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Arroyo fits in nicely

He gets to the point to help spell Rondo

By Monique Walker
Globe Staff / March 10, 2011

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The anxiety began four days ago for Carlos Arroyo. The newest Celtic wanted to learn anything and everything he could before his first night in a Boston uniform.

In the hours before last night’s game against the Clippers, Arroyo wondered if he had done enough. Despite the 108-103 loss to the Clippers, Celtics coach Doc Rivers liked the effort from his new guard.

“I’ve been very anxious since I signed with the team to get on the floor with the guys and get a feel for what we’re trying to do,’’ Arroyo said. “I’m glad that first game is out of the way.’’

Arroyo played 15 minutes and had 4 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, and a turnover. It was the most he has played since logging 36 minutes as a member of the Heat Jan. 7. The Celtics brought in Arroyo to help balance Rajon Rondo’s minutes while Delonte West continues to heal from an ankle injury.

From what Rivers saw last night, Arroyo may have proved he can fill that role. Arroyo started the second quarter, with the Celtics trailing, 30-17. It was during that time Arroyo displayed his ability and knowledge.

“I thought Arroyo was phenomenal,’’ Rivers said. “He ran our club. When he came down and called a play that we hadn’t put in for him, but he knew the team ran it, I thought, ‘Man, this guy — he’s pretty good.’ You know, everybody else knew it on the floor and he called it and you know, I was shocked that he knew it. It was great. So there were some good things there.’’

Arroyo said he didn’t remember the play but was focused on staying aggressive. Not only did Arroyo fill in for Rondo, Rivers left both point guards in the game at various points to see how they would operate. Arroyo said the opportunities were beneficial.

“I enjoyed it and it makes my job a lot easier when you have another point guard playing with you,’’ Arroyo said. “[Rondo’s] IQ is so high. It makes your game that much easier. Hopefully we can play more together and understand to play with each other and help the team.’’

Arroyo had his moments where he grabbed rebounds and tried to set up teammates for easy baskets. The end result didn’t always lead to points but the potential was there. Arroyo has played with seven teams over his eight-year career.

With Arroyo’s various stops in his career, Paul Pierce said he wasn’t surprised to see the undrafted player out of Florida International play with comfort last night.

“He’s a savvy point guard that’s been around the block a few times and has a lot of experience,’’ Pierce said. “As a point guard, you’re automatically thrust into a leadership role because you’re out there calling plays and you’re out there at the top with the ball. He’s been on a number of playoff teams where he’s been in that position.

“So it was good for him to come in, even on a couple of days of practice, and really come play with a lot of confidence and play the point guard like he’s been there before. That’s going to be big for us as he continues to learn the system and do the things that we do.’’

Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com.

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