|Posted by paul on February 12, 2012 at 6:05 PM|
Rondo wasn't the only one who had a breakout game tonight. Johnson and Wilcox had big games too despite being hounded by the refs with fouls. The Celtics had every reason to lose tonight, going up against the best rebounding team in the league with our second and third best Bigs down, but other guys stepped up. Even Stiemsma gave us some good minutes and a big block. JJJ had 13 points and was huge in the fourth quarter, as was Wilcox, who also gave us 9 rebounds. Incredibly we outrebounded the Bulls today. We did lose the offensive boards, 8-15, and that hurt us all night long. Kevin Garnett had a big game, giving us 12 points on 5-8 shooting, and 12 rebounds. Allen and Pierce had rough games, but still came through in the early fourth quarter with key buckets. As a team we only had 24 assists tonight; we'd like to be closer to 30.
And it can't be said that Rajon Rondo had a perfect game tonight. His opposite number scored 22 points, and went wild down the stretch, when the Bulls appeared to take advantage of the badly winded Rondo, stripping him of the ball several times in traps. But wow. Rarely has one player come as close to winning a game by himself, I think. Rondo didn't have one of those triple doubles where he just barely slipped over the threshold. He blew the doors of the threshold tonight, giving us 32 points, 15 assists and ten rebounds, all his highs for the season I believe (he may have had more rebounds in a game). More importantly, this was a hard fought game, and it was Rondo who rose to the occasion again and again and again, finally nailing down the win at the very end with four straight free throws.
This was the Rondo we have been calling for. Doc did a great job of not resting Rondo so long that he cooled off. Now the next step is for Ray Ray and PP to play off Rondo. We need Rondo attacking this way every night, leading our attack and breaking down the offense, then putting some of that energy into the passing game.
And tonight we finally saw JJJ and Wilcox out running with Rondo!!! Could it be that we are finally starting to have a real fast break attack?!!
Can and will Rondo keep this up? And will Ray and Paul get in on the action?