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Jeremy Lin who? Rajon Rondo dominates in Celtics victory

Mar 4, 2012, 5:11 PM EDT

Rajon Rondo, Jeremy Lin, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks Getty Images

All-Star weekend, the Nets Deron Williams (who put up 38 on the Knicks) said all the hype around Jeremy Lin would have other teams’ point guards looking to take their frustrations out on the Knicks.

Meet Rajon Rondo.

The Celtics point guard had 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists and dominated the Knicks in a Boston overtime win, 115-111. That is four straight wins for the Celtics.

Only Jason Kidd among active players has gone 15-15-15 or better. The only players ever with 15 or more points 20 or more assists and 15 or more rebounds are Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson, both doing it in the 1960s. That was, until Rondo stepped on the court and played just a complete game at both ends.

Call it a cLINic if you want.

Whatever you want to call his performance, it should make the Celtics thing twice about trading him. This is a player who is a good fit for Boston, a guy who can score or set up others, plus he is as good a defensive point as there is in the league. Yes, you would trade him in a deal for Chris Paul (as the Celtics discussed before the season). But you need that level of transcendent player back or moving Rondo is a mistake, because he leads the team ever night and is capable of games like this.

He is at the heart of the reason the Celtics play smart. Boston was not the more athletic team, but they were the team that was patient and got the ball to the mismatch all game long.

That said, the Knicks had a chance — after six straight Carmelo Anthony points the Knicks were up one with :35 seconds to go. Anthony remains one of the best closers in the game.

But so is Paul Pierce — he hit a contested three because he got his right hand free with 4.9 seconds to go. Then we went to overtime where the Celtics always seemed in control.

The Knicks had spurts of brilliant ball movement, especially early in the game, but they could not keep it up consistently. That is what the Celtics do to you. Lin had a solid game — 14 points, 5 assists — but sat chunks of time due to foul trouble.

Carmelo Anthony had 25 points but needed 21 shots to do it, Amare Stoudemire had 16 points on 16 shots.

Paul Pierce had 34 points on 23 shots. What was really key was the Celtics forcing 22 turnovers from the Knicks.

In the end, Boston reminds you that they are a team that knows how to win in tight games like you see in the playoffs. The Knicks are learning that. How much they learn and how healthy Boston feels going into the playoffs will determine now far these teams advance.

  1. md23rewlz - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    “How much they learn and how Boston feels athletically going into the playoffs will determine now far these teams advance.” No. At what point either team meets up with Miami or Chicago is going to determine how far they go. The Knicks can “learn” all they want, and Boston can be healthy, and that will be completely irrelevant when they’re facing better teams. Improvement by Boston/New York might make those Miami/Chicago series slightly more competitive, but I would be shocked if either of the former teams advanced past either of the latter teams. It’s fun to talk about hypotheticals with these lower seeded teams, but the reality is that everybody in the East is going to be steamrolled by Chicago and Miami. I don’t really see anything changing that equation between now and the playoffs.

    • LilTmac2003 - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      I agree. Being a realist, there are a lot of upcoming teams that are progressively getting better and better.

      When the playoffs get here, it won’t be about which team has the most potential. No, it’ll be about who is the best. Besides Chicago and Miami in the East, simply said no team is better in a 7-game series.

      BUT GOING BACK TO THE ARTICLE — No matter how much you hate Boston, you hate Rondo (I myself don’t like Rondo), but I’ll give respect when it’s due.

      18pts, 17rebs, and 20asts is a DOMINANT performance. Thing is though, when you have a player that puts up those crazy numbers, at home, playing an .500 team, and you almost lose (if it weren’t for that Pierce shot), is a perfect example of how I don’t see Boston keeping up with the powerhouses of Chicago and Miami.

  2. bklynfatpants - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:34 PM

    Of course Lin gets schooled by the better point guards in the league.

    This game was about Doc over D’Antoni. D’Antoni lost that one. He should have had the Knicks foul, putting the Celtics on the line.

    Pierce never should have had the opportunity to tie the game with a three–although it was decently defended. Nice shot.

    • sellahh - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:58 PM

      I’m not sure it was defended that good, was there like 15 seconds left with Celtics being down 3? Pierce should have been bodied up and he wasnt, what was he going to do anyways, drive and score 2?
      But yeah you’re right, yet another time D’Antoni get outcoached against the Celtics.

      • bklynfatpants - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:46 PM

        True, there was some time on the clock and Shumpert should have bodied him more or played his right side. But, I think there are certain proven clutch players you don’t let shoot a three in that situation: Dirk, Pierce, Kobe, probably Durant, etc. Pierce was obviously in the flow and is dangerous in if given that opportunity.

        Melo at least got a decent look off an awful looking play call.

    • stanchang7 - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      I was sitting here screaming for the Knicks to foul.
      But they didn’t; so, they deserve the loss.

  3. 24thesho - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Give Lin a full training camp at the point and a little more strength for next season; he’ll be just fine.

  4. jjordannba - Mar 4, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    Paul Pierce is no Lebron James in the Clutch

  5. jjordannba - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Knicks fans i’m wondering if you still have jokes that you guys wouldn’t even accept a Rondo for J-Lin trade

  6. Gordon - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Lin plays out of control. This is the first time I saw him play. I don’t get the hype. He turned the ball over a bunch of times. Maybe it was just a bad game.

    • bklynfatpants - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:36 PM

      When it’s working Lin’s game is aggressive. When it’s not working it’s a little out of control. However, he had a nice little stretch where he got the Knicks from 6 down to 1 down towards the end.

      He’s exciting and us Knick fans are starved, so we are going to ride and support him for better or worse. The fact that that his toolkit is not as complete as the best PGs only makes it more exciting.

