Rondo is growing up before our eyes

June 3rd, 2012 by Jeff Dale No comments »

Rondo and a giddy Danny Ainge after the Celtics drafted him in 2006.

I think fans see him sometimes where he doesn’t play hard… it’s not because he’s decided not to play hard.  It’s because he shut off because something has happened in the game and he’s thinking about it.  And his biggest thing every year now is how quickly he can get over the negative, and understand there’s going to be negative in every game.

- Doc Rivers in an interview with Jackie MacMullan 

Rajon Rondo has been sort of an enigma since being drafted 21st overall in the 2006 NBA draft. At times he looks like a superstar by controlling the game and inverting  the court. At other times he looks like a malcontent destine to never reach his full potential.

Over the last two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, Rajon Rondo has acted and played like a consummate professional. That’s not to say he wasn’t always that way. He was just– quite simply– growing up.

Everybody struggles with self confidence and Rondo is no different.

No. 9 seems to be like so many other players of this generation– afraid to fail– and it doesn’t help that his biggest critic is himself. However, this is all apart of the growing process and to become great you have to fail.

Bradley could be done for the playoffs

May 23rd, 2012 by Jeff Dale No comments »

 


Who would have thought Avery Bradley would be such a vital part of the Celtics playoff hopes?

When Ray Allen went down in early April with bone spurs, the Celtics turned to Bradley and he delivered.  From April 11th to the end of the regular season Bradley averaged 16.8 point and one steal per game, helping the Celtics finish 6-3 without Ray Allen in the lineup.

In the playoffs his scoring numbers went down, but his on-ball defense has been outstanding and allowed Rajon Rondo the ability to conserve energy for the offensive end.

With the Celtics losing Game 6, 82-75, they head back to Boston with the hopes of closing the series out in seven games, like was predicted here.

However, even if they can get over the hump the team might have lost their best young defensive players. Avery Bradley, if lost for the playoffs, would be a huge blow for this team.

Boston-Philly: A Rivalry Renewed

May 12th, 2012 by Jeff Dale No comments »

This is not your fathers classic Boston-Philly blood bath of the 80s. You won’t see Thaddeus Young throwing haymakers at Paul Pierce. Or Rajon Rondo and Lou Williams grappling on the parquet floor.

What you will see is two franchises at different peaks of their respective powers.

The Philadelphia 76ers are a young athletic group who will crash the boards, play great defense and limit their mistakes. Sure the experts will say Philly doesn’t have a late game closer. But ask Andre Iguodala about that?

On the other hand are the Boston Celtics. A team who has veteran leadership and a slew of game changing performers. Whether it’s Paul Pierce’s heroics, Rajon Rondo’s poetry in motion or vintage KG it is a pick-your-poison type of team.

With that all said, it comes down to one thing for both of these teams: Execution.

If the Celtics play like they did in the previous round, the Big 3 era will not have a story book ending.

If the 76ers stop using their superior athleticism and settle for jumpers, they will be watching the playoffs from their couch.

The playoffs are simple really. Every team has to get better as the playoffs move on.

The Celtics have more experience in that department.

Prediction: Celtics in 7

 

The NBA: Where marketing happens

May 7th, 2012 by Jeff Dale No comments »

 

So if you’re an NBA fan like myself, you know the everyday criticisms  of the league. The refs suck, the players are overpaid, the commish is a pretentious condescending a-hole, etc, etc.

However, the league does do one thing better than anybody else — pimp their product. Without sounding like a complete NBA ball-washer, the league is simply the best at finding what their fans want to see and delivering.

The ‘BIG’ campaign is yet another example of the NBA marketing machine at work. It’s simple but gets a message across that resonates with NBA fans– especially Celtics fans– which is obviously the focus of this commercial. Sure it has its cliche aspects like so many others, but it doesn’t matter.

Like Don Draper would say,” It has ‘it’.” The NBA understands what ‘it’ is.

Ray Allen has gotten old, FAST

April 24th, 2012 by Jeff Dale No comments »

 

It was more than a year ago when Jesus Shuttlesworth was still performing miracles. Breaking Reggie Miller’s NBA record of 3-pointers made and continuing to defy logic by not showing his age. Ray started his 15th NBA season just like any other; by shooting a career high 45 percent from the arc and giving the Celtics a desperately needed offensive threat.

However today, it seems as though time and the cluster-fucked grueling  NBA schedule has started to take its toll on Number 20. Several sources have confirmed Allen has tiny bone spurs in his ailing ankle. Ray’s timetable is still in question along with what his role will be when– or if– he comes back.

One thing we do know  for sure is in Ray’s absence the Green Team has discovered a diamond in the ruff. Avery Bradley has proved to be a quality asset who can score and play fantastic defense. Whether his future is as Ray’s heir apparent, or as a trade chip in the loaded NBA draft  remains to be seen.

However, if Ray does come back — in a starting role or as a sixth-man — he will undoubtedly have an impact. You still have to respect him.