|Why Nate Robinson was reason Celtics won||05.29.10 at 1:23 am ET|
Paul Pierce is undeniably the leading spokesman of these Celtics.
When he speaks, everyone who cares about the team listens.
In the moments following Boston’s second Eastern Conference title in three years, he gave credit to one player for helping the Celtics to get over the emotional hump of losing two straight games after having a 3-0 lead against the Magic.
“He really won the game for us,” Pierce told ESPN’s Doris Burke in the midst of a parquet celebration following the 96-84 triumph.
Why did the man who scored a game-high 31 points while grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out five assists give so much credit to the man with the new tatoo on his throat? Because without him, the Celtics might have lost their swagger when Rajon Rondo took a hard first-quarter fall to the floor, courtesy Dwight Howard.
“It was huge, it was big,” Robinson said after scoring all 13 of his points in a furious second-quarter spurt. “I am just speechless right now. My teammates, we got the job done today.
“Just do whatever coach asked. He asked me to play as much defense as I could. The best way that I knew how, and the offense is going to come. That’s something that comes naturally, just play the game for what it is and for the love of it. That’s what I went out there and did.”
Robinson, who came to Boston in a much-talked about mid-season trade with the Knicks, didn’t even play in Games 1 and 2 of the series as Rondo was exerting his dominance. Coach Doc Rivers has always told his players to be prepared. Friday’s huge Game 6 stage was Robinson’s chance.
“It was a great opportunity,” Robinson said. “I thank God, I thank Doc, the fans for giving me so much energy and my teammates for believing. They always told me be ready, be ready you never know. Today was that day.
“I mean just the opportunity to play. I got my chance today. I just showed that I could play the game of basketball.”
And now Robinson gets his first chance to play on an even bigger stage: the NBA finals.
|Celtics practice ‘good and bad’||01.04.10 at 3:36 pm ET|
WALTHAM – The Celtics have already proven they can beat a lesser team on the parquet of TD Garden without Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. But on Wednesday, they might have to do the same against the Miami Heat on the road.
Rondo [left hamstring], Pierce and Garnett [both right knees] were all observers again on Monday as Tony Allen, J.R. Giddens and Rasheed Wallace filled in during practice.
“Practice was good and bad,” said Tom Thibodeau, who was filling in for Doc Rivers. “Normally, coming off a day off, it’s a little sloppy but the intensity was good and the intentions were good.”
Read between those lines and the man who ran practice for Rivers on Monday was trying to be kind to the healthy players who are trying to get ready for Miami without Garnett and possibly Rondo and Pierce missing again.
The coaching staff will gather with the players and trainer Ed Lacerte on Tuesday before their flight to Miami and make a determination if it’s even worth traveling the players.
“I didn’t talk to Eddie today,” Thibodeau said. “[Rondo] came out and coaching and involved and he’s chomping at the bit. I assume he’s feeling better but I don’t know that he’s ready yet.
“Paul was moving around and did some shooting and things like that. He’s feeling pretty good. He’s improving day by day.”
Meanwhile, Garnett was spotted lifting weights and conditioning while he recovers from a sore right knee that has him like out another week.
|Rondo on Hornets: ‘It was intense’||11.01.09 at 10:31 pm ET|
Sunday’s postgame access to Rajon Rondo came with a condition to reporters: No questions about Chris Paul.
After Rondo and Paul traded verbal barbs and even a double-technical midway through the second quarter, the two star point guards of the Celtics and Hornets got into it even more at the end of the fourth, with both teams needing to be separated.
“It was very intense,” Rondo said. “I think it was our first close game. I think we handled it well. We didn’t play extremely well tonight but when they made their run, we got stops and then we scored offensively.”
Ray Allen played next to Rondo all night and he liked what he saw from the intense tete-a-tete between Rondo and CP 3.
“Yeah, they’re both feisty,” Allen said. “Both aggressive, in your face. They take the ball to the hole. Put you on your heels all game long. So I’m pretty sure it can get pretty chippy out there.”
And Allen didn’t mind seeing that, as long as the teams left the hard feelings on the court and controlled each other coming off, which was a bit of a challenge following Boston’s 97-87 win.
“Walk off the floor and say, ‘Way to compete tonight,’” Allen said. “For those 48 minutes, I cannot stand you. I wanted to fight you. I wanted to do everything I possibly could. And when you walk off the floor you say, ‘Way to battle.’”
