|Fast Break: Celtics – Timberwolves||11.04.09 at 10:42 pm ET|
Playing in front of a sea of No. 5 jerseys, the Timberwolves were determined to prove themselves against Kevin Garnett and the Celtics. But in the end it was Garnett himself who forced a jumball to secure a 92-90 win for the Celtics, in Minnesota.
Player of the game: Rajon Rondo was outplayed by rookie Jonny Flynn in the first half, scoring just two points. Then he turned it on in the third quarter. Rondo posted 14 points in the third to bring the Celtics back into the game. He didn’t just put the ball in the hoop ‘ he baffled the Timberwolves defense, fought to get open, and burned his opponents with quick-thinking plays at the basket. Rondo finished the night with 18 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Turning point of the game: With over 10 lead changes in this game, the deciding play came with 3.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Up 92-90, the Celtics were fighting to fend off the Timberwolves game-winning/tying attempt. Garnett forced the jumpball against a driving Corey Brewer and eventually iced the victory for the Celtics.
* Rasheed Wallace added another T to his resume when he got whistled for a technical from the Celtics bench during the second quarter. It was reminiscent of Sam Cassell getting ejected from the sidelines last season without ever actually playing in the game.
* The Celtics were outrebounded 21-16 in the first half. Pierce was the only starter without a board in the first two quarters. Ryan Gomes, on the other hand, had five for the Timberwolves at the three-spot.
* Even though Rondo had the hot hand coming out of halftime, Doc Rivers played up the Celtics strengths and subbed in House at the end of the quarter. The strategy paid off as a well-defended Pierce kicked the ball off to House for the game-tying three as time expired in the quarter. The Celtics carried that momentum into the fourth.
* Kevin Garnett recorded a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. It was his first since opening night against the Cavaliers (13 points, 10 rebounds).
* Timberwolves big man Oleksiy Pecherov made a name for himself with 24 points (9-14 FG) to lead all scorers.
|Danny Ainge on the Big Show||at 5:30 pm ET|
Danny Ainge joined the guys on the Big Show to talk about the Celtics hot start, Rajon Rondo’s new contract and what was up with the league’s investigation of the Rondo-Chris Paul tiff from Sunday. Ainge also had some interesting things to say about Allen Iverson, the 2010 free agent market and whether winning 72 games is even a concern.
Here’s the slightly-edited for clarity transcript:
On the team’s fast start:
Ainge: It’s been great, our defense has been excellent, and our shooting, we’ve been making shots every night. It’s been Paul [Pierce] plus one, or Paul plus two or three guys. I think we can even play better.
Did you expect out of the gate that the bench players would be playing significant minutes and playing the same as your first team?
The only surprise has been Glen Davis not playing and Shelden [Williams] stepping up and he had a couple of double-digit rebound games and three double-digit scoring games. So that’s been a big boost for us. As far as everybody else, I knew there would be games when Rasheed [Wallace] would be hot and Eddie [House] would be hot. Marquis [Daniels] is just a good solid, player. He can defend and pass. I guess I expected that. I also think our starters can play better than they’re playing, so that’s very encouraging. Read the rest of this entry »
|Making it official: Rondo re-ups with Celtics||11.02.09 at 8:48 pm ET|
WALTHAM, Mass. — While Rajon Rondo spoke earlier in the day about the long-term security his new deal would provide, the Celtics waited till every detail was in place before announcing Monday night that they have re-signed their All-Star point guard to a contract extension, thus avoiding restricted free agency next summer.
WEEI.com’s Jeff Goodman confirmed through NBA sources that the extension is worth $55 million over five years.
The following was the release from the team:
The Boston Celtics announced today that the club has signed point guard Rajon Rondo to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
‘We are extremely pleased to be able to extend Rajon’s contract,’ said Celtics President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge. ‘We believe that he is one of the elite point guards in the NBA and has a tremendous future ahead of him.’ Read the rest of this entry »
|Rivers on Rondo’s Contract: ‘I Can Fine Him More’||at 3:36 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo now has security in the form of the five-year deal to which he’s agreed in principle. At the same time, Celtics coach Doc Rivers also has a form of security in knowing that he will have the dynamic point guard beyond the 2009-10 NBA season. And so, Rivers felt little need to hide his enthusiasm for the deal.
