Ainge: I've spoken to Rondo about suspensions

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Ainge: I've spoken to Rondo about suspensions

WALTHAM The Boston Celtics are gearing up for a Rajon Rondo-less game courtesy of a two-game suspension following an incident against Brooklyn this week - the third time in nine months.

Players being suspended is nothing new to the Celtics or any of the league's 29 teams. It happens.

But for a star player to be suspended so often, in such a short period of time, is a bit disturbing. Not only for its impact on his team, but also the potential impact on that player's reputation.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, acknowledges Rondo's suspension tally is high.

He has spoken with Rondo since the latest incident landed him a two-game suspension, but would not elaborate on any specifics regarding their conversation.

But it's safe to assume that the frequency at which his suspensions has come lately, was a topic of discussion.

"I think it's high," Ainge said of Rondo's rash of suspensions recently. "I just hope the next nine months is better. It's not good; there's nothing good about it. But I love the kid. He's a competitor, he's a warrior. He'll get it under control. I'm confident he will."

That competitive fire, which makes him such a good player and teammate, also fuels his rage when he feels a player - or officials - are wrong towards him, his Celtics teammates, or both.

But finding the balance between that competitiveness and not hurting his team, has proven to be challenging at times for Rondo.

"He's not happy with the fact that he's not there to help his team in the next two games, and the last game against Brooklyn," Ainge said. "Rondo is a very emotional player, he's a tough competitor. He realizes it's more important to play."

But as much as not having him around is at the central thoughts of both Rondo and the Celtics, none of them are naive enough to believe that something similar to this won't happen again.

"If it happens once in the next nine months, maybe that's progress, right?" Ainge said. "I don't expect Rondo will play the rest of his career and not go over the line emotionally."

A three-time All-Star, Rondo was suspended following an incident in the second quarter of Boston's 95-83 loss to Brooklyn on Wednesday. In addition to tonight's game against Portland, Rondo will also be suspended for Saturday's game at Milwaukee.

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Hawks hold decisive edge on the boards

Halftime stars, studs and duds: Hawks hold decisive edge on the boards

BOSTON – The return of Avery Bradley was a good thing for the Boston Celtics, but it wasn’t enough for them to control the action in the first half of Monday’s game against the Hawks who took a 51-47 lead into the half.

Bradley, who had missed previous 18 games and 22 of 23, had six points in the first half on 2-for-4 shooting.

The Celtics opened the game with a 7-2 spurt and led by as many as eight points (15-7) in the first before the Hawks begin to cut into Boston’s lead and eventually take their first lead of the night following a 3-point play by Paul Millsap with 4:20 to play in the quarter which put them ahead 18-15 as part of an 11-0 run.

Boston would regain the lead before both teams went into the second quarter tied at 24.

The second quarter saw Boston hit one of those scoring lulls that they go through from time to time.

But unlike last night’s win at Detroit when they went nearly four minutes without scoring, Atlanta’s offense did a much better job of taking advantage of Boston’s struggles.

Atlanta went on a 9-2 spurt in the second quarter capped off by a Kent Bazemore lay-up that put the Hawks ahead 35-31.

Boston rallied soon after with Bradley leading the charge.

Bradley drained a 3-pointer that cut Atlanta’s lead to 35-34.

A defensive stop by Boston led the way for an Isaiah Thomas lay-up that put the Celtics back on top, leading to the Hawks calling a time-out with 6:18to play in the half.

Atlanta tightened up defensively, doing just enough to go into the half with a four-point lead.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from the first half of tonight’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks.

 

STARS

Dennis Schroder

He really came out and set the tone for the Hawks, scoring eight of his 10 first-half points in the first quarter.

Isaiah Thomas

Atlanta did a nice job of blitzing Thomas and forcing him to pass the ball. But Thomas is a professional scorer so you knew it was a matter of time before he got going offensively. He led the Celtics with nine points at the half, in addition to dishing out five assists while also grabbing five rebounds.

Dwight Howard

The Celtics simply could not keep him from dominating play around the rim. He led all scorers at the half with 12 points while grabbing eight rebounds.

 

STUDS

Marcus Smart

When the offense seemed to stall, it was Smart who kept the Celtics within striking distance in the second quarter. He had seven points at the half along with three rebounds and an assist.

Paul Millsap

He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well (he missed six of his seven shots), but his presence was felt. He had five points at the half along with nine rebounds.

 

DUDS

Celtics rebounding

It really is an adventure when it comes to the Boston Celtics and rebounding the ball. Tonight, they have not been very good, with the Hawks holding a decisive 32-21 rebounding edge which has allowed them to hold a 28-14 advantage in points in the paint, an 8-2 edge on second-chance points in addition to leading the fast break points game, 7-4.

Mike Giardi: Don’t think Patriots will use franchise tag on Dont'a Hightower

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