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Celtics chase Rondo’s assists streak in blowout loss to Pistons

Nov 18, 2012, 11:03 PM EDT

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo shouts instructions from the bench against the Brooklyn Nets in the second half of their NBA basketball game in New York Reuters

Rajon Rondo had a streak of 33 consecutive games with 10 or more assists coming into Sunday’s game against the Pistons. He left with that streak intact, although making it happen came under some questionable circumstances.

The Celtics were in the middle of getting blown out by a Detroit team that had won just once in its first 10 games this season, down 18 midway through the fourth quarter, when Rondo was left in the game and the team did all it could to make sure the streak continued.

From Greg Payne of ESPNBoston.com:

When it was clear victory was not an option, the Celtics focused on getting Rondo to 10 assists to continue his pursuit of John Stockton and Magic Johnson. Rondo entered the final frame with just six helpers, and it took him nearly the whole fourth quarter to reach double-figures. After Boston came up empty on a handful of its final possessions, Sullinger finally knocked down a straightaway jumper with under a minute left to secure Rondo’s record. He’s now recorded double figures in assists in 34 straight games and is steadily closing in on Stockton’s record of 37 consecutive games, and is slowly gaining on Johnson’s all-time record of 46.

Rondo’s last four assists came with under six minutes to play in the game, with his team trailing by 18, 19, or 21 points as each of those last assists were recorded. The final one came with just 51 seconds remaining, when the result was no longer in doubt.

Are we OK with this?

Players have been criticized heavily for valuing individual accomplishments over the team’s success in the past, especially when doing silly things to try to get a final rebound or assist to record a triple-double. This doesn’t feel any different, and in fact might be worse considering it couldn’t have happened without the coach’s cooperation.

No one’s going to remember this if Rondo does set the record for consecutive assists, but it’s a little odd to see a team coached by Doc Rivers pull a stunt like this at the end of a disappointing and lopsided loss.

  1. jerdogthompson - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    This is news worthy and yet nothing about the Bulls being dismantled et al by the Clippers? You writers are a pretty sad bunch. Keep up the worthless garb, I’m certain were all waiting.

    • manchestermiracle - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      If you think the writers here suck, yet keep coming back to whine, what does that make you? No need to answer, we already know…..

      • eventhorizon04 - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:49 AM

        Exactly. People who think PBT is awful should vote with their mouse clicks and stop coming.

        The bosses of these writers only care about page views.
        I like the writers (for the most part), but people who don’t like these guys should stop coming here, since their page views support these “bad” writers.

  2. lakerluver - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:35 PM

    Holy paulhargis53 (crap)!! I’m a Rondo fan but he better not break Magic’s record pulling stunts like this!! Leave it to a Celtic to taint the record books.

  3. misterdreamer119 - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM

    Rondo deserved it his guys were straight missing wide open shots.
    Bro the clippers are looking super but they need to make the finals or its a failed season.

  4. bozosforall - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Lame, just like the Puh Cs fan base. New Engand…the land of cheaters galore.

    • kelvinmchale - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      Winners galore

      • bozosforall - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:16 AM

        Puh C’s galore.

    • andyhr17 - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Bozo, I didn’t realize that passing was considered cheating….but then again you are a Kobe fan so I understand where your confusion on how passing works come from.

  5. timb12 - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    How is this tainted? The guys still have to hit the shots. I don’t see this as being as big of a deal as a guy missing a shot to get his own rebound to complete a triple double.

  6. j0esixpack - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    So let me get this straight

    The Celtics are in the midst of getting blown out

    So the assessment of some basketball reporters and fans apparently is that the starters like Rondo should be pulled because they clearly don’t need the practice (????). Yeah, that makes sense.

    And then, when your starting point guard does something incredibly selfish – like pass the ball to someone else to allow them to score – we say “how dare you pass the ball – be less greedy and hog the ball more!”

    Is that about right?

    Sit the old guys – but this team has a lot of young guys who need to learn to play hard the whole game and need the time – that includes Rondo. And I for one don’t mind him being “selfish” enough to rack up assists.

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:51 PM

      Hard to argue selflessness when less than 24 hours earlier Jason Terry and Rondo started the “Rondo for MVP” campaign.

      From a PBT article titled “Rajon Rondo says MVP is ‘In the Picture’ after 20 Assist Performance” dated November 17, 2012,

      “Jason Terry, who led all scorers in this one with 20 points in 29 minutes, to say that his point guard should be in the MVP conversation.

      “MVP is in the picture,” Rondo said. “I would like to be one day, but we’ve just got to keep winning. Who wouldn’t [want to] be? That’s a dream.”

      Come on man. Selfless? Think not.

