|Posted by shawn cassidy on January 25, 2014 at 2:20 AM|
Rajon Rondo had a season-high 8 assists Friday night against the West's best team. Was he pleased, or satisfied with that? His response was as epic as ever, "no", Rondo is a person who won't let you in often, but when he does, it's a treat. Rondo's tone, is basically a player who wants to do the things he's done before, but his body and probaly his mind won't let him.
From where I sit, it's been very hard watching a great player like Rondo getting back to who he was. Maybe another month until we get a trace of what he was. I believe he'll get there, but it won't be a cake walk, and Rondo knows that. It wasn't all bad Friday night. Rondo was locked and loaded in his first 5 minutes. He was running the team perfectly, he dished 3 of his 8 assists in the first, and he nailed a effortless looking three.
Rondo finished with five points on 2-of-9 shooting, and it's hard to judge his jumper yet, his entire game is returning. Even when he's able to get into the paint, he's unable to finish. Rondo is his biggest critic, he's the one that decides if he's back or not.
"I think the more he gets warm out on the court, the better he is," said veteran guard Gerald Wallace, who started next to Rondo in the backcourt. "With him on his minute restriction, it kind of messes him up, because it seems like once he gets going and gets his rhythm, he has to come out. Hopefully we get to see him for those stretches of time where we can really see how he does once he gets to sweating."
I think that's another factor that's effecting Rondo, but I also believe it's the right thing to do. Rondo's game speed is first priority, and the rest will come with that. So what does coach Stevens and old friend Kendrick Perkins think of Rondo so far.
"Again, you guys are a lot more focused on him as an individual storyline standpoint than I am," admitted Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "I'm obviously concerned about him and making sure that he's OK to go out and play. I'm monitoring his minutes, making sure. But I'm more looking at our collective and how we played as a group.
"I did think that he did some good things, but, again, it's kind of like I said, I don't want to put all this on him, good or bad, because it's still only young in his exhibition season. Fair or unfair to him, I want to make sure that we're fair to him and, at the same time, we can focus on our team and how we're playing collectively as well. I did think he looked a little bit lighter on his feet, I guess, would be the right word, and I think that would be the case as you get better conditioning."
Over in the visitor's locker room at TD Garden, Rondo's best buddy Kendrick Perkins reflected on Rondo's rehab and said he's reminding him not to overthink everything.
"He seemed a little nervous [during rehab]," said Perkins. "He was a little scared. Every little thing was bothering him and stuff like that. I told him there was nothing wrong with it. He was like, 'Man, I keep hearing this and this.' You know how he gets. I had to tell him, once he steps on the court, everything else will go out the window. And I called him after he came back for his first game, and he said, 'Oh, I was good. I made me some shots.' I told him it will come."
Perkins, who tore his ACL in Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals and returned to game action just six months later, is trying to aid Rondo through the rehab process.
"He'll call me and just ask me different questions about what [he] needs to do and stuff like that. I just told him to make sure he stays on top of it," said Perkins. "Make sure he works the opposite leg, the leg that he didn't hurt, the same as he's working the leg that he did hurt. Because once you tear your ACL, it's a 50-50 chance that you could tear the other one, because a lot of other guys don't focus on strengthening the other leg as much. I just told him to make sure to stay on top of that."
I hope Rondo has found his Perk with the current C's. He has such a connection wth Rondo still, and it was amazing when Perk was in Boston. Great advice from Perk as well. I'm not a doctor, but giving the other leg the same time, will help, that's what I've heared as well. For the rest of the season, everyone will judge Rondo after every game. The questions will be thrown Rondo's way, "are you back", or "how do you feel".