“I love it. Whenever we can lock up a player like him, that’s what you want to do,” said Rivers. “I said last week that I really thought he’d be a Celtic for life. Now, with the contract, at least for the most part of it, he will be. That’s a good thing.”
That notwithstanding, Rivers suggested that the deal — which has yet to be finalized — will do little else to change the Celtics. Rondo will be treated as the same player, and the team is unlikely to view the point guard differently just because he received the lucrative deal.
“I just look at him as a player. I’m not going to look at him today any differently than I did yesterday. When he screws up, I’m still going to yell at him. I can fine him more. I guess that’s the good news of the contract. We treat him the same. We treat everyone the same. Our motto here is we’re going to coach you the way you should be someday, not the way you are today. That goes for everyone,” said Rivers. “It’s obviously a topic of conversation because everyone talks about it all around. It’s funny ‘ no one made a big deal of it [at practice] today. They kidded him about it. We just went about our business. That’s pretty much who we are.”
Rivers did not seem to think that complacency would become an issue for Rondo in light of the financial security of incredible wealth. The idea of a player achieving peace of mind through such a contract, the Celtics coach suggested, was exaggerated.
“As a player, you just play. It’s all within. You keep your drive. You keep pushing forward. He’s 24 years old. I think that is for guys, that 32-year-old age who get that last contract, that’s peace of mind,” said Rivers. “But at this point in his career, I don’t think he thinks of it that way. I think he looks at is as something I’ve earned, something I’ve worked extremely hard for, and I want a couple more of these big deals.”
|Rondo: ‘I’m thankful for what I’m signing for’||at 2:22 pm ET|
“I’m thankful for what I’m signing for,” Rondo said.
[To hear Rondo answer questions about his new deal, click here.]
The deal between Rondo’s agent Bill Duffy and the team has yet to be finalized but Rondo acknowledged it’s a formality.
The team made Rondo available following Monday’s practice as the team will fly to Philadelphia for Tuesday’s game against the 76ers.
“Nothing changes,” Rondo added. “Still have one goal in mind. It’s great to have security but we’re still focused on winning a championship.
“No, it’s not, necessarily, happiness is. I couldn’t deal without my teammates,” Rondo said. “I’ve had great teammates for the past four years. When it’s all said and done, we’re still going to have relationships on the court, regardless of whatever certain guys make. The relationships you build with one another in the NBA, you can’t compare it to money.”
Rondo also added that he’s grateful that his young daughter will be taken care of. Read the rest of this entry »
|Turn up the volume: Rondo speaks out||11.01.09 at 8:54 pm ET|
Everyone wanted to hear from Rajon Rondo before Sunday’s game.
The NBA had extended their deadline to Monday evening for signing players before they can become restricted free agents at the end of the season and Rondo falls into that category.
No deal was announced but Rondo told reporters he’s not worried about the business aspect of his career. Smart move since he was getting ready to face Chris Paul and the Hornets.
Here’s what he had to say before the game.
|Rondo: ‘Unlikely I finish in Boston’||at 6:23 pm ET|
Before Sunday’s game against the Hornets, Rajon Rondo addressed his ongoing contract negotiations. After saying that he wants to stay a Celtic, he told WEEI.com, “Hopefully for my career, but it’s very unlikely because it’s like five guys that’ve played in the NBA for their entire career. Paul [Pierce] is one of them. You’ve got guys like Ray [Allen] and Kevin [Garnett] that are future Hall of Famers that haven’t been on the same team their entire careers.
“It’s unlikely [I finish in Boston] but I want to. ”
To hear Rondo speak to reporters before Sunday’s game, click here.
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