Celtics, Rondo Back In Business

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – It’s good to see this Rajon Rondo again.

It might not be for the rest of the NBA, but for those of us that enjoy virtuoso performances from one of the league’s feistiest competitors, it’s good to see the Rondo we marveled at earlier this season back in action on the big stage.

Just ask the Spurs how wicked things can be when you’re on the receiving end of Rondo’s jabs all night. He took them apart last night with a nearly flawless performance — 22 points, 14 assists, five rebounds and 0 turnovers.

On a night when Tim Duncan returned from a four-game injury absence, he looked good with 20 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, it was the return to form of Rondo that stuck out, thanks to a little urging from his teammates, who jumped him several times after defensive lapses on Tony Parker led to easy baskets for the Spurs.

The fact is, when Rondo is at his best the vibe for the rest of the Celtics always seems to be much better, the Celtics shot better than 60 percent in the third and fourth quarters while also getting quality efforts from both Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Big Baby Davis.

Losers of three of their last four games before handing the Spurs their fifth straight loss, the Celtics had looked a bit shaky. Their chemistry has been off of late, a mix of injuries, new faces and the transition of said new faces into a team that has Rondo’s fingerprints all over it.

He had double-digit assist totals in nine of his first 10 games this season, sending shockwaves around the league that he — and not Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook or any of the other contenders — was could very well be the best point guard in the game.

But nagging injuries sapped some of the steam from that movement. He’s had just three double-digit assist games in his last 10, each one serving as a reminder of just how dangerous he can be when he’s playing at the top of his game. Last night’s effort was his first 20-point, 10-assist effort in four months.

Rondo and the Celtics got a much-needed boost from their captain, Pierce, who issued some stern marching orders for the remainder of the regular season, per the Boston Globe:

While Kevin Garnett is the unquestioned spiritual leader of the team, Pierce is the captain, and the Celtics seemingly have been too consumed with the trade deadline activity and the injuries to Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal to fully concentrate on the last 20 games.

“The guys know what’s at stake and I just tried to reiterate that, especially with the season winding down and the playoffs around the corner,’’ Pierce said before the shootaround. “I just let everybody know how important these games are.

“At this point in the season, we should be playing our best basketball and we’re not. I don’t know if it’s we’re looking ahead to the playoffs or what, but we’ve got to understand that these games are important as far as building, and that’s what I’m trying to reiterate.’’

Pierce played with a passion not seen in weeks, and his teammates followed.

We’re going to venture out from the hideout here this evening and see if they can keep it up against the Hawks, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN, yet another team trying to right things as they head for the playoffs.

44 Comments

  1. Jazz10 says:

    I think everyone need to let the trade go. it happened, we cant take it back. i actually dont miss anyone of the players that were traded but Marquis Daniels and Ken. But i Nenad has showed he can score. He has had double doubles with the Celtics. He may be soft. But i think with KG under him, he will get more agressive. Jeff too. Jeff is giving us offense that Nate couldnt give us. Delonte, Jeff, and Baby are a good team off the bench. Even when Delonte starteds the other night for Rondo, he didnt great. So i think the bench is okay. If Troy can get minutes as he did in the Bucks game, th whole bench played the last quarter, they can be good. The same thing with Von, when he played more in that Lakers game, he came in on fire. hitting threes left and right. They have a good team. They just have to keep coming and get over this hump. Something the celtics live by is getting through adversity. As they did when they won a championship. But as for the bulls. YES they are on a hot streak right now; BUT why? Because of D.rose. If rose is containted or doesnt have a good shooting night. The bulls will lose. Boston is 2-1. Nd the one they lost is becasue KG was out and injured. If D.rose was on the boston celtics, he would not get MVP, why BECAUSE BOSTON IS TEAM!! Rondo doesnt have to put up jump shots all night to help the celtics win, he trusts his other teamates for that, but when push comes to shove, he can do that!!! nd he will.

