Rajon’s Rage

 

For much of the season, the Boston Celtics have been lethargic at best. Their age has dictated their play in the worst way. Right now they are sitting at an uncharacteristic 7th place in the Eastern Conference behind the New York Knicks. Their defense has been stellar this season–ranking 3rd in points per game allowed with 89.4 and 4th in defensive rating ony allowing 98.4 points per 100 possessions–but it has seemed like the hoop has been as small as a button as they are only scoring 90.6 points per game according to basketball reference.

All of this hinges on the play of Rajon Rondo.  Since the middle of last season, Rondo has been considered the best player on the Boston Celtics. He’s one of the few players that can leave his mark on a game while only taking 7-10 shots in it. He’s a phenomenal passer, defender, rebounder, and very heady as a player. What’s the weakest are of his game? Scoring. Rondo isn’t the type of player to score 20 points night in a night out. 10 assists would be more like it, or maybe two steals. He’d beat you without you even knowing it.

The Knicks found that out the hard way yesterday as Rondo had a historical game dropping 18 points, 20 assists, and 17 rebounds. The first name that I thought of when seeing his stat -line was Lafayette “Fat” Lever. Lever was one of the best, if not the best, rebounding point guard’s ever. A few more names to drop into that box would be Magic Johnson, Jason Kidd, Oscar Robertson, and Walt Frazier.

From a historical perspective, Rondo is the only player to have a 20 assist 15 rebound game in the history of the NBA. Only Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Jason Kidd have had games where they’ve scored 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 15 assists.

Had Rondo gone at least 10-20 (7-20) he would’ve had a legitimate shot at having a triple double twice over. He would’ve been the first player since the NBA/ABA merger to achieve that feat. Wilt Chamberlain had achieved this playing for the 76ers in 1968 but the NBA had not yet merged with the ABA.

Rondo has had two triple doubles in the last four games since the All-Star break. Aside from a game where he did not score against Cleveland, Rondo has played stellar basketball. He has taken his anger out on the league, and I think it’s a result of all of the slights that have been put on him.

Rondo was put in the All-Star game, but only as a reserve. Who made it over him? Luol Deng, Andre Iguodola, and Joe Johnson who he ultimately replaced. It was a slap in the face to say the least. The NBA had made a statement to him that he was not good enough to be an All-Star after being there the previous two years and not dropping in production in the least bit. Not a week later the trade rumors had started. Rondo to the (insert team here). It was time to blow Boston up because they aren’t good enough. Rondo has attitude problems. You name it, it was reported.

The normally unassuming, buttoned up point guard had let everyone know that he was listening with his play do the talking for him instead of going to the media about these things. There was no reason. Ainge and Rivers said they would like to keep Rondo around and until further notice that’s the way that it will be.

In an interview with CSN New England Rondo had finally spoken about the rumors.

I don’t know where people are getting their information from,But it was big of Doc to come out with a statement. People are still going to say me and Doc have problems. But even after that comment and statement he made, they are still going to say what they want to say. It’s just part of life. -Rajon Rondo via CSN New England

Bob Cousy even gave Rondo his blessing in an interview with ESPN New York. Those words aren’t easy to come by from a Boston legend.

Rondo is making the decision tougher for Boston by the day. I’m enjoying this though, so please folks, keep it up.

UCLA Bruins coach Ben Howland lost control of highly recruited players, according to report

Ben Howland is having serious issues with UCLA. It’s hard to believe that this is what’s happening with a coach that led UCLA to deep NCAA Tournament runs.

Source: ESPN Los Angeles

“BaseLINE of the Night”

For those of you who don’t know, this is a post I do every day or night that pays homage to the guys out there ballin’ hard and making their fantasy owners feel all warm and fuzzy inside. With 9 games on the slate tonight, it was pretty nice Tuesday to get back into the swing of things after All-Star Weekend. Here’s the latest edtion of “BaseLINE of the Night” for Tuesday, February 28th, 2012.

The Durantula was off tonight so I guess someone else can win the award. We’ll see if he can pick up where he left off tomorrow night against the 76ers though. Tonight though, we have a first time winner. When you think about this guy, it’s not a guy that would come to mind pretty much ever when thinking of a top-line producer. He plays for the Milwaukee Bucks and isn’t even a starter. Tonight, however, he was on fire and helped the Bucks to a one point win over the Wizards. The “BaseLINE of the Night” goes to… Mike Dunleavy. Yes, I really meant Mike Dunleavy and no, that’s not a typo. The worst part is that when looking for highlights, there are more results for Dunleavy receiving the highlights than actually providing the highlights. Anyways, enough with the Mike Dunleavy bashing and just go ahead and enjoy this line and clip.

  • 28 Pts (9-17 FG, 5-10 3PT, 5-5 FT)/2 Reb/1 Ast/3 Stl/1 TO

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!


