|Posted on December 21, 2011 at 2:35 AM|
“I love him,” Rivers said. “I love him. I think we couldn’t have picked a better guy to back up (Rajon) Rondo — with his spirit, his knowledge, being a veteran, the fact he can make open shots. And he challenges Rondo every day in practice.
“Rondo has laughed about it several times, ‘This guy doesn’t back up at all.’ And it’s been great. They go at each other in a positive way, and I think it’s the first time Rondo’s had that, and it’s been great for him.”
Rivers has gotten a decent look at Dooling during the player’s 11-year career, but there were some things he didn’t know.
“I knew he was an energy player and, honestly, energy players usually don’t mean high IQ; it means they’re wild,” Rivers said. “Where Keyon has surprised me is that he really thinks the game, and I didn’t know that at all. Even off the floor. (Yesterday) he came to me and said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to figure out how this second unit works. And the second unit has to stop trying to be the first unit in offense. They’re never going to be that. We have to figure out who we are.’ That’s just stuff you hear from him. He’s right.”
This sounds great for Rondo. Another point guard who's older giving him advice. Dooling isn't the best,but Rondo can learn from him. It kinda reminds me of Sam Cassell in 2008. Dooling is the only real back-up that Rondo has started camp with. West wasn't the kind of player to teach last season. He's not much older,and he's not a pure point guard. Rondo had Eddie House in 2007 to start camp with,but House also was a two guard stuck in a point guards body. In 2008-09 the Celtics had Gabe Pruitt,and House backing Rondo. In mid-season the Celtics brought in Marbury,but Marbury isn't the teaching kind as well.
Same issue in 2009-10 Rondo didn't have a pure point backing him. Finally Rondo has a veteran who understands the game,and can teach. He's not the best,but he gives his all,and he's simply a teacher. Dooling can make a difference,and I think it will show this season. He won't cause many turnovers,and he will score if he needs to. It also seems like his defense will help the Celtics,and the defense won't suffer once the starters hit the bench.
I think the best that could happen is Rondo can get rest. Wouldn't that be nice.