“I may have a mark on my back. Younger guys are coming in, giving me their best shot. I just come in and try to do what I do best — run the show.”
Archive for Rajon Rondo
Like many hardcore hoop fans, I tuned into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-finals Saturday night.
My family and I travelled up to Northern Michigan to visit my father in-law for the Memorial Day weekend.
He has a pretty cool house right off of Lake Huron.
It was going to be a great weekend.
That is until I learned there was only 1 TV in the house.
Thank heavens my wife and father in-law allowed me to reserve the set in the living for Sixers-Celtics.
Do you ever hear people who watch basketball say, “so and so is too old.”
It’s clear those people have never played the game.
Now look, I understand when players lose a step or two their performance suffers. They get beat on defense. Take bad shots or can’t finish on the break. They blame some nagging injury on their lack of quickness and oh yeah, they complain about their minutes. Some even think they should get more touches.
But there’s something else that we like to call “pride”.
And boy do the Boston Celtics possess a lot of it.
It’s one thing if you are aging and have zero courage, toughness and lack desire. But the C’s vets are fearless, do not back down to anyone and are juiced up for what many call their last run together.
I’m talking Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
These guys are warriors. You think they are going to fold like a cheap suit?
But let’s start with the guy people seem to forget about when talking Boston Celtics basketball.
Point guard Rajon Rondo finished with a triple-double (18-10-10) on the night leading the way for Boston’s 85-75 victory. It was his second triple-double of the series. Rondo also turned the ball over 7 times. The former Kentucky Wildcat needs to cut down on the TO’s against Miami or LBJ and Co. be off to the races. Despite what Mike Lupica thinks, Rondo’s going to be the difference in the Eastern Conference finals.
“We feel we can beat Miami. Obviously we got to this point. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can, so we got to go down there and take care of business.” Said Rondo following the game.
Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen started the game 1-9 from the field but made a big three-point bucket with 5:51 to play in the game putting Boston up 69-61. Allen has been battling an ankle injury but he isn’t like some other guys; you will not hear him making excuses. He just plays!
KG was in rare form Saturday night. How can you not love this guy? 18 points and 13 rebounds on the night. I love to see KG shoot the mid-range turn-around jumper off the glass. For the series KG scored 19PPG and pulled down 11RPG. One thing you can never question about Garnett is his desire, energy and enthusiasm.
Despite fouling out in game 7 against Philly, Pierce has been battling a sprained knee but he’s got too much pride to just lay down and let Miami steamroll his team. He’ll scratch and claw for every rebound and loose ball.
All 5 Celtics starters scored in double figures for the game.
“I don’t look at them as the Big Three. I look at them as the championship four. My hat is off to them.” Doug Collins said following the game.
I’m not counting the Celtics out against the Heat. Matter of fact, I’m picking them to win in 7 games.
Two outstanding plays at the end of the game by both teams that caught my eye that most fans probably did not notice. Rondo held the ball out on purpose thus getting called for a shot clock violation. When the ball changed hands the Sixers dribbled out the clock to end the game. I love when guys do that. No need to score. Game is over.
With my wife and daughter upstairs in the main bedroom Saturday night watching movies on their i-pads, my father in-law decided to watch the game with me. He fell asleep at the end of the 3rd quarter, missing the entire 4th.
Last night, both the Miami Heat and OKC Thunder went up 2-0.
I have a funny feeling these two teams will be the last 2 standing in a few weeks.
Marc Berman of the NY Post on the Heat and their win over New York last night. Let’s keep in mind, this is a 2 seed against a 7 seed. The Knicks just don’t seem to have enough fire power.
John Rohde of OK News with the Thunder’s win over Dallas. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant are very tough but Sam Presti has put some strong pieces in place to compliment those two stars.
Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald on Rajon Rondo’s one game suspension. This is the second time this season Rondo has had a problem with the official. Back in January, at Detroit, Rondo threw the ball at the ref and was ejected. He was suspended for two games.
