was a hard loss for Dallas Sunday against the up and coming Pelicans. Anthony Davis scored 28 points, and he grabbed 10-rebounds, with a go-ahead free throws in the final seconds and a pivotal steal. The Pelicans escaped with a 109-106 win over the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night. The Mavericks fell down big a couple of times but they took the lead as well in that stretch.

As for Rondo he looked like Rondo once again. He posted a Rondo like stat line with 17 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds. He was also pretty huge in the other areas on the floor that don't have stats. The Mavs seem like a team that will peak at the right time, and right it's not the time. There was a key moment in Rondo and Carlise's reparations. Rick was going to take Rondo out, but Rajon told him no and Carlise took Rondo's word.

One of the broadcasters brought something up about Rondo's shooting woes, and it seems true. Rondo was 7-of-10 Sunday, and many of the shots were pressured. The broadcaster said he felt Rondo made more shots when he didn't over think shooting. I think it's the case, and it seems like a legit reason because of his free-throw problems. Hope does seem restored for Rondo and his fans.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rondo supporters eating crow right now after benching

It's not easy where we stand as Rondo supporters, and not much easier right now for Rondo as well in a Mavs uniform. After the Rondo deal I felt angry and slightly betrayed by Ainge. It wasn't shocking seeing Rondo traded, but somewhat disturbing to me that he was traded for little value. Rondo's triple-double season has resulted to very little of that in Dallas. He's a shad over 7 assists per game in Dallas, and that's around 4 assists less than what he was dishing out in Boston.

As you guys know Rondo was benched in the 4th quarter Friday night when Dallas played Chicago. Rose looked pretty solid in this game, but Rondo couldn't put his stamp on this game at all. A part of me thinks that Rondo isn't understood by Carlise yet, and he wasn't by Stevens by any stretch. Doc Rivers got Rondo, and he knew what to do with Rondo. It reminds me slightly of another former All-Star point guard. Deron Williams hasn't been the same since being traded to the Nets, and after not playing for legendary Utah coach Jerry Sloan.

Rondo has a lot more basketball to play this season. But right now Danny Ainge looks like a crazy genius. I'm a Celtics fan first, but this season I shifted to watch Rondo, and so far it's been upsetting.


"Life is too short to complain about not playing five minutes of a big game," said Rondo, noting that he has the maturity to handle these sort of situations now, unlike when he bumped heads with Doc Rivers early in his career with the Celtics. "Like I said, I'm a competitor. I'm pretty sure you guys know that I wanted to be in the game, but it didn't happen. I did my best to cheer my teammates on."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Wither Rondo?

It's getting harder to be a Rondo fan.  After last night's benching, Haters are throwing Hate parties.  Well, who can blame them.   It took Rondo two months, as I recall, to get benched by Stevens.   It's taken him half that to get benched by Carlisle.  What is going on with Rondo?  All season long he's had games where he has shown signs of brilliance, followed by games where he has looked like he may not even deserve to be in the league at all.   Rondo claims to be an elite player, but when he gets torched by Derrick Rose and Chris Paul and his team is defeated and made to look more like a pretender than a contender, one wonders why he cannot back up his claims?

The Haters say that Rondo is a wildly overrated player who has now been exposed.  Well, I think that's a lot of bull.  It took 9 years for Rondo to be exposed?!  No, Rondo is a brilliant player whose career has hit a wall for reasons that are not clearly evident.  Even that wall is sort of weird.  I mean, Rondo has had some absolutely brilliant stretches this year.  Early on, he was averaging a near triple double and looked set to keep it up.  But as always, the turmoil started, the trade rumors  started, and pretty soon Rondo was clearly off his game.  Under Stevens, he could never find a rhythm, because his game never fit in with Stevens' approach.  We all knew that from the beginning but we tried to tell ourselves different, if we were Rondo fans, because - to be blunt - Devious Danny and Nice Guy Brad (I call them Brad and Dannet) lied through their smiling teeth about it.