  2. SMOOVE says:

    The Celtics will OWN and is owning the Heat. Uhh are serious? The Bulls would PWN the Heat anyday! There’s just no stopping Rose. and Rondo. –which by the way play the position where Miami gets burned

  3. drick says:

    am a HEAT fan but i think we can’t beat the celtics,,to the BULLS please accept the truth that your team is not good enough for the FINALS,,even the HEAT can easily beat the BULLS, with WADE on defense of ROSE the bulls are nothing,juz like KOBE w/ DWADE that sent KOBE to the court for more shooting exercises after the game in MIAMI..am not mentioning a DOUBLE TEAM on DROSE coz he’s not good enough for that..

  4. Chris says:

    miami can NOT beat Boston in a 7 game series. Now, as it relates to chicago, the writing is on the wall. Take the ball out of Derrick Rose hands and they are nothing more than average team. Watch, you will see teams start to DOUBLE TEAM (ROSE) esp. in the playoffs. This will make chicago nothing more than what the Celtics have already observed (an orland magic 3 point team), only W/O a dominant center.

    Don’t B deceived folks. (THEREZ plenty of GREEN left in the tank) Esp. with SHAQ!
    (Take your time big FELLA. We don’t need you in the first round, but the next 3 will be clogged up by you JO, and Kristic with the Big 4 and Baby doing their thang.)

    Listen people. There colors are GREEN and WHITE and the only color we want this year is gold.
    We want a golden ring, trophy and jersey; and we want them all won on a golden floor, so we can paint them all one color and one color only, GREEN.

    The Celtics are on a goose mission. “The mission is, Find that goose, step on the egg and paint that goose GREEN”

    Celtics baby!
    Jus go GREEN

  5. who the heck is kobe? says:

    go c’s
    screw the fakers and the heatles

  6. george says:

    Even though the Celtics are out of balance the last few weeks, they cannot be counted off. they are a tough and experienced team and they also know that this is their last chance on winning the title, because they are getting older and older.

  7. Jason says:

    Celtics has nowhere to go right now….D-Rose cannot be stopped…come the playoff.. Rondo’s defense will be demolish by Rose granting a one on one play…

    • The Rocker says:

      c mon man Rose is the only good player on the Bulls roster if he misses a game against the Celtics its game over 4 the Bulls

      • The Rocker says:

        The Bulls r still not a Finals-ready team (even if they get the top seed in the East)
        The Celtics were still able 2 make it 2 the Finals despite an average regular season performance

  8. Dyvil says:

    Go CELTICS Beat the Fakers!! show them what you got!!it’s ok for me if they loose a single games in regular season!!just stay Healthy that’s the key in the Playoff time !!No.3 seed now who cares your going to the play off anyway!!it’s all about Banner No.18..i wish the spurs or Mavs or even OKC meet them in the Finals..!!or whoever but not the Fakers you know why Coz Lakers SUCKS and that’s the bottomline….LOL

  9. Bob Sander says:

    Bulls might have a chance of beating Boston.
    Miami doesnt have a chance. They rely too much on the big 3. They’re bench scores the lowest in the NBA. If one of the big 3 gets injured they will have no chance.

  10. jason says:

    celtics need a deep down low to compete against others opponents.,

    oneal’s will be the key for another ring.,

  11. KarlJohn says:

    Hahaha. I still cant see the Bulls on the Finals. Knicks might be struggling right now but its different in the playoffs. Look at the playoffs last year. Cleveland has the best record, but did the best record last year brought the Cleveland even close to the Finals? I can only see 3 teams on the final and thats Celtics, Miami and Knicks. Im not a big fan of Knicks but I can see that Knicks has a higher % off winning than Miami. It really depends on Amare’s post game. When Amare plays great, knicks will be fine because Melo and Cauncy knows their role.
    GO CELTICS!!!Xp

  12. laurapinto says:

    when its playoffs celtics are ready no matter what

  13. Lilwestcoast310 says:

    I forgot Chicago, Chicago is good but in the end and through the wire, Rose can only carry you for so long. The team did show the most progress this year but If Rose is inconsistant then who do you turn to? Boozer or Deng? Lets be honest.