To hear what Chris Paul had to say for himself, click here.
|No suspension for Rondo, Hinrich||05.01.09 at 8:24 pm ET|
NBA spokesman Tim Frank announced Friday night that neither Rajon Rondo nor Kirk Hinrich will be suspended for Game 7 on Saturday night at TD Banknorth Garden.
The two got entangled in the closing moments of the first quarter of Thursday’s night’s Game 6 at the United Center in Chicago, with Rondo throwing Hinrich off his elbow. Hinrich lost his balance and went into the sideline signage next to the Celtics bench.
Hinrich shoved Rondo and both head coaches came onto the floor to restore order. Rondo was assessed a flagrant 1 foul while Hinrich was assessed a technical for shoving Rondo.
Both players remained in the game.
|Rondo to fans: We need you tonight||04.28.09 at 12:23 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Rajon Rondo is looking for a little help from some of the most loyal fans in the NBA.
Tonight, as the Celtics prepare to battle the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference series at TD Banknorth Garden, Rondo and his mates will look to put that grueling double-overtime loss in Game 4 in Chicago behind them.
When you spend 3 hours, 33 minutes battling, only to lose and have to hop on a plane and play 48 hours later in playoff intensity, it’s understandable that you would look for a pick-me-up wherever you can find it.
“I think it’s important for us, to get the crowd in early,” Rondo said. “I think it’s very key. I think it’s one of the most important things besides us playing well tonight is for the crowd to be into it.”
The man who has averaged a triple-double in this series, with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, will be called upon to get the Celtics offense into high gear at the start.
“We look at it as a game we have to win,” Rondo said Tuesday morning. “We looked at Game 4 the same way. We could have separated the series if we had won Game 4 but we have to move on.”
Rondo has two triple-doubles in this series, in the Game 2 win, and the Game 4 loss. Celtics coach Doc Rivers would welcome another triple double but what he’s really looking for is just a steady court presence.
“That would be great,” Rivers said of another triple-double. “His numbers are almost gaudy at times. We don’t expect those numbers, we just expect his solid play. Sometimes, even when he plays and has a great, solid numbers it doesn’t translate into number. But so far this series it has.”
|Rondo… The new Pearl Washington||04.08.09 at 11:49 pm ET|
Stephon Marbury knows old-school point guard play. And he sees it every time he watches Rajon Rondo play.
On Wednesday night during a 106-104 nail-biter over the New Jersey Nets at TD Banknorth Garden, Rondo scored a team high 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the floor, while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out five assists.
It seemed from Marbury’s standpoint, every time Rondo drove to the basket, he scored.
“The guy had [31 ]points and I think he shot all layups,” Marbury said. “He reminds me of Pearl Washington from what they said, back in the days. A guy who didn’t really shoot the jump shots, but just continued to get to the basket and dominated.”
There are cases around the NBA when the point guard looks to score, their team is usually in trouble. Such is not the case with Rajon Rondo and the Celtics. As a matter of fact, it may be just the opposite.
For the third straight game, Rondo scored at least 20 points in leading his team to victory, their fifth straight overall.
|Sounds of the game… Celtics 104, Hawks 92||04.03.09 at 11:47 pm ET|
Rajon Rondo spent the last five minutes of Friday morning’s shootaround in Waltham setting up behind the three-point line. He was making them at roughly a 50 percent rate.
Everyone knows that Rondo is the machine that drives the Celtics offense. He’s know trying to add an extra gear to the machine that produced 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting against the Hawks on Friday night in a 104-92 win at TD Banknorth Garden.
And as is often the case with the soft-spoken Rondo, it was his teammates doing the most talking about his great game on Friday.
“When Rajon is aggressive, he’s scoring the ball and it opens up everything for all of us,” Paul Pierce said. “Night in and night out you know me and Ray are going to get out touches but when Rajon is out there getting 16 points, getting layups, knocking down jumpers it just opens up the floor for everybody as you can see, Perk getting lay-ups, Baby getting wide open shots, I’m getting good looks and our offense gets pretty much unstoppable when he’s going.”
“It’s hard to beat us when a guy like that gets going, you know, he’s a wonderful guy, he can do some many things on the court, and when his jump shot’s falling, that’s even better for our team,” Kendrick Perkins added. “So, Rajon is a big, big player for this team, and he goes out there and contributes, and that’s what you saw tonight.” Read the rest of this entry »