When the trade to Dallas happened, we hoped that Rondo would concentrate on defense and, by doing that, return to basics and little by little pick up his offensive game.  For a while that looked like it was happening, too.  We saw just two games ago, in a Dallas game against Minnesota, how savage the Dallas defense could be with Rondo leading the charge.  And it wasn't just Rondo playing harder on defense.  It was the whole team, seemingly inspired by the way Rondo sacrificed his own game (this is a man who was leading the league in assists!) to merge into a team approach.   But there have been rumors on Twitter of strife between Rondo and teammates and coaches, and Rondo's ugly pattern of inconsistent play has returned with a vengeance and it's beginning to look like once again Rondo is not fitting in.

What is going on?  Haters can claim that Rondo has always been a terrible shooter, but that's absurd.   He's not been as horrendous a shooter in the past.  They can claim that his assist statistics are 'empty', but that seems a crazy  made-up word when used that way.  Rondo is a brilliant playmaker who sets up teammates with wide-open shots.  The fact that Rondo's assists haven't led to effective offense overall doesn't invalidate his assists.  It means that there are systemic problems.  It means he's struggled to find his role in teams that don't suit him.

I guess the hope was that in Dallas, Rondo would earn the respect of his teammates with stout defense and they in turn would work with him to find a good flow.  There have been moments when this looked possible, but then other games have happened where it looked hopeless.  I don't think it's all Rondo's fault, but I think it looks like once again Rondo will be on the move.   He just can't play with these guys.  A lot of it is his fault.  He was asked to focus on defense, but Rondo got torched the last two times Dallas played elite pgs.  He's had some decent games against good pgs too (Wall, Conley) and he even seemed to play stopper D against Westbrook late in one game, but just as often Rondo's defense has been iffy and a few times it has been downright awful.

Is Rondo trying to get himself traded again?  Some of the stuff we have been seeing has been unreal.  Chris Paul walzing past Rondo's 'defense'.   Rondo not making a single free throw in January.  The one reliable part of Rondo's game, assists and playmaking, now also melting away into nothingness.   It looks like we will soon be able to write obituaries for Rondo's fabulously melting career.  Haters and Rondo fans will be left to argue over why.   The Haters say he is an average to bad player who has been exposed.   Fans will say, I think, that Rondo was emotionally and mentally broken down by the all the villification heaped on him and the years of being constantly shopped by Ainge and by  chronic and acute injuries.

I know that Rondo could get his act together and I hope he does.  He is one of my alltime favorite players.  If he does get his act together, I look forward to seeing some amazing and inspiring basketball.  I think Rondo's heart just isn't in the game of basketball anymore and he is a guy who game is, despite his demeanor, all about heart.  It looks to me like he is going to wash out of the league in record time.  Where is there room in the NBA for a guy who cannot pass, cannot defend, cannot shoot and cannot get along well with teammates, coaches, refs or media?   If things come to pass as I now expect, and Rondo washes out, don't expect me to agree that he just never was all that.  He was great.  He was special.  And don't expect me to jump on the Marcus Smart bandwagon.   I like Marcus Smart.  I've already seen some amazing plays from him and I love his hustle.  Refs give him a lot of breaks, of course.  He plays physical in ways that a guy like Rondo is not allowed to play.  No matter - he's a terrific player.  I'm just not that interested.

And I don't admire the way Celtics Fans have forgotten the way Rondo led us deep into the playoffs over and over again.  They turned their backs on the guy who did so much and fell in love with the guy who just got off the bus.  Boston is a small-time town with big-time pretentions.

Rondo is not a guy who talks about himself well.  How did he go from the verge of superstardom to the verge of goodbye?  We are talking about a guy who can't even hit a freethrow at this point.  That is one spectacular career meltdown.  I wish Rondo could talk about it.  It might do him a lot of good.  I predicted this summer that if Danny didn't trade Rondo this summer, not only would Rondo NOT increase his trade value, but that Rondo's career might be wrecked.  I did not think that a year in limbo, with trade winds in his ears and his replacement at his back, would work out well for Rondo or the Celtics.  I hoped to be proved wrong.  I still hope to be.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37-point quarter

The Warriors are the best show in town, and there brand of basketball is fun to watch. Steve Kerr took over for Mark Jackson who had some success with the Warriors in the past two seasons. Jackson's tenure was rocky, but he put the Warriors back on the NBA map with a fun brand of ball. Steve Kerr has the Warriors playing NBA championship style basketball right now as they have the best record in the NBA.

