Rondo sits out against Spain
Rajon Rondo stumbled Saturday against Lithuania, turning the ball over four times in 14 minutes and being lifted in the second half in favor of Russell Westbrook. When Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to sit Rondo for all USA’s 86-85 win in a pretty high-profile exhibition against Spain, there was some concern that maybe Rondo had lost ground in the competition at the guard spot. Krzyzewski explained, however, that he sat Rondo to get a better look at Stephen Curry, who missed time earlier in the week with a sprained left ankle.
What have you learned between the game last night and today; and what did you think of some of your outside players like Rose, how they stepped up and were able to contribute?
We were trying to learn about our younger players so we started a different lineup … Curry has been out so we wanted to give him a chance and we already know what Rondo and Granger can do … That was our plan tonight, just to take a better look at our team. … Those are two veterans and young guys haven’t had a chance to start or whatever, so before we select our 12 we needed to give everyone a look.
Team USA has one exhibition left Wednesday against Greece. The FIBA World Championship starts Saturday.
House calls Heat Team PED
If anyone in the league has the license to compare the 2010-11 Heat and the 2007-08 Celtics, it’s Eddie House, who will be the 3-point gunner for both teams. In his humble opinion, the Heat will be the Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez version of the team that brought Boston its 17th banner.
“I compare it to the year I went to Boston when the Big 3 got together in 2007,” House said. “But this is going to be even bigger. This is going to be Boston on steroids.”
“I’m extremely excited about this opportunity,” House said. “In Boston, everybody was after us every single night. We were playing hard-fought games every night. This is going to be even crazier. We’re anointed champs from the beginning, and we’re not the champions.”
He also explained how much it hurt when the Celtics dealt him to the Knicks at the trade deadline (Coincidentally, during the Finals, Charles Barkley said Nate Robinson was Eddie House on steroids). House told the Republic, “That stung a little bit. When you feel like you’re a main part of what the team is doing and you’re on a mission, to get the rug pulled out from under you and get sent to a team that has no shot . . . that kind of hurt.”
Fernandez, McMillan: Awkward
And today, besides practice, cordial conversation with my coach Nate McMillan.
Rudy Fernandez wants out of Portland so badly he was willing to be fined $25,000 to demand a trade. He didn’t return any of the team’s calls since the end of the season, and his agent said he’d sit out the final two year’s of his contract if he had to. Of course, this made things sort of weird when Fernandez and Blazers coach Nate McMillan crossed paths Sunday for Team USA’s meeting against Spain. But McMillan said the talk was a “good” one and Fernandez, via Twitter, called it “cordial.”