Pete Vecsey of the NY Post on Rondo’s suspension and players that are flopping.
Paul Silas will not return as head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats.
In college, Mark Macon will not return to Binghamton as men’s head coach; the school fired him.
Edwin Torres, a contributor to Yahoo Sports doesn’t like LeBron James flopping. I saw both plays Torres is talking about on Saturday afternoon. The first one was a flop and the second, well he was screened from behind. To me, LeBron is too strong and powerful to be knocked over.
Teresa M. Walker of the Associated Press on the LA Clippers comeback last night against the Grizzlies. I’ll admit, I shut it off when the Grizzlies were in control. But you can never tell what will happen at the end of a game.
Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe on the Celtics lackluster 1st quarter last night in Game 1 against the Hawks. A bigger problem is whether Rajon Rondo will be suspended for game 2. After getting a ‘T’ Rondo bumped the official from behind and was tossed from the game. This is the second time this season Rondo has had a problem with a ref. Earlier in the season the former Kentucky Wildcat threw the ball at the ref and was thrown out of the game.
Jeff Backham of Wired.com on the positions in basketball. Interesting read.
Caulton Tudor of the News Observer on the impact Chris Washburn had at NC State. I always thought this guy was going to be a superstar. Didn’t work out that way.
This is by far the best time of year in the sport of basketball.
Matter of fact it beats anything in any sport out there.
At the high school level here in the State of Michigan you have district tournaments starting tonight. In college conference tournaments have started and will go all the way through Sunday. Then it’s on to the NCAA tournament. Not to mention the Junior College tournaments and of course D-2, D-3 and NAIA tournaments.
Did you see the numbers Rajon Rondo put up yesterday against the New York Knicks? In a 115-112 overtime win Rondo scored 18 points, grabbed 20 rebounds and dished out 17 assists. Here’s Jeremy Lin on Rondo:
“He’s just unconventional, but like I said before the game he’s one of the best in the league. There aren’t many guards, maybe no guards who can put up numbers like that. We didn’t do a good job of containing him and he obviously controlled the tempo of the game.”
Dan Hope of the Lantern on Ohio State’s win at Michigan State on Sunday. The win gives the Buckeyes a piece of the Big Ten regular season championship. They will be nice and share with MSU and Michigan.
Washington Post via the A.P. on Jim Baron, fired at Rhode Island after 11 years.
Jeff Thomas of the Republican on top-seeded Iona going down to Fairfield in the MAAC tournament. The Gaels went 25-7. Will they get invited to the Big Dance?
In case you missed it Saturday night, Butler was knocked out of the Horizon tournament by host Valpo. Tuesday night Bryce Drew’s team will take on University of Detroit in the finals.
KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune on the Chicago Bulls – part of their success is sharing the ball. Derrick Rose talks about the team that leads the NBA in assists.
“It’s very easy to play on a team like this. We don’t care about who shoots. In certain possessions, I want the ball toward the end. Other than that, we don’t care. Pass the ball to anyone. Anyone has the green light if it’s a good shot. That’s the way it should be.”
Quote of the Day: “Things haven’t gone as well as everyone on the outside wanted it to be, but I’ve seen this team fight through it in practice. I think we’ve grown up in the last two weeks. We got knocked down, but we’ve shown we could get back up.’’ -Thad Matta
Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore
Clarence Gaines Jr. wrote a blog entry about Fox Sports writer Jason Whitlock.
I’ll be honest, Whitlock is an interesting dude.
I don’t wake up in the morning and read his column. Usually it’s Twitter, Facebook and my blog. But if someone happens to link his material up and I come across it on Twitter or Facebook, I’ll click it and read it.
I do recall him being a guest on ESPN’s Sports Reporters back in the day. I thought he was pretty good. Whitlock has a strong opinion, that’s for sure. Here’s Gaines Jr. with his thoughts on Whitlock and some recent material; mainly about Jeremy Lin.
