Rondo had voiced a bit of a disconnect after the 108-88 loss to Golden State. The captain of the Boston Celtics hasn't had an easy season by any means. He spent most of the year rehabbing his surgically repaired knee. He's also been wrapped up in trade rumors once again, and his General Manager lashes out in the media about his point guards Birthday. Lets not forget Rondo's set to miss the playoffs for just the second time in his 8 years in the NBA.
"I can only speak for myself: You’ve got to dig deep and find it within yourself to compete," said Rondo. "In anything I do, I want to win. I think that’s a lot of guys' mentality, but I can only speak for myself."
Is that a simple call out to his team? I said after the game that Rondo's effort wasn't up to par, but looking back, his effort was there, but the energy wasn't directed in the right direction. That energy needed to be set to kill mode. This was the type of game where Rondo needed to score 40. With all do respect, Rondo did take 14 shots, which led the Celtics on the night. The Celtics needed a superstar taking over type of game out of Rondo, and it didn't happen Wednesday night. After the game, Stevens took some of the blame.
"I kinda kick myself, to be honest, because I’ve said three times this year that, 'We had a really good practice yesterday' and we did," said Stevens. "But for whatever reason we follow it up with a clunker. That’s what we did today. I see nothing but recognition that we didn’t play well, with pride that we will play better and the expectation that we are going to come to work and do better. And that’s the expectation, period. I’ve heard people say our record is what it is and that you’re playing for pride. That’s a lot. To me, that’s a lot. It’s important that we show ourselves a lot different than we did today."
This poor performance by the Celtics is on the eve of Pierce/Garnett round two in Boston. The Nets will bring in their 30-29 record, which is worth applauding, it's the first time all year that the Nets are a game above .500 basketball. The Celtics will hit the practice floor before Friday's game against the Nets. Both teams will be focused for different reasons. I do see the Celtics playing at a high level, win or lose Friday night.
"It's our pride," said Green. "We don't want to keep embarrassing ourselves and that is the mentality we are going to have. I don't think this group wants to continue to have games like this. We just have to keep fighting."
Green was a no show against Golden State, after he was averaging 23 points in his last 5 games, and 20 points in his last 10 games. His 4 point performance had to be the worst game all year for Green. I hope to see that pride that Green talks about. Things can only get better at this point, and I'm thankful for that. I imagine the Celtics will get back on track.