The Warriors have the best guard duo in the NBA by far, and Friday's beat down of the Kings was more prof of that. Thompson set a league record for the most points in a quarter Friday night, a thrilling 37-point third period that powered the Golden State Warriors to a 126-101 victory over the Sacramento Kings. The Warriors easily have the best fans in the NBA next to the Celtics and Thunder. They finally have a legit chance to see a Warriors team win it all. Curry as voted as an All-Star starter, and beating Lebron James for the most votes by fans. Steve Kerr is also the first rookie coach since Larry Bird in 1998 to coach an All-Star squad.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mavs vs. Grizz, Rondo vs. Conley

Tonight is a big showdown for the Mavs and for Rondo.  This will be a big test for the new Mavs.  Did bringing Rondo in take the team to the next level, or did it not?  This year the Mavs have been terrible against top teams in the West and their recent game against the Clippers seems to confirm that bringing Rondo in did nothing to change that trend, nor did Rondo play well in that game.  Tonight's game should be an even bigger challenge.  Will the Mavs be ready?  Will Rondo be ready?  Will his Achilles be up to the challenge?  Conley is one of the best pgs in the league now and Rondo is regarded as a has been.  Time to change that perception?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

No, It's Not Just a Business

One of the most nauseating articles I've seen in a while has appeared at Reds Army...

Jared Sullinger is doing a regular diary for ESPN Boston. In his latest installment, he goes into dealing with the departures of various teammates in Danny Ainge’s mad dash to own every pick in the NBA draft.
The most interesting thing is the lesson he learned from his former captain, Rajon Rondo:
I would have to say the biggest lesson I ever learned from any player in my career so far is from Rondo. He taught me to never let them see you sweat. He said that you have to understand that this is a business. The more you complain or argue or disagree, the more you’re writing your ticket out of this league. At the end of the day, the coach is always right.
Personally, I love this aspect of basketball, because it’s never really discussed. Players are supposed to be as loyal to their teams as fans are, even though, as we’ve seen with Danny Ainge, they can be discarded when they no longer suit the team’s needs.
This is, and always will be, a business. Their business is entertaining fans by playing a game. ... Fans don’t like to hear it because the business of basketball can be a messy, confusing thing. But that’s what it is.
 This writer demonstrates that he fully understands how unethical the underlying state of affairs that Rondo's comment touches on is.  The sheer hypocrisy of it should shock him, since he sees it so clearly, but it doesn't.  He worshipfully cites that mantra that has become more and more dominant in society - it's a business.  This mantra is waved around anytime somebody wants to justify something they shouldn't justify.   In business, he seems to declare, there is no morality.  There are no ethics.  There is only the famous  'bottom line'.  Of course, that's nonsense in any realm of human activity, but particularly so in sports.  People respond to sports because it speaks to something in them that has to do with emotions, that has to do with ideas about honor and commitment, that has to do with some of the most important ideals that human beings treasure. The relationship between a sports team and its community is special.  It's a unique relationship, though akin to other relationships, such as the relationship between a community and its art museum, or its symphony orchestra.  The sports team is a symbol, an expression, a coming together place for a COMMUNITY.  This  is reflected in the financial arrangements between sports teams and communities that often make new arenas possible, etc.. Sports teams and museums and schools,etc., reflect the history, rootedness and enduringness of a community.  A father might buy a team jersey for a child because it says so much about things that matter to the heart and soul.

We fans should NOT be quiescent as we watch our sports teams cheapened, fretfully chanting that it is 'just' a business, or sneering at those sentimental fools who get caught up in their emotions.  It's patently obvious that Rondo's words to Sully are not spoken as revelations about a situation he cherishes.  We know from Rondo's history of refusing to kowtow that they are not spoken from his heart.  They are, if anything, words from someone whose heart has been broken.  It's patently obvious that they are words spoken by someone who feels disillusioned.  They should make us angry, as fans.  Do fans really want their players to feel muzzled?  Do they really want players who kowtow?  The beautiful thing about sports, but above all about basketball, is that the game belongs to the players.  Which of us has not spent hours on some playground trying to perfect our own one-on-one moves?  Why on earth would we want to countenance the game being taken away from the players on the team that represents us?