Jason, your ignorance is astounding. You know nothing, I repeat nothing about the game of basketball. Your use of the word ‘RAW TALENT’ shows your prejudice towards Lin, Amar’e, & Carmelo. ‘RAW TALENT’ – Black athletes get subtly dissed liked this all the time; that their success is predicated on ‘RAW TALENT,’ and not the countless hours in the gym they spend honing their craft. Michael Jordan was great because he had RAW TALENT, a great work ethic, and a brilliant basketball mind.
Susan Lulgjuraj of the Press of Atlantic City on Rick Majerus.
“I never sat down and talked to a team in my life about winning the conference, championship or a game,” Majerus, 64, said on a conference call Monday. “I just talk to them about that day’s practice and the next game. I think that’s a good way to lead your life and as a coach. Everyone has all these expectations. The most important way to deal with those expectations is to live in the moment.”
Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer on basketball players that are missed by talent evaluators.
Rajon Rondo told to go to his room for 2 games. Rondo threw the ball at a ref Sunday night at the Palace after he was upset. Rondo went crashing to the floor and thought there should have been a whistle. The biggest problem I had with the whole thing was my 12 year old-daughter, and many other young basketball players were watching. Boston has lost 4 straight, 6 out of 7.
Quote of the Day: “Put it this way: I don’t think we’re better than a lot of teams. But I’m not afraid of just about anybody. I’ve had good teams that have been afraid of some teams. We could finish fourth in this league and still be a pretty good team … but I would not be afraid to go against, home and away, just about anybody. There’s nobody where I’m sitting and saying, ‘I don’t want to play them.’ ” -Tom Izzo
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Brett Martel an AP sportswriter by way of Yahoo Sports on why Dirk is sitting out.
“He’s going to be busting his (behind) this week. We’re going to be on him hard,” Rick Carlisle added. “He’s got a lot of work to do and if things go like we think they’ll go, by the end of the week he’ll be back and ready to play.”
Boston Celtics beat the Washington Wizards Sunday afternoon 100-94. The C’s played without their starting point guard Rajon Rondo. The former Kentucky Wildcat missed his 2nd straight game due to a sprained wrist. Paul Pierce led the way with 34 points and 10 assists.
Speaking of sitting out, the Miami Heat were 6-0 without D-Wade until they lost Sunday to the Milwaukee Bucks 91-82. LeBron James finished with 28 points and 13 rebounds. Chris Bosh had 8 turnovers in the game.
Andy Glockner of SI.com gives us a rundown on UNLV and why they have been so successful this season.
Did you see where Milwaukee Bucks guard Stephen Jackson was suspended for missing the team bus to the morning shoot-around?
Paul Daugherty of The Cincinnati Enquirer on why college athletes SHOULD NOT get paid.
Where will Kevin Love end up playing?
My friend Carl asked me if Carmelo Anthony reminds me of Mark Aguirre?
CBS Sportsline.com has a few great sportswriters working for them. They cover the major sports very well. Matter of fact, Gregg Doyel is one of my favoriter writers. This morning I checked out their college basketball page and they list 6 possible players for Player-of-The-Year. The folks who are in charge of this poll make one major ommission; Draymond Green of Michigan State.
University of Delaware women’s basketball is 16-1 on the season and ranked 16th in the nation. They are led by Elena Delle Donne. The top female player in the country leads the nation in scoring at 28 PPG. In the Blue Hens victory over Drexel the other night Miss Delle Donne played all 40 minutes. The Blue Hens only loss this season came at Maryland 85-76.
Quote of the Day: “It’s interesting, when I throw them out (of practice), and (Sunday) morning I threw them out of walkthrough, or when I walk out of a timeout, they get mad. That insults them and they hate when I do that, it really pisses them off. So I did it on purpose to get their urgency up.” -Steve Masiello, Manhattan College head coach
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As a high school, college or professional basketball coach, do you enjoy scouting?
If you are a college coach, you scout the opponent and you scout high school players.
