Fast Break: Rajon Rondo leads C’s past Bobcats
|04.15.12 at 8:15 pm ET|
If you were wondering what the Celtics would look like in the post Big 3 era, Sunday’s game against the Bobcats probably wasn’t the best example. One could assume that a future without Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett would include more talented personnel, for example.
But if you were wondering how Rajon Rondo would play without the three All-Stars, Sunday’s game served as a interesting sneak peak. Rondo played the first 32 and a half minutes and scored 16 points and had 13 assists. Yes, the Celtics were playing the woeful Bobcats, but Rondo wasn’t exactly playing with Hall of Famers.
Rondo was aggressive early and set the tone by getting to the free throw line seven times. He finished with 20 points, 16 assists and six rebounds. Behind his inspired play, the Celtics enjoyed a 94-82 win and finished their back-to-back-to-back with two wins.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Avery Bradley, really not a surprise anymore: Since moving into the starting lineup, the second-year guard has been a revelation, but his production can no longer be considered surprising. One night after draining a career-high three 3-pointers, Bradley went for 22 points and nailed a huge 3 in transition that gave the Celtics some breathing room after Charlotte had cut their lead to four points.
Brandon Bass, quietly rolls along: The forgotten man for the Celtics had another productive night with 22 points and nine rebounds. Make no mistake, the Celtics know how important Bass has been to their strong play since the All-Star break.
Greg Stiemsma had a solid night as the starting center: The shot-blocking machine rejected three in the first five minutes and perhaps more importantly, was able to do so without fouling. As usual, Stiemsma had some foul trouble, but still had a solid night with eight points, five rebounds, six blocks and three steals.
WHAT WENT WRONG
Pierce gets an unscheduled day off: Allen was ruled out of this game earlier this weekend with a sore ankle. The plan was always to rest Garnett. But Pierce’s day off came after he rolled over his foot late in their game against New Jersey on Saturday. The Celtics have a day off before playing the Knicks, but they won’t want to take any unnecessary risks with Pierce.
Rookie problems: JaJuan Johnson picked up three fouls in 103 seconds in the first half and E’Twaun Moore didn’t play until the final minute. It’s not surprising that both players have regressed with no playing time and without any time in the D-League or in practice, but neither player looks like they’ll be able to contribute at all in the postseason.