The Redsarmy writer says that the emotional aspects of the game of basketball can be messy and confusing, but we should JUST GET OVER IT.  Really?  I think we should be ticked off.  In essence, Danny blew off one of the most talented players we have seen, in Rondo, as it appears, basically because Rondo was too independent minded and young.  I'd say that Danny makes running the team more about his ego and more about dominance over the players than about basketball.  I wonder too how much of this attitude comes from Stephens, who seems preoccuppied with his motion offense and shaping a team of interchangeable parts?  How much of it comes from the owners who seem more interested in winning wars against the players' union than in winning championships?

These folks and folks like them are ruining basketball, if you ask me.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kevin Garnett suspended 1 game for head-butting Dwight Howard

KG still has the fire, and won't take crap from anyone. Howard and KG go way back during the Celtics, and Magic rivalry in the Celtics contending days.

Kevin Garnett has been suspended one game without pay for head-butting Dwight Howard.

The NBA announced the suspension Tuesday, adding that Howard has been fined $15,000 for pushing Garnett during the altercation, which took place in the first quarter of Monday's game in Brooklyn.

Is Danny trying to set the record for most trades in one season?

I don't know the record, and I'm sure Danny isn't looking to set an NBA record for most trades in one season. But when will it end? So what are Danny's thoughts about the million draft picks he's picked up in his frenzy of trades this season.

ESPN Boston

"No, because draft picks are always tradable; players are not," Ainge said. "Draft picks are always assets."

"I think you have to build through the draft," Ainge said. "Like [in constructing the 2008 title team], we built through the draft, then we developed players, and we were able to trade to get some veteran guys in that were more ready to win, that were more compatible with Paul [Pierce] at the time.

"We did it through the draft, that’s how I look at it. And right now we’ll do the same thing. We’ll draft players, we’ll develop players. And we’ll look for opportunities to take steps forward."

I love the Celtics and that won't change. But I don't like Ainge, and I tried to trust him, and I tried to believe in his plan, but I can't drink the Ainge juice. I think his zero integrity in what he does. The Celtics are tanking, or Danny is forcing the process by dismantling this team quickly for unknown future players. I think Boston fans should sit back and relax for a decade of losing.

Rondo Has Sore Achilles

Apparently it has been sore for a while.  This helps explain, I would guess, Rondo's struggles against the Clippers and Detroit.  Apparently, he may be out for some time.  From twitter...

 31 minutes ago31 minutes agoThe are not sure how long Rondo will be out. Carlisle said Rondo has been sore for some time.

As a Rondo fan, I am very happy to hear that Rondo's mind was apparently more willing than it looked, but the body was struggling.  I'm very sad, though, to hear that injury has raised its ugly head yet again in Rondo's career.  Season after season Rondo has had to struggle with nagging injuries like this - in a way, the worst may have been the plantar fascitis that struck Rondo in 2010-2011.  I even wonder if this is related.  I think plantar fascitis is, basically, soreness of related ligaments/tendons on the other side of the heel, on the underside of the foot.  That may seem like an odd thing to say about someone who has come back from ACL, but in a way, plantar fascitis can seem worse, I think, because it can be chronic.  Problems with foot tendons and ligaments could perhaps also help explain Rondo's shooting woes.   If the base isn't right it's hard to get the shooting motion right.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Rono Not Rondo

The Mavs are a flawed team.   Nowitski is a great player when his shot is on, but a liability when it's not.  The Mavs bench is shallow and the starters are really all streaky shooters, and Rono isn't even that.  But RonDo is the kind of player who can make up for a lot.  He could push the Mavs through to a championship.  But this won't happen unless Rono finds his D.  It's that simple, in my opinion.  If Rono finds his D and plays the championship level defense he is capable of, he can inspire his teammates and create a solid foundation for both himself and his team.  Otherwise, Dallas will, I think, crash and burn and Rono's reputation as a team killer will be secure.  Rono's shooting problems are secondary.  If Rono brings the D every night, that alone will make him a plus player every night and everything else he does will be gravy - and we know he is capable of doing a lot.  More than that, strong defense is what creates opportunities for the transition game and that in turn can help unleash a player's and a team's whole game.   As I see it, Rono is a player who will disappear from the NBA very soon and be forgotten sooner.  Rono might find a second career as a guy who does tricks at halftime at NBA games.   RonDo is a player who can continue to build a HOF NBA resume.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Is Danny doing the right thing, and when is it enough?