At the high school level you probably get out and observe your opponent and watch a lot of film.
At the pro level, well you probably have been scouting for a long time so you have your procedure down.
In the State of Michigan, we usually play Tuesday and Friday nights. Last night we were not on the schedule so I took off after practice and watched our next opponent. (A part of a high school coach’s job that the average fan has no clue about)
Someone asked me on Twitter what I look for when out scouting the opposition?
2-Set plays the team runs.
3-What kind of defense the team plays.
4-Their baseline and sideline out-of-bounds plays.
Now keep in mind scouting the opponent doesn’t guarantee victory but at least your team will be prepared. Always keep files on teams too. And of course, everyone has their own way of doing things.
Last but not least, seating is key. Your location is vital. Plus, conversation needs to be kept in check. Talking only before, at half-time and after games. Always sit alone too.
That’s Very Interesting…Basketball-Related:
Jackson Sun.com on the basketball being played in the OVC, led by Murray State who is 10-0 on the season.
“I don’t know if you can put any numbers on how much interest the conference is getting nationally,” said Kyle Schwartz, assistant OVC commissioner in charge of media relations. “But put it this way, (ESPNcollege basketball reporter) Andy Katz does a ’3-point shot’ shot where he highlights three teams, and Murray and Austin Peay were two of them today.”
“It had nothing to do with Doc,” Rondo said of the outburst. “Doc said something to me because nobody else said something to me. But it wasn’t directed toward Doc. I was frustrated about the loss. I think we were 0-2, I was on film a lot and I was frustrated. Doc wasn’t even running the clips. I was just venting. Lawrence Frank and coach (Armond) Hill were running the film session. Doc was just sitting on the floor. I was just frustrated, and I wanted things to be addressed that weren’t being addressed. It’s as simple as that. I stood up and I did what I did. Doc stood up and said something, and that was it. I stormed out and left. That was it.
“I went home that night and thought about my actions. I talked to KG (Kevin Garnett), and I came back the next day and apologized to the team.”
The Star-Tribune on a father who punched his 8th grade son in the face after the boy’s team lost a basketball game. What’s this world coming to?
According to police, officers were sent to Lakeville South High School shortly after noon Saturday. Witnesses said that in a hallway outside the gym, Wilson used one arm to hold his son and the other to punch him in the face. Other parents intervened to stop the assault before officers arrived, Police Chief Tom Vonhof said. The boy’s injuries did not require medical attention.
Lakeville eighth-grade coach Mark Kempton said he did not see the beating but heard about it from parents and saw Wilson’s son afterward.
“I was shaken,” he said. “It was pretty ugly. I felt terrible for him. It was obvious he took a couple of shots.
“Certainly it was disturbing because we’re there for the kids. If this kind of thing happens publicly, you kind of wonder what happens privately,” said Kempton, who has coached for about 12 years.
The Arizona Daily Star on Sean Miller who had some comments about the Xavier-Cincinnati fight that took place Sunday. Miller coached at Xavier. Sean is a good dude. Great coach, very intense and focused.
Arizona coach Sean Miller said Monday he was not condoning a fight when he said Saturday that he was “proud” of Xavier following a late-game brawl between the Musketeers and rival Cincinnati.
“My comments were directed toward my admiration of their on-the-court toughness and their respective approach to giving great effort as a team,” Miller said in a statement.
“In no way was I condoning a fight. At the time of my press conference, I was only responding to my belief in several players that I once coached and a head coach, Chris Mack, that I have great respect for.”
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The Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies both took a 1-0 lead in their best of seven series yesterday with the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder respectively.
Dwyane Wade of the Heat went for 38 points and Zach Randolph of the Grizzlies went for 34 points and 10 rebounds.
The Grizzlies win is the shocker. After beating the San Antonio Spurs 4-2 Memphis went to Oklahoma City and put a thumping on OKC 114-101. Not only did Randolph have a big game but Marc Gasol chipped in with 20 points and 13 rebounds. These two bookends have done an amazing job in the playoffs.
