|Rondo has seen it all before||05.10.10 at 9:17 pm ET|
WALTHAM — As is his style, Rajon Rondo completely underplayed the possibility that LeBron James wants a piece of him for Game 5 in Cleveland on Tuesday. At least, on defense.
Even more, Rondo took the chance to show he can play history teacher, too.
“It’s happened before,” Rondo said in recalling the 2008 NBA Finals. “LeBron is going to be LeBron. He’s a great help-defender so he’s definitely going to be helping. He’s a good defender. They did that a couple of years ago when Kobe was checking me in the Finals. So, I’m used to bigger guys giving me the shot and challenging me late because of their wingspan. But [Anthony] Parker, is 6-7, 6-6, he’s not LeBron but he’s similar. He’s not a first-team All Defense but he’s a good defender.
“It really doesn’t matter about the matchups. Obviously, a big thing in the playoffs is the matchups, but for me, I don’t really care who’s guarding me. I’m still going to run our offense and our system. We run our sets on offense through Paul, Ray and Kevin.”
But Rondo isn’t as worried about who guards him Tuesday as he is the final result. A win and Rondo and the Celtics could clinch on home court Thursday night.
“Each game you say is the most important game of the series, which is true,” he said. “Game 5 is the biggest game for us right now. There can be a momentum swing. The series has been up and down. I think each game is won, loss, won, loss so hopefully we can change it up and get two wins in a row.
“The pressure is on them now and also on us. So there’s no one-way street now as far as to where the pressure is. I’m fairly confident we can go into Cleveland and get a win. We definitely have to be focused.”
As for getting Paul Pierce started, Rondo said he’ll do what he can but he knows his captain won’t force things.
“We don’t want to sacrifice the entire offense or the team just to get Paul involved,” he said. “Paul is just an unselfish player so he’s not complaining about shots or that he’s only scoring 11 or 12 points. As long as we’re winning, he knows it’s a team sport. He’s very unselfish. It’s about sacrifices. Yesterday, I think Ray [Allen] got 21 shots up and myself. Maybe Paul gets 22 shots and maybe Ray and I only shoots four. It varies each game. If a guy has it going, you keep going to him.”
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