  7. eagles512 - Nov 18, 2012 at 11:50 PM

    Pretty weak move

  8. lakerluver - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    @bozos,
    The truth!
    @jerdoggiedog,
    Nobody cares about the Clips.
    Meanwhile in LAKERS news: Kobe with a triple double, D12 with 28 & 12 in a rout of the Rocks. By next spring all the doubters, haters and naysayers will be eating their words.

    • jimeejohnson - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:22 PM

      “Nobody cares about the Clips.”

      Pretty sure you’re lying.

  9. samonelastains - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    Can you blame them though, Gotta get something positive out of losing to a last place team. And fyi beating the Bulls is not a great big deal right now as there best player so far this season has been Nate Robinson.

  10. dal24la - Nov 19, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Only surprise is that he did with Rondo having a hurt ankle.

  11. mashoaf - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:40 AM

    Remember when Wilt scored a 100? His team was trying to pad his stats.

  12. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 19, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    In 2004, when the Cavs’ Ricky Davis purposely missed a shot so he could get the rebound securing a triple double, he was flattened by an opponent for doing so. And the Cavs’ coach Keith Smart said that the opponent was justified, and that if Davis did that against Smart when Smart was playing he’d knock him on his ass too.

    Rondo, Rivers, and the Celtics should be ashamed of themselves.

    • andyhr17 - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      How can you compare passing the ball to someone and then them hitting the shot to a player missing a shot on purpose to get a rebound? Comments like that are just fueled by people who don’t like Rondo, not by what went on in the game.

  13. BigBeachBall - Nov 19, 2012 at 7:39 AM

    In 2008, the celtics didnt pay attention to stats…. Now they do…

  14. Kansachusetts - Nov 19, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    This is a non-issue. Rondo took plenty of his own shots during the game and hit most of them. He even took a three late in the game. And he passed off to others in plays where he wouldn’t get assist repeatedly late in the game. The fact that they wanted to get him to 10 assists did not affect how he approached the game.

    • Kurt Helin - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Really. Because Doc keeps his starters on the floor and the end of blowout losses how often?

      • eventhorizon04 - Nov 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        Doc Rivers is famous for (wisely) pacing his stars during the regular season. When a game is out of reach, they all get benched and are ready to fight another day. The goal is to keep everybody fresh and healthy for the playoffs.

        When he leaves starters in despite a game being clearly lost, it stands out.

        I don’t get why Boston fans are pretending that there was NOTHING weird about what Doc did in this game. Everybody could see what was going on.

        Rondo is dealing with an injured ankle AND they have a game against the Spurs coming up.

        Most would agree Rondo needs healthy ankles to keep up with Tony Parker…so it made a TON of sense to bench Rondo when the game was out of hand, yet he didn’t.

      • phaden27 - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:42 PM

        Is keeping a starter on the floor cheating? No. Is it harder to get assists off bench players than starters? Yes, unless you have a boss 6th man or you’re playing for Team USA, neither of which the C’s have or are. They lost the game, they didn’t lose because they were trying to keep the streak up, Rondo didn’t get hurt getting to 10 assists.
        If something happened it would have been an issue, but it didn’t so you’ll all forget by next week when the next “issue” happens.

      • Kurt Helin - Nov 19, 2012 at 3:59 PM

        I’m not saying they lost the game because of it, I’m saying Rivers wouldn’t have taken the risk of injury without the streak. If you want to see the risk of playing key guys in easy wins, look at the Patriots.

      • phaden27 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        But nothing happened, so you’re making an issue out of what could have happened by didn’t. Nothing to see here folks.

      • phaden27 - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        But nothing happened, so you’re making an issue out of what could have happened but didn’t. Nothing to see here folks.

  15. scalfor3 - Nov 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    Ok, so he chased a record. So what? Look at the other names on that list: Magic Johnson and John Stockton. I’d want to keep the streak alive too. The Ricky Davis comparison is crazy, getting a couple of legitimate assists late in the game is nothing like intentionally missing a shot to create a rebound. Also Rondo would have had double digit assists midway through the third quarter if his teammates hadn’t been ice cold on the night.

    Finally consider the locker room ramifications if Doc pulls Rondo and essentially doesn’t give him a chance to prolong the streak. One of Docs greatest strength as a coach is how well he relates to his players and he knew that directly stopping a historical streak for his star would not play well in the locker room.

  16. fanz928 - Nov 19, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    Used to have hof that can still score

  17. Kansachusetts - Nov 19, 2012 at 5:14 PM

    In the long run it doesn’t matter, because he’s probably going to break Magic’s record even if he has to start from scratch.

  18. lemfaxx - Nov 19, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Boston Rondo!
    Celtics?

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