Celtics coach Doc Rivers defended the decision to use Rajon Rondo for just 43 seconds in the fourth quarter of tonight’s 83-78 loss to the Magic.
“You go with the unit that has it going, and that unit clearly had it going,” Rivers said of the second unit, featuring Eddie House at point guard.
House had three points and was 1 of 4 from behind the three-point line. Rondo finished the game with 6 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, to go along with 3 turnovers.
“The first quarter we started out poorly, the third quarter we started out poorly,” said Rivers. “When we subbed, we made runs. Today Eddie was a terrific defender, and just the threat of him spacing the floor…sometimes that’s true. Today wasn’t one of them.”
Rivers said Rondo had a bad game, but said one bad game was not indicative of any larger trends.
“It’s not on Rondo,” said Rivers. “As a group we have to play better. Rondo didn’t play well today. He’s been pretty good for the most part.”
Said Rasheed Wallace, “If you’re in Doc’s situation, it’s damned if you do, damned it you don’t. If you don’t have Rondo in there, you’re going to have people say, ‘Why didn’t you have Rondo in there sooner?” Then if you do have Rondo in there, ‘Oh, well, why’d you have Rondo in there so long? Or ‘Why’d you have Kevin in there? It is sort of a gift and a curse. But that’s the woes of being a head coach.”