|Eddie House on D&H: Rondo, Pierce and 3′s||02.04.10 at 1:46 pm ET|
Celtics guard Eddie House joined the guys on Dale & Holley to talk about the All-Star 3-point contest, the Celtics’ recent struggles and Rajon Rondo’s maturity.
I’m hoping you could give us some news — that you’re going to take part in the 3-point contest?
No, I haven’t got an invite. I think Paul’s actually going to be the one representing the Celtics in the contest, so I hope all’s well with that and I hope he gets a win.
You should have been in last year, in your hometown — could you imagine a final in Phoenix between you and Mike Bibby?
That would have been a lot of fun, but at the end of the day, that’s not my main goal, to get in the 3-point contest. Mine is to make sure my 3-point percentage is steadily on the way up, and I’m helping the team get wins — that’s what it’s about. My job is to do whatever I can to get wins and get a few loose rebounds or make the next pass so somebody else can make the wide open shot, or if it’s me to take the shot or hit a 3 or 2, whatever I have to do to get a win, that’s what my focus is.
Last night Rondo hits a few 3′s, and you and Paul Pierce were laughing it up on the bench. What were you guys laughing about?
Because he’s knocking down 3′s. He hardly ever takes them, so when he starts taking them, I’m happy for him. It wasn’t like I was laughing at him, it was just a laugh of joy.
You mentioned getting your 3-point percentage up. Why do you think your shot hasn’t been on the way you want it to?
I wish I knew — if I knew that, it would be on. I don’t know, it’s just a matter of having it go down. But it’s starting to feel good, I’m starting to feel better, I’m just getting in my extra work as much as I can. I’m trying to stay at the gym, make sure I work out any kinks if there is any kinks, but it’s starting to feel comfortable.
It seems like when you’re going, I’m not sure anyone in the league gets the shot off as quick as you do.
I think that’s one of the things I have to do, get it off quick. I’m not one of the taller guys in the league, I don’t have that much time to get the shot off with guys closing out on me. So, I developed a quick release, it’s just part of my game.
What did you think of the rebounding conversation you guys had the other day?
I think it just put our antennas up and made us more aware — we do have to get back there and help however we can. Three is good, four is good, anything above that is great from a point guard or a guard, unless you’re a guy like Rondo or Jason Kidd, who are such good rebounders. I try to get as many extra rebounds as I can get and haul down the long ones if any long ones come down.
I saw sportscaster Eddie House a while ago, how did you enjoy it?
It was a lot of fun, I might have a future in it a little later on, you might have to watch out. It would probably be me and somebody else, not another athlete, and we would probably just talk sports and also man talk. A man show.
How did your son come interested in TV?
It was just something that came about. They asked us if we were interested, and it came down to us and four other professional athletes and we were in the finals. And they picked us, they thought it was a good fit, him being on the sidelines and being a bit part of the team, almost like a mascot — almost, but not really. A guy that’s there, supports and cheering us on. It was a lot of fun.
Does he have any rules to see the games?
We just try to stay away from weekday games, unless it’s the playoffs. First thing he does every day when he gets home is his homework, and he gets great grades so we don’t have to try to bargain with him or make a deal to try to persuade him to get good grades so he can be a ball boy. That’s already done. If we have weekend games, he just gets to come.
What’s the difference in the team in a game like last night and that stretch last week against Atlanta and the Lakers?
This game, we had turnovers but we took care of our turnovers. We beat them on the glass. We kept them off the offensive glass and that’s one thing you have to do. You have to limit second chance points, you want to make sure you close out your defense and we did a great job on the boards yesterday. The other games we hadn’t been closing out quarters. We’ll get a 10-point lead, against the Lakers we were up 10 with a minute and some change left, and next thing you know we don’t score and they score. We’re not getting key stops, and you go into halftime instead of being up 10, 12, or 15, you’re only up five and it’s a different ballgame coming in the third quarter.
Do you think it’s being distracted, losing those leads?
No, I wouldn’t say we were distracted, just at times we forget what we did to get that lead, and we end up recreating the wheel instead of just doing what we’ve been doing and continuing to pound it and pound it, attack and continue to be aggressive on both ends the floor. At times, I think we just have lulls where we just get passive. And that’s one thing we’re also trying to concentrate on, not being passive. When we get a lead, we get our foot on somebody’s neck, we have to make sure we crush them.
What are you seeing from Rondo that shows his growth?
Nobody can stay in front of him first of all. He has a very high basketball IQ. He plays great defense, his arms are long, he has great instincts and hands. His ability to get to the basket and get his mid-range shot up. He’s definitely an All-Star, he’s earned it, he works extremely hard, he puts his time in on the court. It’s showing.
Is he a young leader in the making?
Definitely. He’s not a real vocal leader, but he’s a leader by example, and so when he does say something or speak, it speaks volumes and guys tend to listen to him and pay attention to what he says.
He made some comments about the chemistry — do you agree with that?
I think his comments were right on. It didn’t have that same feel like it did that first year, but that’s all a part of it. Everybody was brand new to each other, everybody had a chip on their shoulder and something to prove, and I think that’s what we have to get back to — everybody having a chip on their shoulder.