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Why you should care about Wednesday’s Celtics win: Rajon Rondo’s spectacular return, Marcus Smart’s debut 10.29.14 at 10:22 pm ET
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The Celtics hosted the Nets on an opening night where it seemed nothing could go wrong for the home team at TD Garden.

First the C’s took a 26-point lead into halftime, then they dropped 101 points by end of the third quarter thanks to a Kelly Olynyk buzzer-beater.

In the end, the Celtics played extremely well as a whole, winning 121-105 while shooting an insane 55.7 percent from the field for the game (€Click here for the box score). And it was Rajon Rondo who gave them the shot in the arm that they really needed, not missing any games after breaking a bone in his left hand just 33 days ago.

Rondo dazzled in his return

Rondo returned to action just shy of five weeks after having surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand and was better than ever. Wearing protective padding over his injured hand, Rondo posted a near triple-double in his first game action since April, finishing with 13 points (6-for-9 from the field), 12 assists and seven rebounds in just under 30 minutes of action.

Brad Stevens said prior to the game that there is no minute restriction on his star point guard, but he will open up the season playing in these types of short “stints” followed by even shorter rests.

“I thought he played great,” Stevens said of Rondo after the win. “I probably played him in the second half too long of stints for what I wanted to at one time, but I actually thought one of the best parts of the game for us was the fact that we went to the bench and we just kept going. And the bench made such a great contribution, and Rondo just kind of fit in seamlessly.”

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Asset Management: Rajon Rondo’s Celtics future at 12:34 pm ET
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I think we can all agree the Celtics won’€™t be raising banner 18 in the immediate future, and more likely than not the 2014-15 NBA season will result in another lottery pick come June, regardless of how ardently Rajon RondoAvery Bradley & Co. argue the contrary. It’€™s been a year since Danny Ainge traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets, launching the process of stockpiling draft picks and cap-friendly contracts. Since the Celtics failed to cash in those commodities in exchange for fireworks this summer, this season’€™s preview will have a Wyc Grousbeck theme, focusing on the hodgepodge of C’€™s pieces in a series we’€™ll call Asset Management. Next up: Rajon Rondo.

There’s no point arguing about whether Rajon Rondo is a great player any longer. He’s capable of things on a basketball court previously reserved only for Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson, and that’s all I’ll ever need to know.

We haven’t seen Rondo at full strength since Jan. 25, 2013, when he dropped a 16-10-11 triple-double and played the final 12 minutes of a double-overtime loss to the Hawks on a torn ACL. How anyone hates on him is beyond me.

Playing at 87 percent health or whatever weird number he assigned to his rehabbed right knee last season, Rondo still averaged 11.7 points, 9.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 33.3 minutes over 30 games. You know who else achieved those averages in 2013-14? Nobody. Not Kevin Durant. Not LeBron James. Not Stephen Curry. Not Chris Paul. Nobody.

Rondo is one of the most extraordinary players in the NBA, if not the league’s strangest bird, and it’s good to have him back. The broken metatarsal in his left hand will prevent Rondo from reaching 100 percent for a week or two, but he’ll be collecting triple-doubles before we know it, ascending everbody’s player rankings all year.

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Read More: Asset Management, Boston Celtics, NBA, Rajon Rondo
Tom Brady goes all Rajon Rondo in wishing Celtics ‘good luck’ this season at 12:13 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Tom Brady is at it again on Facebook.

On Wednesday, his page posted a photoshopped image of him from his childhood holding an old-school Voit basketball. The photoshopped part was the Rajon Rondo-esque headband.

Brady appears a bit chubby in the photo but with an endearing smile.

The post wishes the Celtics “good luck this season.”

Read More: Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, Rajon Rondo, Tom Brady
WEEI.com predicts 2014-15 Boston Celtics season at 8:59 am ET
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The Boston Celtics season is upon us, and our WEEI.com round table of Ben Rohrbach, Mike Petraglia, Kevin O’Connor, Julian Edlow and Sam Packard weighs in on five questions facing the C’s this season.

1. What will be Rajon Rondo‘s fate this season?

@brohrbach: We’ve seen “National TV” Rondo, but we’ve never really witnessed “Contract Year” Rondo, and that could be an awful lot of fun. He’s almost two years removed from the ACL surgery, and the broken bone in his hand appears to be only a minor setback. I’m on board with Celtics president Danny Ainge’s assessment that his four-time All-Star point guard will enjoy a career statistical year as the most exciting player on a blah team. Even then, haters will find something to complain about.

As for whether he’ll be traded or not, the Celtics will sure as heck try, but the number of teams in need of a starting point guard, willing to meet Ainge’s asking price and lining up to pay Rondo max money isn’t a long list. It’s a coin flip, but I’m now leaning more toward no deal than deal.

@Trags: Traded by January.

@KevinOconnorNBA: For Rondo to be dealt by Boston, another team needs to get desperate close to the trade deadline. Looking around the NBA, I don’€™t see many teams willing to cough up what it’€™ll take, so for now I think he’€™ll remain with the Celtics all season.

@julianedlow: Rondo plays the year out in Boston. If he was ever going to be traded, it needed to happen by draft night. There are just no realistic packages out there that make sense for Ainge to deal Rondo. I won’€™t venture a guess as to what happens after this season, but I guarantee it won’€™t be boring.

@SPackGuy: Starts over 75 games for the Celtics. Re-signs in the offseason after not being offered a max deal by any other team.

