Rajon Rondo’s triple-double (12 points, 10 rebounds, 22 assists) should be a sign to Celtics fans that their point guard is officially back. But tonight against the Spurs, Rondo also showed flashes of the athletic brilliance that has made him such a difficult matchup.
“I saw it last game,” said coach Doc Rivers. “I told you guys that. He had the one move where he was explosive, so you saw that he had that back. And now he’s got his timing back. You know, we played him a ton of minutes. We played everybody a ton of minutes tonight.”
Rondo sat for a few minutes in the second quarter, but he played all but three seconds of the first, third, and fourth quarters tonight. He could have had at least two more assists early in the fourth if Jermaine O’Neal and Von Wafer hadn’t missed wide open jump shots.
Speaking of jump shots, Rondo seems to be looking for his more. He did the other night against Minnesota, hitting a key floater and jumper in the last two minutes of that game. He hit two 18-foot jump shots in succession during the fourth quarter tonight.
“I loved it,” said Rivers. “It was awesome. We watched film today, but I was upstairs, and I watched Rondo take shot after shot. You could see himself getting mentally ready for what he thought was going to happen, and it did. They went under [screens] and he stepped up and made shots.”
Said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, “He affects the game on both ends of the court. He put it in the hole. He drove it. He plays D, gets steals. He rebounds. He does everything.”