While Mr. Dunleavy reigns supreme for a night, let’s take a look at the guys who came oh-so-close to being awarded the “Line of the Night” award. Rounding out the top 5 are:

T2. DeAndre Jordan – 14 Pts (7-9 FG)/14 Reb/2 Stl/4 Blk

T2. Derrick Williams – 27 Pts (9-10 FG, 4-4 3PT, 5-5FT)/5 Reb/1 Blk/1 TO

4. Derrick Rose – 32 Pts (11-24 FG, 1-5 3PT, 9-11 FT)/2 Reb/9 Ast/3 Stl/2 Blk/2 TO

5. Paul George – 11 Pts (4-7 FG, 2-2 3PT, 1-2 FT)/9 Reb/5 Ast/4 Stl/1 Blk/1 TO

*Suprising Line of the Night*

  • Derrick Williams (35% owned) –  See Line Above

Derrick Williams, the second overall pick in this past draft, had a career night tonight. Tonight was the first night that the explosive rookie has broken the 20-point barrier in his career. In the whole month of February, he only scored in double figures three other times! His line tonight was tied for the second best of the night as well. Although he has the talent to be a great player and scorer, he doesn’t have the right situation. There is such a logjam for minutes with both Rubio, Ridnour, and Wes Johnson starting, plus Beasley, Webster, and Barea coming off the bench, and Kevin Love playing much of the game, that it’s hard for Williams to get consistent minutes at either SF or PF or even SG. While he might have earned himself some more playing time for his game tonight, I still think his play, as well as his playing time, will be sporadic for the rest of the season barring injury so if you have him, enjoy tonight but don’t expect it moving forward.

While these guys weren’t the best of the best, they certainly had their owners smiling after their performance. As I always say, In the words of Cleveland fans (myself included), “There’s always next year,” or, in this case, next game.

That’s it for this edition of “BaseLINE of the Night,” but make sure to check back tonight/tomorrow to see who takes home the award.

NCAA reinstates Miami Hurricanes’ Reggie Johnson

The NCAA reinstated Miami’s Reggie Johnson on Tuesday. He averages 10.6 points and 6.9 rebounds this season. The Hurricanes are 17-10 on the campaign.

Source: ESPN

NBA Rumors: Chicago Bulls release Mike James

Chicago Bulls made a move on Tuesday by releasing Mike James.

C.J. Watson will return to play the New Orleans Hornets after missing two games because of a concussion.

Source: ESPN Chicago

Carrier Classic wont be played in San Diego in 2012

The Carrier Classic won’t be played in San Diego in 2012. They hope to see a return for 2013.

Source: ESPN

NBA Rumors: Brandon Roy Considering A Comeback

Brandon Roy was one of the better scorers in the NBA before his numerous knee injuries.

It was difficult watching the former star struggle on the court. Hopefully he can comeback and be successful in the league.

“It’s the truth. It’s really hard being so far away from the game. I spend time watching Jamal (Crawford) and following all of his games; Will (Conroy) and Tre (Simmons) are both doing their thing, so it’s driving me to wanna come back out there.” Roy told US Basket, “If the treatment I’ve been looking into can work, I believe there’s a good chance you will see Brandon Roy back hoopin’.”

Source: SI Tracking Blog

NBA Rumors: New Jersey Nets coach Avery Johnson — Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks could steal Deron Williams

Avery Johnson is a little bit worried about the Dallas Mavericks and their ability to lure Deron Williams.

Source: ESPN Dallas

Connecticut Huskies’ Jim Calhoun undergoes surgery for spinal condition

Jim Calhoun, Connecticut’s head basketball coach, underwent surgery for his spinal condition.

“I am very fortunate to have been treated by three of the very best surgeons,” Calhoun said in a statement. “My heartfelt thanks to them and the entire Beth Israel community, who have made every effort to ensure my stay is as comfortable as possible. Lastly, thank you to the people across Connecticut and beyond who have reached out to offer their support.

Source: ESPN

Jewish School Decides Against Playing in State Semifinals Because of Sabbath

Imagine your high school basketball team winning its regional championship to advance to the state semifinals in Dallas, Texas. The kids, coaches, parents, school and community are in a tizzy about how well the basketball team is playing.

The Robert M. Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish day school in Houston, has their opportunity to play in the state semifinals on Friday. There is just one problem: Sabbath.

Jewish Sabbath is a weekly day of rest that begins sundown on Friday until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night.

So what do they do? The answer is simple: Don’t attend the trip and forfeit the contest.

“The sacred mission will trump excellence in the secular world,” Rabbi Harry Sinoff, Beren’s head of school, said Monday in a telephone interview, according to Mary Pilon of the New York Times.

How about attempting to reschedule the game to another date?

It’s not going to happen because the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools denied the appeal for the game.

“When Beren’s joined years ago, we advised them that the Sabbath would present them with a problem with the finals,” Edd Burleson, the director of the association said.

The rules of the association have been firm and continuous every year.

“If we solve one problem, we create another problem. If the schools are just going to arrange their own schedule, why do we even set a tournament?” Burleson said. “Over a period of time, our state tournament, which is a highlight of our association, deteriorates to nothing. That’s the whole point of having an organization.”

It seems like a situation that Robert M. Beren Academy, who was 23-5 on the season, could have prevented years ago.

This would have been the school’s first trip to the state semifinals.