Zach is an interesting player. Back in 2000 when Randolph was a senior in high school he lost out to Jared Jeffries for Indiana Mr. Basketball. After enrolling at Michigan State he came to Michigan State for one season where he helped lead the Spartans to the Final Four. Randolph was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers where he spent six seasons. During the 2006-07 season Z-Bo scored 23 points per game. After a stint with the Knicks and Clippers Randolph has found a home.
“We believe,” Randolph said. “We definitely believe. Our confidence is up high. I tell the guys we can compete and play with anybody.”
Just when you thought the game of basketball is dominated by guard play, and maybe it is, these two big men (Randolph and Gasol) lead their team to huge wins.
Kendrick Perkins, who was brought in by the Thunder to improve their chances of winning a championship put this loss on his shoulders, “I take full accountability of this game,’’ said the 6-foot-10, 280-pound [Kendrick] Perkins, who had a mere two points and six rebounds. “I feel like I let us down.’’
In Miami Paul Pierce was ejected from the game midway through the 4th quarter after getting hit with his second technical foul of the game. One the first James Jones clearly fouled him hard, so Pierce felt disrespected. On the second ‘T’ Wade decided to crash through Pierce’s screen. The former Kansas Jayhawk once again felt violated. TWEET! Second tech, you’re gone. Eddie Malloy, the official wasn’t going for it.
Seems like after this interview yesterday with NBA official Danny Crawford via CBS Sports, Malloy tossed Pierce for taunting.
Following is the transcript of an interview with crew chief Dan Crawford conducted by designated pool reporter Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press explaining what the Celtics‘ Paul Pierce did to warrant a second technical foul, resulting in his ejection from the Heat‘s 99-90 victory over the Heat in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals:
Q: What did Paul Pierce do to merit the 2nd technical with 7:00 remaining?
Crawford: ”It’s what we call a verbal taunt. He directed profanity towards (Dwyane) Wade. And in the rulebook, that is a verbal taunt. And it just so happened to be Pierce’s second technical foul.”
Q: What did Pierce do for the technical after the (James) Jones foul with 7:59 left?
Crawford: ”The first technical foul, it was contact during a dead ball. He approached Jones and got right in his face. There wasn’t a head-butt, but he got right into his face after a hard foul.”
Q: Why did Jones merit a technical with 7:59 remaining?
Crawford: ”We just looked at that. It was Jones’ hard foul that pretty much precipitated Paul doing what he did. The technical foul on Jones will probably be looked at. He didn’t do as much as we thought. We thought he got in and became aggressive or initiated. But after looking at video, that’s something that we’ll have to look at again.”
Q: And was Wade’s technical for the foul, verbal taunting or otherwise?
Crawford: ”He actually walked toward Pierce and that’s why Wade received his, walking toward Pierce and then Pierce’s reaction to that.”
Rajon Rondo, who destroyed the Knicks a week ago was ineffective against Miami. He picked up two quick fouls and was never able to get the Celtics fastbreak going. Rondo was 3-10 from the field with 7 assists, 7 rebounds and 5 turnovers. Kevin Garnett was another Celtic who didn’t play well. In 37 minutes of burn KG shot 3-7 from the field and didn’t attempt one free-throw.
Congratulations to Tom Thibodeau of the Chicago Bulls who was named Coach-of-The-Year.
“He stays in late,” Joakim Noah said. “He’s the first one here. He was there for me all summer working me out. I felt like I really improved as a player because of him.”
Carlos Boozer has injured his big toe? My message to him, “don’t miss any playoff action because of this injury.” You suit up and help your teammates.
Big ups to ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy for bringing up the fundamentals displayed by some of the players in the Heat/Celtics game. Most announcers are in love with the high flying dunks, which add to the downfall of the game in America. It’s a shame more announcers don’t get this important area of the game.
