“They are not a better team [without Rondo] but they are playing better,” TNT NBA analyst Kenny Smith said. “There is a sense of urgency. The reason is a lot of their guys aren’t skill guys, they’re effort guys. Their effort and energy are being showcased now . . . with Rondo, it wasn’t.”
Rivers said this week that Rondo could fit into this new scheme and that he would consider using it when he returns. Would it look the same with Rondo at the point?
“It should,” Rivers said. “I think he would have the ball less at times. He would do more cutting and spacing, but yeah.”
However this Celtics season turns out, the system they installed in response to Rondo’s absence could well be the system they use in the future. And if the results continue to be as promising as they have been, that future could be bright.
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The Celtics assigned 7-foot center Fab Melo to their NBA Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.
Melo played a total of eight minutes against the Magic and Lakers, and had 2 points, 1 steal, and 1 block.