Celtics rookie point guard Rajon Rondo had his best game of the season Friday night. He apparently wasn’t too concerned if anyone knew it.
The typically shy Rondo left the arena as soon as the door to the Celtics locker room swung open, missing the opportunity to talk to reporters about his big night. Instead, he decided to let his play do the talking.
Rondo had 23 points, five assists, four steals, and three rebounds against the Raptors, eclipsing his previous season-high of 13 points, set against Utah. Rondo teamed with fellow rookie Allan Ray to raise the tempo of the game and spark a second-quarter run that saw the Celtics take the lead.
“It felt good,” said Ray. “That’s one thing with a lot of young players; they’re going to give you a lot of energy.”
Ray said the style reminded him of his days playing in a four-guard offense at Villanova.
“That was a style that I played in college,” said Ray. “It definitely felt pretty comfortable out there. There’s an opportunity on this team. We do like to run, so if we get out in the open court we’re a very good team.”
“I thought Big O (Michael Olowokandi) and Leon Powe were phenomenal,” said Rivers. “They kept us in the game.”
Rivers talked about the three-guard offense (Rondo, Ray, and Sebastian Telfair) he used in the second quarter.
“We worked on it, but we didn’t know if it was going to work,” said Rivers. “We assumed they were going to post one of the small guards and they never did.”
Rivers praised the play of Ray in particular.
“He was a presence on the floor,” he said. “One thing I love about Allan Ray is when we do running and jumping and pressing, they did that at Villanova. You can just see he has the instinct to do that and he does it extremely well.”
Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said he was impressed with Boston’s effort despite the Celtics being shorthanded.
“Those guys had a lot of injuries,” he said. “They played hard. I have to give them a lot of credit.”