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Doc Rivers says he didn’t know the details of Rondo’s assists streak, no one believes him

Nov 21, 2012, 3:53 PM EDT

Rajon Rondo, Doc Rivers AP

Remember Rajon Rondo playing through to the end of a garbage-time blowout his Celtics were suffering at the hands of the Pistons on Sunday?

Sure you do.

It was a disappointing display of individual stat-stuffing, and it couldn’t have happened without the complicity of Rondo’s head coach, Doc Rivers.

After the team practiced on Tuesday, Rivers claimed to have no knowledge of the particulars of what Rondo was trying to accomplish.

From Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe:

“I don’t even know what it is, I swear to gosh,” Rivers said. “I have no idea what he’s chasing. I just hear that he’s got a streak going. Who is he chasing? I don’t even know that.”

Magic Johnson owns the NBA record of 46 straight games with 10-plus assists. Rondo trails John Stockton by three games.

Rondo extended the streak in Sunday’s 103-83 loss to the Pistons. Rondo recorded his 10th assist with 51 seconds left in the game. The streak would have ended had Rivers not sent Rondo back out in fourth-quarter garbage time.

“We were getting blown out, and I just told him, ‘Stay in and get it,’ ” Rivers said. “I didn’t know what. I knew it was a 10-assist streak.”

Anyone believe Rivers here? Didn’t think so.

Without knowing exactly what streak was being chased and how close Rondo was to breaking a record held by Magic Johnson, why would Rivers risk injury to his team’s best player by leaving him in to pile up otherwise meaningless statistics in a game that had long since been decided?

The answer, obviously, is that Rivers definitely knew there was a streak in play. And even if he didn’t know the exact details of the record Rondo was chasing, he absolutely was aware that whatever it was, it carried a certain level of significance.

  1. cmehustle - Nov 21, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I hate that coaches arent more honest. What would it have hurt to say he knew and thats why he did it? I just cant see the blowback here.

  2. 1972wasalongtimeago - Nov 21, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    I believe him. He’s busy worrying about the way other teams go about interviewing/hiring other coaches.

  3. lakerluver - Nov 21, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    @1972, Dude, ain’t that truth!! What a phony!!!

  4. norcaldeportes - Nov 21, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    I’m sure Magic’s streak included a game or two with him playing during a blowout.

    • tubal22 - Nov 22, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      I don’t know about Magic, but I’m pretty sure Stockton’s streak didn’t. Sloan didn’t play that way. He’d pull a guy one point from a triple double if it didn’t make sense to play him.

      But whatever. If people only cared about streaks, I’m sure a lot more people would have them. Apparently the Celtics care about streaks.

  5. j0esixpack - Nov 21, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    All these assists are embarrassing.

    Rondo should listen to sports writers and be less selfish by being more selfish.

  6. phaden27 - Nov 21, 2012 at 10:20 PM

    Remember how it was a non-issue? It’s still a non-issue. Cute jab at me from our exchange on our last post though, and by the way it still hasn’t been a week. 😀

  7. dko83 - Nov 21, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Lakers fans love nothing more than hating on any and all C’s related stories (in their defense I could say the same about C’s fans, lets end this cycle of trolling and comment objectively about each others bitter rivals 😉 ..)

  8. misterdreamer119 - Nov 22, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Ok doc. Inside joke right?

  9. eventhorizon04 - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:39 AM

    It’s straightforward.

    Doc Rivers (wisely) pulls his starters whenever a regular season game is out of reach. Like Gregg Popovich, he’s knows how valuable 1 regular season game is (not very much), and ALWAYS benches his stars whenever the outcome is decided.

    It doesn’t matter how young or old a player is – there’s always the risk of injury.
    Derrick Rose suffered his knee injury in the final minute of a game.

    So when the Boston Celtics are down by 20 or so points with less than a minute to go and Rondo is still in there passing the ball in the final 55 seconds of the game (when he got his final assist), everybody knows what’s going on.

    How many times before this season have you seen Coach Rivers leave any of his superstars in games where they were down by 20 points in the final minute?


  10. moseskkim - Nov 22, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    Probably no ones gonna read this but.. I think this is detrimental to The celtics and takes away the integrity of basketball. If winning is the main objective then individual accomplishments shouldn’t be a big priority. Sure if the games in hand and ur going after a triple double like Kobe was a couple nights ago.. Yeah go chase down a couple rebounds that u normally wouldn’t chase down. But to deliberately leave rondo in the game when u have no chance of getting back.. Shows they’re not all-in for the championship. Who cares about assist totals. Play your best and sit down when u should. Individual stats should never be a big priority from game to game. U just play.

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