  14. Lilwestcoast310 says:

    OK.OK. enough of this. The real truth is that people are getting too emotional and letting their dreams over run their reality. First off. the Heat and the “Big 3″, statisticly as individuals, they’re great, but its starting to be Cleaveland all over again for Lebron with Lebron playing all 5 positions, D’Wade portraying Mo Williams and Bosh becoming Z number #2. Try harder. Knicks and Atlanta are barely worth mentioning.San Antonio Have a shot but that may be their demise, their shooting. Too many 3 point shooting can lead you to shooting yourself out the game. OKC needs more experience and better sapport. Dallas also not worth mentioning. Los Angeles has the best shot at the Gold but, I see flaws. Like most NBA teams, a large lead early in the game does not garauntee a win. Needless to say that has been one of LA’s biggest. The second flaw is Th point gaurd position and the inconsistant play from Artest. If Artest can actually do more than just flex his bicep every highlight play and father time is running into old man Fisher. Last but not least is Boston. Again lets reiterate that this reality and not fantasy. Try not to get too emotional when I say this. Celtics are a good team, yes I will admit it. There strength and weakness is at the point and the center position. No if’s about it. Rondo can not hit a target even if the ball was equipped with a guidence missle. Defen him loosely and make sure you are aware of the shooters. Dont depend on washed up J.O. and Band wagon Shaq. father time is against him and his knees. So. all in all, LA to repeat.

  15. thomas says:

    ok yall are sum haters miami sucks knicks sucks an bulls alright i remeber last playoff when everyone said boston was goin to leave early losing to the cavs but look what happen they blew miami they blew the cavs and the magic so dont get your hopes up the playoffs are a whole new level more enegery more intensity and the celtics will step there game up an step up there defense and one more thing all the east teams that play the celtics in the playoffs they better calm rondo down cuz rondo always goes off come playoff time

  16. Basketballislife says:

    well J.Oneal is back, But shaq is still out coming soon. The only team iam worried about in the east is the bulls i guess but people really should reconsider counting out the celtics. But The heat & Knicks c’mon!

  17. Daniel says:

    If rondo can actually run and shoot with the same style in the playoff. Ray allen and pierce run sceerns to knock down trees, and get the same productivity from the bench like robinson and davis last year they should be able to make another run.
    Defending in the paint will be up to J’Os health, cause Shaq might be a tad slow if he were to go up against say bynum

  18. Zzanzabar says:

    Sorry if there was a double post.

  19. Nate says:

    I think the Celtics are going to the finals against Lakers again, and winning the championship. That’s only if the O’neals come back healthy and stay healthy. With the size and all around team play they have, I just think they have the best chance to take it all. The Bulls are a very good team and D Rose is amazing this year, but I just don’t think they have that final touch yet. Miami, I don’t think so… maybe they’ll get to the second or third round of the playoffs but they can’t win a championship with that 3 man team. Plus they’re still weak at the post and pg position, the Bulls and Celtics will kill them in both of those spots.

    • RIOT says:

      in your dreams.. Bulls will beat Boston in 5 games..unless Doc will have a dirty strategy again to injured Rose, just like what they were trying to do with Kobe before but they dont succed…poor Boston, the most dirty team!!!

  20. sean says:

    has everyone forgot what happened agianst howard lat year the only thing standing in their way of them and the title ia a 6’11″ monst night dwight howard the only reason celtics won that series last year was perkins great defense inside if they cant control howards productivity they wont even have a chance to play the lakers who by the way the celtics can beat

    • Fraka says:

      lol dude, they have annihilated orlando last year. easiest series in years. Counting off the celtics? lmao.
      The key is in rajon. And lets get serious here, WE all know what rondo is doing in the playoffs, I mean he is flirting with triple doubles every single game, if he doesnt get one! when he is running like he ran last night.. they are very tough to beat. Lakers only.. maybe.

    • faithb4fear says:

      @ sean lol Do you really think dwight howard is God himself. Dwight is a great players but 1 man cant take you to the finals. Do you remember when the magic whent to the finals against the lakers? That had to be one the worst finals in history! the magic gave LA a free championship that year ! You expect the magic to beat Boston in 7 games with hedo tukoglu and nelson and no bench? the magic are headed towards the same fate as the CAVS once howards leaves. If they get shaq back he will punk howard like he always does. The bulls have a better chance of beating Boston then the heat. Boston will lock in the paint and force wade and lebron to shoot the whole game and did you forget the heat have no bench they get 6 points from there bench a game when Bostons bench gets over 20+. The bulls are another 3 man team and there fate is on roses hands he will need to average 30 and 10 in the play offs if there gonna have any chance.