Danny Ainge is doing something that I haven't seen, or can't recall seeing in the history of the NBA. He's traded all of his best players in the past two seasons for draft picks. Danny hasn't received equal talent back for the players traded in the past 2 years. Let's not forget Danny Ainge traded Doc Rivers. I was a big Doc hater after he was traded, because it was twisted by Ainge as Doc wanted out. I feel Doc may have wanted out, but because Ainge was setting the Celtics up to lose for the next decade. The Celtics are on pace to lose for the next 5-7 years.

They don't have the talent to bring in any big name free agents. So the Celtics are stuck on building with Danny's absurd amount of draft picks. Of course Danny may use some of his picks on trades, but honestly I just can't buy into Danny's vision or view. Brad Stevens is a puppet, and he's being setup to fail in some ways by Ainge with losing seasons on the way.

As I've said in the past. I don't mind losing, but the way things are going down in Boston. It has me discouraged as a fan.

Here is the draft pick breakdown from ESPN Boston

2015 draft
1st round: Boston, Clippers, Dallas1, Minnesota2, Philadelphia3
2nd round: Boston4, Philadelphia5, Washington6

2016 draft
1st round: Boston, Brooklyn, Minnesota2, Cleveland7, Dallas1
2nd round: Philadelphia5, Minnesota2, Miami, Cleveland, Dallas8

2017 draft
1st round: Boston9
2nd round: Boston9, Cleveland, Minnesota2

2018 draft
1st round: Boston, Brooklyn
2nd round: Boston

2019 draft (and beyond)10
1st round: Boston
2nd round: Boston

1. [Dallas’ pick is protected selections 1-3 and 15-30 in 2015; protected 1-7 from 2016-2020; unprotected 2021]↑
2. [Minnesota’s pick (via the Suns) is protected 1-12 in 2015 and 2016; becomes 2016 and 2017 second-round picks]↑
3. [Philadelphia’s pick is lottery protected selections 1-14]↑
4. [Boston’s pick is conveyed to Cleveland if between selections 56-60]↑
5. [Philadelphia's pick is conveyed if first-round pick is in lottery]↑
6. [Washington’s pick is protected selections 31-49]↑
7. [Cleveland’s pick is top-10 protected until 2019]↑
8. [Better of Dallas/Memphis second-round pick]↑
9. [Boston has option to swap first-round pick with Brooklyn; second-round pick to Nets if swapped and 45+]↑
10. [If all outstanding picks are previously delivered]↑

Once the Celtics finalize the trade that's expected to send Jeff Green to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for a future first-round pick, you can add another first-round pick to the pile.

While the protections on all the picks make it a bit difficult to digest, here's the most likely scenario for Boston:

• 2 first-round picks in 2015 (Celtics, Clippers); 3 second-round picks (Celtics, 76ers, Wizards)

• 4 first-round picks in 2016 (Celtics, Nets, Cavaliers, Mavericks); 5 second-round picks (76ers, Wolves, Heat, Cavaliers, Mavericks)

That's as many as 14 potential picks over the next two drafts. Needless to say, unless Boston desires to draft an entire new roster, it will attempt to move those picks for more known assets.

The Jeff Green trade was the final nail in the Celtics season, for those wanting any chance at the playoffs. Of course it wasn't going to happen after the Rondo trade, but the Green deal put an end to any playoff talk. As for the Green era and deal. He'll always be remembered for being the guy we traded Perk for. Many believe that the Celtics made the wrong choice in 2011 when they traded Green, and now I believe in that more than ever.

