Sunday, March 2, 2014

Celtics Week In Review: Rondo's Birthday, and a rash of injuries

The Celtics returned home Wednesday night, after a 0-4 road trip out west. The Celtics would best the Hawks at home, 115-104. The Celtics snapped a 5 game losing streak, and the team looked fantastic in the process. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens inserted Bayless into the starting lineup, and it worked masterfully. Bayless scored 29 points in the win, and he looked great paired with Rondo in the starting lineup.

Brad Stevens comments after the Hawks game:

"It’s why we did it. Knew that – I actually thought it was going to be 32, but he missed that last three. No, I don’t know – he made shots, and we do need that from him and Chris Johnson in normal off-the-bench roles for us to have a chance. That’s one of the things; if you look at us tonight, we’re 8-for-22 and if you look at us the other night we’re 4-for-22. Those 12 points make a difference.

The Celtics spent the week talking about Rondo not going with the team for the Kings game. The story brought a media storm, calling him out as a leader, and saying he's not a player you can build a franchise around. Here are some of the stories that were written this week by the staff at Celtics Today.

Ainge satisfied with Rondo explanation

Is the Boston media trying to push Rondo out of town?

Rondo Rules

The outcome from Rondo's birthday party ditch? Nothing, no suspension, and they didn't hit his pocket. Rajon Rondo responded by saying "it's my business".

The Celtics have moved on from this, and the storm has passed for now. Will see what happens in this saga as the season nears an end. On some pressing matters, the Celtics were hit with another big injury. Gerald Wallace is done for the season, he's played his last game of the year, and he some parting words.

Masslive: Jay King

“I'm very disappointed, just the simple fact that the injury, not knowing how long I’ve been playing with it and what was going on,” said Wallace. “It was just a pain that kind of felt different in my knee. It’s disappointing to end my season this way, just when it felt like I was starting to play at a pretty high level.”

If Wallace had not requested the additional MRI, he believes he would still be in the lineup.

“I’d still be playing,” he said. “The ankle was no problem. The ankle is something I’ve had since last year. I already knew it, had already talked to the doctor before and throughout the season. We had talked about it. We had already made plans to go in and clean it out after the season anyway, so the ankle wasn’t a big issue. It wasn’t a major problem for me. It was something that I could play through. It didn’t affect the way I felt out on the court playing, so it didn’t bother me at all.”

He added, “I started having (knee) symptoms right before All-Star break, kind of just a different kind of pain, a stinging kind of pain. I kind of dealt with that. It got better at one point just because of the break for (the) All-Star (game), and then we came back, just from those games on the West Coast, and playing and traveling, it started to linger on and linger on to where it began to be sore even on days off. So that’s what made me kind of concerned.”

He'll be missed in the Celtics final 22 games, but with the Celtics out of the playoff hunt, the loss of Wallace means nothing in the win-loss column. As for some other injuries. Avery Bradley is still out with the sprained ankle, and Olynyk is still out with the toe injury. Jared Sullinger on the other hand returned Saturday night, after the Celtics cleared him to play after his time on the sideline with a concussion.

The Celtics finished out the week with a loss at home against the best team in the NBA. The Pacers won the game in the final minutes like most good teams do. The Celtics hung around for the entire night, behind Jeff Green's 27 point performance. The Celtics dropped the game 102-97.

The Celtics won't play until this Wednesday when the Golden State Warriors come to Boston.

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