|Kenny Smith: Why Rondo can’t be dared to shoot||05.06.09 at 12:04 am ET|
Rajon Rondo had a breakout performance in the first round of the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls. 19.4 points per game weren’t too shabby for a player once considered hampered by a jumpshot. As TNT analyst Kenny Smith explained on WEEI’s Dale & Holley show, he believes Rondo’s early struggles away from the basket have become an advantage for him.
Said Smith, “Well I always thought that when I was playing as a player, I thought that when you played against guys who you thought really couldn’t shoot from the outside and you backed up off of them, I thought that played to his advantage because then one, you gave him passing lanes, two you gave him the ability to take up the space and come at you and put you on your heels, and three how does a guy practice when he really doesn’t shoot the ball well by himself? They feed him the ball and no one’s there. So you’re actually feeding into the things he’s good at and then you make him a stronger player. And I think that teams at times have made him really, really good and then all of a sudden he starts to play good and he becomes great … I think now he’s gotten to a point where he understands how to do this and play at this level. But I really think a lot of times teams play into his hands because they give him shots that dare him to shoot and no one gets to this point in this league, especially at the point where Rondo is, and you can dare him to shoot and they’re not going to make it.”
Rondo scored 14 points against the Orlando Magic in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Game 2 will be played on Wednesday night in Boston.
|Game 6: Rondo gets a flagrant||04.30.09 at 7:47 pm ET|
Late in the first quarter of Game 6, Rajon Rondo got tangled up with Chicago’s Kirk Hinrich and appeared to throw Hinrich into the scorer’s table. Hinrich came back at Rondo with a shove and the two squared off. Rondo was assessed a Flagrant 1 Foul, a huge break for the Celtics because a Flagrant 2 would have resulted in his ejection and could have led to a possible suspension.
Hinrich was assessed a technical foul on the play. It was the culmination of a tightly-called first quarter that saw 15 fouls called.
|No punishment for Rondo||04.29.09 at 4:37 pm ET|
According to the Boston Globe, an NBA official has confirmed Celtics guard Rajon Rondo will not face further action in response to his Game 5 foul on Brad Miller. The Bulls had argued Rondo committed a flagrant foul in the closing seconds of overtime. The Celtics and Bulls will play Game 6 on Thursday night in Chicago.
The league did hand down on punishment, though, on Wednesday. Dwight Howard was suspended for Game 6 of the Magic-76ers series for elbowing Samuel Dalembert in the face.
|Doc: We’ll let Brad Miller make a big deal of it||at 2:44 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Doc Rivers stood by his starting point guard at a brief shootaround this afternoon prior to the team’s departure for Chicago and Game 6 on Thursday.
Rivers reiterated that he didn’t think that Rajon Rondo was trying to hurt Brad Miller when he committed a hard foul on him with 2.0 seconds remaining in overtime.
“I don’t think Rondo fouled to hurt him or anything like that,” Rivers said. “I thought Rondo was clearly trying to go for it and then couldn’t reach hiand then was just trying to grab anything he could grab. But Brad Miller clearly wants to make a big deal of that so we’ll let him.”
|Rondo’s foul: Flagrant, or not?||at 12:47 pm ET|
With time winding down in Game 5, Brad Miller caught the Celtics in a frantic switch and drove hard to the basket. Trailing behind the play Rajon Rondo reached forward and made contact with Miller’s face, which did two things. It prevented Miller from dunking to tie the game and it also drew blood.
The Bulls protested after the play that it should have been a flagrant foul since, in their opinion, Rondo didn’t attempt to make play a play on the ball. The Celtics, obviously, contend that it was good hard playoff foul.
Here’s where it gets interesting. Last night in Orlando, Dwight Howard clocked Philly’s Sam Delambert with an elbow. That, as True Hoop’s Henry Abbott points out should have resulted in an ejection.
Now the question becomes: What, if anything, will the NBA do about this?
Here’s a video with both plays (via True Hoop):
UPDATE: According to a report by ESPN’s Chris Sheridan, the NBA is reviewing both plays.
Here’s the flagrant foul interpretation from Sheridan:
“If Rondo’s foul is upgraded to a flagrant-category 1, he would be assessed one flagrant foul point. Players earn an automatic one-game suspension if they accumulate four flagrant foul points during the postseason. If the foul is upgraded to a flagrant-2, Rondo would be suspended for Game 6 in Chicago on Thursday night.”
|Doc: Celtics have to get Ray open||04.19.09 at 3:00 pm ET|
The day after losing Game One in overtime to Chicago, the Celtics honed in on their mistakes with a lengthy film session. They focused on sticking with their game plan, taking away the Bulls transition game, and making the second pass. And after Ray Allen went 1-for-12 on Saturday, they focused on getting him the open shot.
“We’ve got to do a better job of getting Ray open. We didn’t set enough picks for Ray,” said Doc Rivers. “So we’ve got to get him open, give him more time. I think he had two good looks, one was late in the game, but even that, the pass was late. I told them that shooters have to have the ball in their rhythm and they have to have time. And I thought when our shooters were open, we didn’t get them the ball in time and we threw them off rhythm. And then a lot of times they were not open because we didn’t set good picks.”
Rives stressed the importance of playing as a team, not being “the guy.” On Saturday, the Celtics dished 16 assists, nearly seven less than their season average.
“The way our team is built, especially now with KG out, we need to get out and break a little bit more, get Paul and Ray easy shots, get them to the free throw line, so that way their jumpshots will flow easier,” said Rajon Rondo.
Sunday’s practice wrapped with a three-pointer … by Ray Allen.
|Celtics-Magic Game Blog: Second Quarter||03.08.09 at 12:39 pm ET|
At the start of the second quarter … Magic 22, Celtics 15
- The Magic have scored 16 of their first 22 points in the paint. They’ve done more damage in the lane than the Celtics have done on the floor, and Howard has only played six minutes.
- This could be a big game for Gabe Pruitt. With only Marbury ahead of him at the PG, Pruitt has his first shot in a while to prove himself. He has not played since February 25 against the Los Angeles Clippers. That night he was arrested for suspicion of DUI and served a team-imposed two-game suspension.
- Both teams are going heavy on the bigs. The Celtics have Kendrick Perkins and Mikki Moore going up against Dwight Howard and Marcin Gortat.
- The Celtics have scored just two points in four minutes. And the faint boos have already begun.
- There have been 18 fouls called in the first 18 minutes of the game.
- Howard’s on the bench with three personal fouls. Now is the time for the Celtics to do some damage at the basket. The Cs also have an advantage with J.J. Redick guarding Ray Allen. Redick is not known for his defense.
- The Magic’s deal for Rafer Alston did not get much buzz at the trade deadline but this acquisition is a difference maker in this game. Alston brings quickness to the Magic that the Celtics are having trouble stopping without Rajon Rondo.
- Pierce’s dunk past Pietrus and Battie has the crowd on their feet. The harsh reality is, the Celtics are still down by nearly 20.
- At the half … Magic 51, Celtics 33
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