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Ainge "No excuse without Rondo"

Posted by shawn cassidy on April 25, 2013 at 7:35 PM

ESPN Boston

On whether not having a true point guard is hurting the Celtics right now: "I think those are just excuses. We've known this. We've been preparing for the playoffs for a few months. I think that we have what we have and we've got to do the best with it. I guess that right now I just don't think that we've played like we were capable of playing. I mean, it's one thing to lose to a team that deserves to beat you and is a better team. But I feel like we've come out ready to play, and for whatever reason, I have no idea, but the beginning of the third quarter in the last two games has not been good."

I think Danny is passing the blame onto the team on this one. I agree that they shouldn't have played this poorly, but I think he made a mistake by not bringing in someone who can run the point. Look it was just a few years ago when Jameer Nelson hurt his shoulder during Orlando's run in 2009. Rafer Alston came in and did a nice job for Orlando. Nelson was an all-star point guard during that time frame.  He's NO Rondo of course, but still a big loss for that team.

On whether the Celtics are unsure of what plays to run without Rajon Rondo: "Well we've had an opportunity to play a lot of games without Rondo. But, listen, if you just look around, this has been going on for 30 years. It's no secret. Great players at this time really step it up and our guy that was our best player last year in the playoffs, a guy that had 44 at Miami, that got us to the position that we were, that has been the MVP of multiple playoff series over the last handful of years -- not just playoff games, but playoff series -- he's a guy that's certainly capable of being the best guy on the court on any given night. He's a terrific player and we certainly miss him. We've been saying that all year long."

Pressed on whether the Celtics are unsure of what plays to run without Rondo: "Right, but, you know, I think that that's a little blown out of proportion, just because, hey, we had these same challenges before. I mean, losing double-figure leads in the fourth quarter of games is not something that has just happened. This has been going on for three or four years and I wish I knew. Sometimes I think we put such an effort and emphasis on defense that our guys don't have the energy to keep cutting and moving and so forth without the ball in the fourth quarter. I don't know what it is, but it's not just a Rondo issue. Missing Rondo, like I said, he has the ability to take over games, as we've seen him do, against the elite players in the world, and we don't have a player like that. That hurts us. But, not knowing what to do or what plays to run, every team goes through that a little bit, but we should not be having that problem, no."

I agree with Danny, but why hasn't losing double figure leads in the 4th been let go for the past 3-4 years? They lost the 2010 NBA Finals by losing a second half double figure lead. Great words that Ainge has been saying since Rondo's injury. But this team more then likely wouldn't be right here, and now in this spot if he was in uniform. They may be the second seed for that matter, but they are not, and the Celtics should be in the driver's seat right now, and they are not.

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Reply C'slife
7:56 PM on April 25, 2013 
Love Ainge's view on Rondo, and at least it sounds like he's still sticking with him.Ainge on Rondo have been shown on TV a lot talking and laughing. Strong relationship now
Reply paul
10:13 PM on April 25, 2013 
But Ainge needs assurance from Rondo that he will not forget about basketball thi ssummer, whilst doing the Red Bull thing.
Reply C'slife
3:16 AM on April 26, 2013 
paul says...
But Ainge needs assurance from Rondo that he will not forget about basketball thi ssummer, whilst doing the Red Bull thing.

It's been awhile since I seen a red bull comment. Was waiting for it.
Reply paul
5:06 AM on April 26, 2013 
Lol. Yeah. I know.

It's just that I think Rondo clearly came into this year unprepared to lead the team, and Doc too seemed unprepared. I have mixed feelings about even that, though. I mean, in a way, it made perfect sense for Rondo to spend last summer in a sense coming to terms with stardom itself. Fine. Now it's time to put the meat on the burger, though. I'm a vegetarian, but even I know that a burger without meat is a catsup sandwich. A leader who doesn't lead is not a leader.