      • celtic says:

        you have too much confidence. howard will be the biggest problem for the celtics for sure. not only is he the best center in the league and the best defensive player in the game right now, especially under the hoop, but he has teammates around him that can stretch the floor. without shaq or jermaine boston wont have the ability like they did last year to play 1 on 1 with him. krstic cant hold his own on howard. dwight will have his way underneath, and with a shooter like jrichardson and a wild card in turkoglu, things for the celts could go downhill quickly from the outside as well. orlando doesnt have bench depth, but they have the ability to be a shooting/rebounding machine of a team. the magic are definitely the biggest threat to the celtics come playoff time. the heat will be strong, but the celts can beat them at every position. the bulls are good, i just think they are consistently strong as a team and thats what makes them so good right now. but come playoff time, they dont have the playoff experience or as strong team karma as boston does. and new york is nothing come play off time against boston. the knicks could knock out the heat, you’re an idiot if you dont think so, as long as they play strong defense, and consistent ballplay–which is honestly a problem for them.

  21. bostonFTW says:

    i think the Celtics should have got Leon Powe instead of trying to get Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic. Jeff Green got limited minutes and scores for you and the same goes for Kristic but theyre both soft, Leon could defend and provide rest for KG and/or Perk. Nobody was wrong but Danny could have just paid a little extra for the “best interior defender in the league” even ask Kobe. A win is a win and they made a statement.

  22. Welwolf32 says:

    The Heat will beat Celtics? Hey wake up! Maybe the bulls can (because of their complete and healthy line up…plus the homecourt advantage if Celtics cannot make it as no.1 in the East). 2 1/2 man game (half is from Bosh) like the Miami style of play cannot win championship. Playoff games are too much different than regular season games we all know that…and that’s the Celtics are waiting. Come playoff time and all C’s will show their “A” game, but this is if the 2 O’neals will be healthy. They will beat any team in anybodys court.

    I’m a Celtics fan since Ray and Kevin became C’s, but honestly If the big Diesel and Jermaine will not play for the playoffs (or atleast contribute as far as thay can)..it’s very hard to beat teams such as Bulls, lakers and the Spurs in a SERIES because of Bench problems..It’s totally different from the 2008 C’s where you can have your 2nd line up and not worrying your starters resting on the bench for some air.

    Anyway..that’s why this sport is very interesting. …..Anything HAPPENS.
    Goodluck Celtics (Win or loose..just play your best)!!!!!

  23. DJ says:

    Rondo got loose last night. Spurs were just SOL last night. The team is seemed cursed for no reason.

  24. Dennis says:

    When the celtics play their best ball there is no team that can stop them. If it wasn’t for perk getting injured last year they would have won the title. In the playoffs Boston will be extremely hard to beat, they will murder teams like the knicks and the heat, the bulls might last six or seven games against them but they will end up losing. The celtics are the only team that will rough house the lakers everybody else is damn soft in the league. Don’t count out the celtics because that would be a bad mistake to make, who ever in the playoffs underestimates them will get punished.

    • Tobes says:

      True true. How many people counted them out last year and were proved wrong when they made it to game 7 of the Finals? 18 is coming…

  25. Law064 says:

    Early exit will only be for Miami or New York. This is just 1 game and hopefully the Celtic’s are pulling out of their recent slump. People are still counting out the Celtic’s, sorry to say but if they didn’t hit this slump they’ll still be on top of the East now. @Prix how can the Heat of all teams kill Boston on the inside? The Bulls are playing great now but do you really think the Bulls will kill the interior? Noah is not a scorer and Boozer is not a killer inside. @Crossover LA is streaking now but they will not beat Boston if they reach the finals. LA still have a tough road coming up as well. They beat Dallas last night but if they meet in the playoffs it’s not going to be easy. Miami have yet to beat Boston and the Bulls are 1-2 vs the Celtic’s Neither of these teams have shown they can beat Boston in a series. Miami might have a early exit if they face NY but the way the Knicks have been playing Miami would probably beat them. The Celtic’s just played better last night and they got the win. Both of these teams are in a slump but don’t count them out LA,Miami,Dallas,ORL have all had a slump and the funny thing is that Boston in this slump still have not lost more than 2 games in a row. Early exit LMAO you haters would love that but sorry it’s not happening.