      At least we aren’t talking about the inevitable dissapointment of Baron Davis as lead PG.

    • rtlguru - Mar 4, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      Lin is essential a raw rooking with 10+ starts under his belt.

      Yes, the hype was too much, but don’t blame that on Jeremy. For a guy who is just learning the pro game, he is doing fine.

      If you want to make fair comparisons, compare Lin’s numbers to the rookie numbers of all the top point guards. You’ll find that very few played much better than Lin has played.

      Yes, he has a lot of turnovers, but again, he’s basically a rookie playing in a high turnover system. Nash committed the same rate of turnovers/min in his MVP seasons as Lin is committing now.

      • vikingsinla - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        B-b-but Linsanity?

    • losangelasbasketball - Mar 4, 2012 at 9:09 PM

      lin went to harvard…. how big is the target on his back in this league… jordan grew up in the ghetto, kobe never went to college, magic johnson’s father was a garbage man…. the crappier a player’s upbringing, the better they become in this league…Lin will be just an “okay” guard.

      • bklynfatpants - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:10 PM

        Kobe’s dad was a longtime pro basketball player, and once the family moved back to the US after living in Europe they lived in a well-to-do suburb of Philly.

  7. mlblogsbig3bosox - Mar 4, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    It was the headband.. Rondo wears it for the first time since the 2010 playoffs and suddenly plays like he did on those playoffs.. But seriously great performance by Rondo and Pierce.

  8. ihatecomingupwiththesenames - Mar 4, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    If RR could shoot he would be considered the best point guard in the game. By far. Nash , CP3, and D-Will are the only other 1s with comparable play making brilliance, vision, and creativity. And he is a better defender than all of them. He is one of the 10 best defenders in the NBA. Nash is obviously no where close to that. As for the other supremely athletic, high scoring slasher point guards – D-Rose & Westbrook – they can’t touch Rajon when it comes to consistent dimes and getting his teammates involved. So many great playoff games. The ’08 finals the 2010 finals. The arm game!! Plus – more hardware than any of the aforementioned. This guy does not get enough respect. And I’m a Knick fan!!

    Ainge – how about Melo/Lin/D’Antoni for Rondo/Rivers? Let us know.

  9. chitownjeff - Mar 4, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    los angeles you are an idiot

    Jordan didnt grow up in the ghetto..magic grew up in a two parent working class family…shaq’s stepdad is/was a career military man…your analogy is from the limited mind of a fool…

  10. dgbk - Mar 4, 2012 at 11:28 PM

    you forgot to mention the hard life gasol lived yo it be hard out there nah meanz…… ur theory is silly ur up bringing dont make u better magic being 6’8 wit great vision had nothing to do with the hood…. if that is the case rafer alston will be top ten pgs of all time

    • losangelasbasketball - Mar 5, 2012 at 4:12 AM

      damn lol..wish i could take that one back…29 thumbs down.. not good for my stats lol

      • jimeejohnson - Mar 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        Nobody’s perfect!

  11. cbthegreat89 - Mar 5, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Let’s goo

  12. chitownrose - Mar 5, 2012 at 6:02 AM

    jeremy lin is overrated, but much of that was done by the media not him..i still think the he will average double double’s and every once in while really get hot and let you have..but he wont be a top 10 PG in the league top 15 maybe but not 10..if he sticks to using dantoni’s pick and roll system he’ll def lead the nick to some quality win’s and the playoffs.and i dont care if its chicago or miami..neither team wants to see them in the 1st round..not with the bench they have..offensively its probably the best bench in the league..averaging almost 50 points..thats a blessing that the knicks have..a large amount of depth when healthy

  13. nokoolaidcowboy - Mar 5, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    These Knicks still took the Celtics into OT in a 100 point game. We’ve come a long way!

  14. bknowledge - Mar 5, 2012 at 8:02 AM

    The stars are back and Lin-sanity is over. Everyone asked if the stars could fit in, and so far the answer is no.
    Because- Tyson, Amare, Melo have mid-range or short range games, defense packs the paint, preventing meaningful dribble penetration, and nobody to kick the ball out for the three. And, Amare and Melo aren’t good at getting back on D to prevent the fast break- they don’t balance the court.
    D’Antoni offense won’t work unless there are 3 high percentage deep shooters on court.
    I am not sure the high pick and roll works if small forward is an iso scorer. Amare is most like Karl Malone on offense- runs high pick and roll/pick and pop. Utah never played with a small forward with a mid-range game. They always played with a small forward who was a spot up shooter (during Stockton/Malone era).
    Imagine how good those Utah teams could have been if they had Tyson Chandler as their center instead of Greg Ostertag?
    Amare/Melo don’t complement each other. Both of their statistics are worse since they started playing together.
    Knicks are better off starting:

    Melo is a great all time type of isolation scorer. None of the guys like that play with pg’s. Not Jordan, not Kobe, Not Bird. Great iso scorers play with sg’s- guys that are excellent 3 point shooters/that move around on offense looking for the kick out. (Fisher, Kerr, Paxson, Hodges, even Dennis Johnson was a sg- he was the starting sg for Seattle when Seattle won championship)

  15. dysraw1 - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    we were down 15 in the 3rd qt. this knick team is just starting to gel,so expect some bumps. i even though Rondo was on his G. we push back in. the positives out weigh the negatives

  16. mungman69 - Mar 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    And they want to trade Rondo?

    • jimeejohnson - Mar 5, 2012 at 5:47 PM

      They = the negative Northeast types

  17. max20characters - Mar 5, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Lins in a TURNOVER MACHINE. Good luck to Baron davis and NY if they expect to win a Championship with a point guard who turns the ball over an average of 6 times a game!! #Hype. #AnotherTebowstory

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