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Rajon Rondo on aftermath of first game back: ‘I’m alive’

Jan 20, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT

Rajon Rondo

If the Boston Celtics are going to trade Rajon Rondo, they need him to prove he’s healthy.

Though the Celtics could theoretically be willing to sell low, NBA teams are typically too risk-averse to trade for a player in Rondo’s condition. He needn’t be the same player he was pre-injury, but he at least must get back to playing regular minutes.

Returning Friday, Rondo took a big step in that direction. In his season debut, he had eight points (4-of-9 shooting), four assists and one turnover in 19 minutes of a loss to the Lakers. Most importantly, he wasn’t too sore after the game.

Rondo, via Baxter Holmes of the Boston Globe:

“I’m alive. I’m walking. I’m well. I feel fine,” the Celtics point guard said Sunday morning before the team’s shootaround at the Amway Center here, leading up to the Celtics’ game against the Magic. “It’s been a while since I played, but I’m fine.”

Rondo’s production slipped slightly in his second game, a loss to the Magic on Sunday. In that one, he had six points (3-of-10 shooting), four assists and three turnovers in 21 minutes.

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It’s too early to nitpick how well Rondo plays. The Celtics are in the fringe of the playoff race, and they can allow Rondo to work through his conditioning issues. That his minutes increased is an encouraging sign, validating his pregame assessment that he felt fine.

Hopefully, Rondo’s playing time will keep trending up. As long he keeps feeling fine after games, there’s no reason it shouldn’t.

  1. Kansachusetts - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    I think the other Celtics are pressing a little now that Rondo’s back. Trying to raise the level of their games. This should change as he gets back into shape. Then at some point they’ll see what the real limits of this team are: Jeff Green is consistently inconsistent, Sullinger is short, Pressey is short, Olynyk is raw, and there’s nobody big in the middle who can play both offense and defense.

    But barring injury and further trades they should start showing a substantial upside within about three weeks because Bradley will stop forcing it, Humphries is solid, Bass is solid, and Green’s game is bound to improve with Rondo feeding him. The big question is whether they can get a real commitment to team defense.

  2. kanemoney - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    I am confused why the Celts can’t rebuild around him. He’s young enough to have a solid 10 years in the tank, right?

    • shanelsweet - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      Have you noticed how the best teams all have players that like playing with each other? Team chemistry matters in the NBA. I’ve read that Rondo is a hard person to like. Maybe Danny Ainge thinks that starting a rebuild with a player other players don’t like doesn’t make much sense.

    • coachjac30 - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      Rebuild around him? NO! Rebuild with him? YES!

      It really all boils down to how long Ainge thinks the rebuild is going to take. If its going to take 4-6 years, keeping him really isn’t worth it, given his value to a contending team, his age, and his contract status. To me, all 3 of those things are the perfect recipe to trade him for something of value.

      While they have lots of picks to use as trade bait, and have a good chunk of money coming off the books at the end of the season, their best tradable asset is Rondo. If trading him is the key to a quicker rebuild, with a longer period of quality, then that is the right move.

      With that being said, now that he has been named captain (which to me is ridiculous) I think that Ainge is going to try to keep him and go out and get a couple studs to complement him with. Contrary to popular belief, Rondo can not be your best player if you want to win a championship.

    • imakcds - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      If you are a Celtic fan, then you do not question the Confusion created by the Confusing moves of the Confused Danny Ainge.
      Rondo is a goner, he’s been on the block for a couple years now.

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