I wish the networks (ESPN and TNT) who cover the NBA would stop pushing meaningless stats down our throats. Any athlete or coach knows anything that has happened in the past between the two teams has zero meaning on a current playoff game.
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I watched the New York Knickerbockers take on the Boston Celtics last night from 33rd and 8th. All I can say is that the Boston Celtics shut everyone up and stormed out of the locker room at 7:05 P.M. and kicked some serious ass. They defended, played with energy, shared the ball and made shots. Boston has won all 7 meetings this year with their one time rival. Did we really think the Knicks had a chance in this game? Speaking of making shots, I have never seen a team get so many wide open looks. Rajon Rondo had 20 assists. The Knicks entire team had 18. Carmelo Anthony handed out 6 of them, who says he’s selfish?
Let’s get one thing straight on the Knicks behalf; you play with who you have, but without Chauncey Billups and Amar’e Stoudemire you are not beating Boston. Shoot, the Knicks probably couldn’t beat NYU last night.
The Atlanta Hawks beat the Orlando Magic last night to take a 2-1 lead in the series. I caught some of this game and thought the Hawks did a very good job. The Magic stand around and watch each other on offense. Dwight Howard gets the ball and no one cuts, no one screens away. Plus, the ball never gets passed back out of the post; In 44 minutes of burn, DW 12 didn’t record 1 assist in the game.
The Los Angeles Lakers topped the New Orleans Hornets last night to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Kobe Bryant led the way with 30 points. I saw this quote in the morning newspaper: ”Pau (Gasol) told me before the game in the elevator, ‘Let’s go loco tonight.’ You know, just play hard and get back to doing as best we could. … “Pau had ups and downs in the game, and then he came alive. We’re still figuring some things out.” Ron Artest said.
Jason Richardson came to the aid of Dwight Howard after DW12 and Hawks Zaza Pachulia center got tangled up on a post move by Howard. (BTW, if you are one of the fools who keep saying Howard doesn’t have any post moves, you have not watched him as of late) The former high-flying Arthur Hill Lumberjack slapped Zaza upside his face and both players were sent to the showers after the officials went to the monitor. I can understand J.R. coming over to try and restore order like Mills Lane but he has to cool out when it comes to hitting someone. It looked like Zaza hit J.R. with a head-butt while the two were jawing at each other but I don’t think he made any contact. (John Starks was not proud) Howard swung a forearm and Pachulia flung an elbow at the end of the move but there wasn’t much contact. When J.R. came over and decided to ‘have his teammates’ back’ it escalated. Did you know Richardson moonlights as a DJ? No serious, he gets down on the wheels of steel spinning records.
Spike Lee is annoying. I love his films and everything he stands for in the film industry but my man needs to be removed from courtside. Last night he was wearing an ugly orange pork-pie and he had a Knicks towel wrapped around his body.
Why do basketball color analysts continue to use the term “air space”? My main man Ray Lokar better known as @CoachLok on Twitter said, “I thought air space controlled “fly-over’s” at Stadiums on Opening Day?”
I blame this on Doris Burke of the Mothership.
Mark Jackson, who did the color for the Knicks-Celtics game last night had this comment during the telecast, “You can get away with it if you don’t get caught.” HUH?
Just for the record Jalen Rose and Chris Mullin, both of the Mothership said the Knicks would win last night. They team up with Stuart Scott in studio giving their take on the NBA. I think the trolls behind the scene in Bristol should keep track of their analysts win-loss record when choosing a winner in each game they cover. I’d love to see how many games these guys get wrong. By the way, FWIW, Stephon Marbury Skyped me an hour before the game and said, “Red, I played for both teams, the Celtics got this.”
I miss Larry Demic, Sly Williams, Eddie Lee Wilkins, Ken Bannister, Edmund Sherrod, Fred Cofield and of course Hubie Brown on the sidelines shouting, “POWER RIGHT, POWER RIGHT!”
Whatever happened to Shabba Ranks?
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