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart
Rajon Rondo upgrades himself to having an 83 percent chance of playing Wednesday night 10.28.14 at 1:50 pm ET
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With the Celtics‘€™ season-opener rapidly approaching, the question still remains — will Rajon Rondo be ready to play in Wednesday’s first game of the year?

It’€™s clear that Rondo has been improving, but he still can’€™t resist poking some fun at the media in the process. At Monday’s practice, Rondo gave himself a 79 percent chance of playing against the Nets on Wednesday. Then on Tuesday according to reports, Rondo told Brad Stevens he had upgraded himself to having an 83 percent chance of playing.

Rondo went on to say that he doesn’€™t like being called a game-time decision and he will decide whether or not he plays just a few hours before the game begins when he wakes up from his nap around 4:30 on Wednesday.

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Rajon Rondo gives himself 79 percent chance to play Wednesday 10.27.14 at 1:48 pm ET
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All preseason long Brad Stevens has been unwilling to place a percentage on the chances that his star point guard, Rajon Rondo, will be available on opening night. Rondo is just over four weeks into his recovery from surgery on a broken left hand, but he seems to be way ahead of schedule despite the coach’s hesitancy to announce his return.

“There’s a lot of ifs there,” Stevens said regarding Rondo’s status prior to Monday’s practice. “I’d still say he’s somewhere in the realm of questionable, but it certainly looks like all signs have been moving forward.”

If you know Rondo, then you know he is a much more of a precise type of guy.

So what percentage would Rondo place on himself to play on opening night? “Probably 79 [percent] right now,” he concluded Monday.

Obviously, Rondo was asked to expand on his answer: “I feel good, it’s just that contact is a completely different thing if I land on it.” Rondo went on to explain that he has only been through one practice with contact so far, but has not landed on or been hit on the hand. Rondo did admit that he had gotten it tangled up in a jersey, however, it caused him no pain or issues.

“He was good on Friday,” Stevens said of the lone contact practice that Rondo referred to. “He’ll go full again [on Monday], then I think he’s going to re-see the doctors [on Tuesday], maybe Wednesday morning.

“It’s going to be about how he feels,” Stevens ultimately offered. “So if he goes through the next couple of days without pain and feels really good and the doctors give him clearance, then he’ll be good to go.”

So what could Rondo’s minutes look like on Wednesday?

“If he were to play as early as this week then I would probably play him in shorter stints, but still play him quite a bit,” said Stevens. “Obviously you want him to get a flow and rhythm, but when we’re talking about five- or six-minute stints, that’s plenty of time.”

On Rondo’s overall minutes per game, Stevens said: “I think we’ll probably play it as is once he’s ready to play. Again, it has not been a conditioning issue because he’s been able to run the whole time.”

It’s still too early to jump to any conclusions and rule Rondo a go for Wednesday, but his status clearly looks much more optimistic than anticipated. The original prognosis of 6-8 weeks suggested that Rondo would miss between 4-10 regular-season games, so simply the fact that he has a chance of playing in the first game is impressive.

Seventy-nine percent is a high number, though — and it seems to be getting higher every day. Without being overly optimistic, it feels like there’s a great chance we hear Rondo’s name announced when it’s time for the starting lineups on Wednesday night.

Follow Julian Edlow on Twitter @julianedlow

Read More: Brad Stevens, Rajon Rondo,
Why you should care about Wednesday’s Celtics win: Marcus Smart had his best game, Jared Sullinger can rebound 10.22.14 at 10:09 pm ET
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Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

The Celtics wrapped up the preseason with a 100-86 victory over the Nets at the TD Garden on Wednesday night (check out the box score here). Brooklyn rested its starters, while Rajon Rondo was out once again with a broken left hand for the Celtics.

Brad Stevens only played starters Jeff Green and Avery Bradley in the first quarter, while Marcus Smart and Jared Sullinger shined in their final tune up before the regular season.

Here are other reasons why you should have cared about the Celtics‘ preseason finale:

Marcus Smart had a very strong showing back in the starting point guard role

Smart opened up the game by swishing a 3-pointer out of the corner, which was nice for Celtics fans to see since shooting is one of his biggest weaknesses. However, Smart did a much better job of slashing through the lane than he has in previous games. He was able to connect on three layups in traffic, while also going 4-for-4 from the free throw line. Attacking the basket might be Smart’€™s biggest strength, so it was certainly positive to see him do so efficiently before the preseason came to an end.

Smart never saw the floor in the second half, but the damage was done. He racked up 16 points in just 15 minutes of action, adding four assists, a rebound and two steals. Perhaps most importantly, he did it on 5-for-8 shooting from the field — all three of his misses coming from downtown. Good things happen when Smart gets into the paint.

Jared Sullinger was a beast on the boards once again

Sullinger is a very good scorer, but he is a phenomenal rebounder. After ripping down 19 boards on Sunday, Sullinger grabbed 13 in the first half alone Wednesday. He finished the game with what is becoming a classic Sullinger stat line — 15 points and 17 rebounds. Sullinger did so while shooting 7-for-10 from the field in 26 minutes of action.

James Young returned from a hamstring injury

Young hurt his hamstring while warming up for the first preseason game, but kept that information to himself and ended up by playing in the game. Young posted 10 points in his debut, but then has missed each preseason contest since. He also didn’t play in a summer league game following a car crash.

The rookie wasted no time Wednesday, nailing a 3-pointer on his first possession in the game. He finished with just five points and four rebounds, but keep in mind it was just his second professional game. Young has plenty of room to grow this season.

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Read More: Brooklyn Nets, Jared Sullinger, Marcus Smart, Rajon Rondo
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