Dana Barros joined the parade of former Celtics traveling to Waltham to watch training camp. The point guard left impressed by the play of rookie Rajon Rondo.
‘‘Rondo really impressed me a lot,’’ said Barros. ‘‘He has a great presence on the floor. I know it’s training camp and guys are a little sore and don’t have their full speed, but he’s on another speed right now from everybody else. I’m really impressed with his floor leadership out there, controlling the tempo of the game. It makes me want to dust my old self off. It reminds me that when you have that speed you take everybody’s morale away by running them to death. I see that in him. I see him breaking everybody down by being at that same level all the time.’’
Although it is still early in training camp and Rondo admits he has much to learn, the rookie has already earned the trust of coach Doc Rivers and his new teammates. Rivers is constantly encouraging Rondo to push the pace with his off-the-charts speed. When the Celtics go small as they did today in practice with a Rondo and Sebastian Telfair, alongside Paul Pierce, Wally Szczerbiak and Theo Ratliff, Rivers figures they have one of the fastest backcourts in the league. And Boston wants to take advantage of that this season.
It is unclear what the quick emergence of Rondo and the confident of play of Telfair leaves injured Delonte West (lower back strain). Rivers said that Sunday was the earliest West could workout with the team in a full-contact capacity. West has missed valuable practice time and could find himself the odd man out of the point guard rotation or the floor general with the fewest minutes, at least early in the season.