If you have been referring to Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett as Boston’s “Big Three”- you need to think again.
Rajon Rondo is out to prove this season that it’s actually Boston’s “Big Four”. The Wizards were the latest victim to the Boston Point Guard that started the season with back-to-back double-double performances and unleashed terror on the court last night with a triple-double performance (18 points, 11 rebounds, 14 assists) in a Celtics win over the Wizards 94-86.
Before the game John Wall acknowledged that Rondo would be one challenge among many in a packed Boston line-up, “he [makes] jump shots and when that happens he’s tough to guard, because he has great players and teammates like Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Brandon Bass, and Kevin Garnett that can make shots…”
And Rondo’s teammates certainly made shots last night. Kevin Garnett led Boston with 24 points and Ray Allen contributed with 13 points of his own.
Another change in Rondo this season is his leadership on the court. Boston Coach Doc Rivers told the press, “he’s far more assertive, he’s comfortable taking jump shots…when [The Wizards] cut it to eight and he pulls up for a jump shot that wouldn’t of happened last year and that was great to see.”
On the Wizards side of the ball, Wall had a strong showing with 19 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists. Nick Young struggled in the first half but energized the team in the third quarter, ending the night with 18 points.
But in the end the Wizards and Celtics are two teams whose stories couldn’t be further apart. Boston is a World Championship team with aging but talented players. Washington has young athletic talent who is looking to build a core to win with.
Take JaVale McGee for example, he flashed his athleticism with five blocked shots and continues to give the Celtics fits (16 points, 14 rebounds). When asked before the game what the Celtics could do to stop McGee Doc Rivers joked, “I don’t know- I’m hoping New Years Eve?”
But all the highlight worthy dunks and blocks don’t mean a thing if you can’t play with maturity and teamwork. While Flip Saunders benches his starting line-up for holding on to the ball too much- Doc Rivers praises how much his starting line-up is moving the ball, “it’s tough to defend when everybody is unselfish.”
Unselfish was a word I heard a lot last night in describing KG, it is also a word I believe isn’t in Jordan Crawford’s or Nick Young’s dictionary.
The Wizards will travel to Boston today for a rematch against the Celtics at the Garden, but Boston has already shown that trying to split this two-day series will be a challenge.
“Well the key is to win the game,” Rivers told me before last night’s game, “and if we can come out and set a tone that would be terrific- but then we have to keep the tone on.”
I have a feeling the Celtics will have no problem keeping the pace.
- Ronny Turiaf left the game with a hand injury in the second half and is doubtful to play in tonight’s game
- Rookie Jan Vesely is still suffering from a hip injury, he received a pain injection a couple of days ago and will be checked out after a few days
- Rashard Lewis’ play last night really stood out to me (8 points, 4 rebounds) I’m starting to like his hustle and play around the basket
- Hamady Ndiaye takes another trip to the NBA D-league to get some more playing time in. Coach Saunders explained before the game, “for him to be able to go there and get four solid days practice and then play some games I think is beneficial for him.”