    • Bball fan says:

      I agree with you LAW064. The only way that the Bulls could beat the Cs in a series is if 2 of the Big 3 get injured and can’t play. Otherwise I don’t see anybody in the east coming out on top.

    • Aidan says:

      Dude u read my mind. U couldent have said it any better. PPl also forget we barley had perk all season long. He played what like 7-10 games this season with limited mins. Celts were on top most of the season without shaq or perk being there. Plus KG was out for quite awhile. Celts know how to get it done and can deal when the going gets tough. BTW anyone who thinks the big 3 are small needs their brain checked. KG 15ppg Ray 17ppg and Paul almost 20ppg. Thats pretty damn good.

  26. prix says:

    Rondo should have done that every game…He and Perk are likely the key for the Celtics success especially that the big3 are small3 now…now that Perk is gone they should pay more attention in controlling the paint..if the Oneals dont come back or dont do there jobs surely they will collapse and maybe out in the first round…right now i’m more concern in there defense, no Perk, Garnett is getting slower and weak…Kristic is soft…Only Davis is trong enough but short enough…they needed someone strong in the middle…If no Oneals…early playoff exits..we all know its really physical seriously in the playoffs…BULLS and HEAT will crash them easily if they dont have the inside presence…keep it real

  27. crossover says:

    lucky win for the Celtics…but if you see L.A play right now they will easily crash if they meet…L.A are monster in the West..but sad to say Boston is not going to the finals./.,the Bulls or Heat will give them their early exits or maybe NY, who knows!

    • Bball fan says:

      Being a Celtics fan..I am concerned about the Bulls….not so much for the Heat and definitely not the Knicks. Carmelo is too selfish and Amare is not consistent or aggressive enough. I think we blew our title shot for this year with Perk and most of the bench being shipped out..however I do see the potential in Green with Rondo taking him under his wing. We definitely need to do something about the lack of size in the middle. Krstic is just wasted space and could hender us more than help right now. I thought Murphy and who ever else they got in the trade was going to give us some depth, and they are so bad they can’t even chance playing them right now. This last run will be very interesting.

      • Wait a Minute says:

        I agree, Kristic DOES NOT look like he belongs with the Celtics. I’m not hating i’m just speaking my mind. Almost EVERYONE on the Celtics is aggressive and tough, I just don’t see it with the big guy. Jeff Greens coming along tho.

  28. spursgermany says:

    WHO CARES??

    THEIR PROBLEM IS BULLL THAN HEAT
    WE HAVE THE FAKERS AND OKC AND THE BAALLIES

  29. prix says:

    Rondo should have done that every game…He and Perk are likely the key for the Celtics success especially that the big3 are small3 now…now that Perk is gone they should pay more attention in controlling the paint..if the Oneals dont come back or dont do there jobs surely they will collapse and maybe out in the first round…right now i’m more concern in there defense, no Perk, Garnett is getting slower and weak…Kristic is soft…Only Davis is trong enough but short enough…they needed someone strong in the middle…If no Oneals…early playoff exits..we all know its really physical seriously in the playoffs…BULLS and HEAT will crash them easily if they dont have the inside presence…

  30. germs says:

    if rondo can knock down a few early jump shots like he did last night every night it will open up his game and the celtics game so much i dont think he or the celtics could be stopped

    • andrew says:

      True, and in that 3rd quarter spurs got 3 happy for awhile. Bonner and Neal got more touches than manu. Boston did a good job on helping on tony, but when tony kicked out the 3′s weren’t falling. ” live by the 3 die by the 3″. It worries me being a spurs fan but knowing pop the defense needs to tighten up to get some easy buckets in the playoffs.