On a personal note I would like to thank werkshop for holding down the fort. As I said, I'm boycotting the Celtics right now. I don't believe in Ainge and what he's doing. I was writing everyday, and now I've been working on building a Rondo site and NBA site. This site will remain, but maybe until Paul Pierce takes Ainge's job.

Rondo Should Retire

Watching the Mavs game today was nauseating.  Everything the Haters said would happen in Dallas, after Rondo's arrival,  came horribly true today.  The Mavs team, once a proud championship contender, looked like a lottery contender today.  When Rondo first came to the Mavs, he raised their game to a whole new level, especially on defense.   The Mavs-Rondo honeymoon was sweet - for about two weeks.  But whatever newfound motivation the trade gave Rondo quickly faded.  

Over the last three games the Mavs have barely escaped going  0-3, barely pulling out a last minute win against the tail-spinning Nets.  In each of those games the Mavs gave up 30 points in the first quarter, even though they had lately been priding themeselves on newfound defensive prowess.  Point guards like Jarrett Jack, Brandon Knight and, of course, Chris Paul have bedeviled the Mavs, thanks to Rondo's increasingly poor defensive play.  Also, Rondo has shot horrendously since the Celtics game.  Horrendously.  I don't think it's unfair, at this point, to say that Rondo has been exposed as the worst defender and the worst shooter in the game today.  There is nothing left to his game now but slick bounce passes.

Rondo played selfish basketball against the Clippers, constantly demanding the ball and then doing almost nothing with it.  Yes he made a few spiffy passes, but he slowed the pace down and he rarely pressured the defense, apart from a few out-of-control sallies at the basket.  His shooting was nothing short of horrendous.  Worst of all was Rondo's defensive 'effort'.  Watching Paul shrug Rondo off tonight like a bad joke was sickening.  Just sickening.  Tonight Rondo's game was a Hater's buffet.

I still think Rondo is one of the most talented players I have ever seen, and at times one of the best.  I think he just doesn't care about basketball anymore.  He can't get motivated.  If that's the case, I don't think there is anything wrong with retiring early.  Barry Sanders did it.  If you don't love the game anymore and can't get motivated, just walk away, Rondo.  It's surely the honorable thing to do?

Dallas gave Rondo a second chance.  I don't blame them.  The talent that kid has is terrific.  And I think Rondo really did try to make it work.  He just can't seem to get motivated to play real basketball anymore.  I'd love to be proven wrong.  I'd love to see Rondo figure it all out and come on strong, like Seabiscuit.  But at this point, I think maybe it's just time for him to move on with his life.  People change careers all the time.  If you've fallen out of love with what you do, maybe it's time to consider moving on, Rondo?

Showdown Saturday for Rondo

Rondo fans surely remember the Celtics 2012-2013 Clippers away game.  The Cs struggled in the early going of the 2012-2013 season, but they had just defeated Brooklyn in a big game and looked like they might be getting their act together.   Unfortunately, they played the Clippers out on the West Coast a night or two after the big Nets game and they seemed  severely jet-lagged when they played the Clippers.  The Celtics/Clippers game was nationally televised, as I recall,  pitting then perennial contenders, in the Celtics, against the NBA's new super-team.   Also hyped was the showdown between acknowledged top NBA point guard Chris Paul and his rising challenger, Rajon Rondo.  Unfortunately the Thrilla in LA wasn't too thrilling.   Chris Paul and his Clippers ran right by the lethargic Celtics and their lead-footed leader, Rondo.  This humiliating loss touched of a six game west coast skid in which the team seemed to fall apart completely.  The story of that disaster has still not been told.

This afternoon the Mavs, fresh off their own humiliating loss to the rejuvenated Detroit Pistons, take on the Pistons in a key game between two teams equally eager to elevate themselves to contender status.   In the Mavs' last two games, against Brooklyn and Detroit, they came out weak defensively and gave up 30 point quarters right off the bat.  Against Brooklyn the Mavs managed to pull out a win all the same, but Detroit has too much firepower now to spot them a big lead in the early going.  Will the Mavs come out breathing fire tonight?  Rondo holds the key to that.  He needs to keep the pace fast in the transition offense and he needs to light a fire under the D with his intense play.  DON'T BECOME BOSTON RONDO AGAIN, RONDO!