Box Score Bank: With an assist from Rondo

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Box Score Bank: With an assist from Rondo

There are many serious story lines surrounding tonight's CelticsHeat game

and Rajon Rondo's assist streak isn't one of them.

Still, the fact that he's now dropped double digit dimes in 17 straight games is pretty cool. Even cooler? That the Celtics are 11-6 in said 17 games.

According to Elias, Rondo's is the first guy to have a streak this long since John Stockton (Who did you expect, Yinka Dare?) did it in 29 straight games back in 1992.

And wouldn't you know, one of those 29 games came against the Celtics.

So, let's crank up the Box Score Bank to February 17, 1992

George H.W. Bush was in his fourth and final year of his presidency. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle was No. 1 at the box office. My personal hero, Right Said Fred, and the song that changed my life, "I'm Too Sexy." was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. Rondo was a week from his sixth birthday.

And over in Utah, John Stockton was dropping 12 assists on the Celtics.

February 17, 1992: Utah 88, Boston 83

Stockton actually had a pretty mediocre game, with only 11 points on 3 of 12 shooting, but his 12 dimes were enough to trigger The Mailman, who had 30 points and 13 boards in Utah's gritty win. Also for Utah, Mark Eaton has customary three blocks, Big Blue Edwards had six points in 28 minutes and current Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin had 13 rebounds off the bench.

Reggie Lewis led the Celtics with 19 points.

(How many consecutive days do you think I'll find a way to mention Reggie on this blog? Guess we'll find out.)

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Stars, studs and duds: Olynyk finding his stride off Celtics bench

Stars, studs and duds: Olynyk finding his stride off Celtics bench

BOSTON – It’s easy to forget that Kelly Olynyk went several months without doing anything basketball-related as he was on the mend from shoulder surgery.

His return had its share of ups and downs, but it seems the 7-foot center has found his stride and he’s making opponents pay for it.

For the second time in as many games, Olynyk came up big for the Celtics as Boston continued on its winning ways with a 108-98 win over Charlotte.

Olynyk, who scored a season-high 26 points in Boston’s win at Atlanta on Friday, had an efficient 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting against the Hornets on Monday.

Assertive. Aggressive. Contract year.

It doesn’t matter how you describe what or why Olynyk is ballin’ so hard lately.

The point is he’s doing it a better job of recognizing opportunities to make plays and executing whatever role he’s being asked to play.

“Just feeling good with the second unit,” Olynyk said. “I’m just trying to be aggressive and help the starters out.”

In the past, teams have mixed up their defensive coverages on Olynyk which frequently left him being guarded by a quicker but smaller player, or a big man with limited mobility.

Often Olynyk settled for long range shots and 3’s, regardless of the defender.

But as we’ve seen the last couple of games, he has hurt teams with his scoring around the rim which has in turn opened things up for his teammates or himself.

“We need him to play like that all the time,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “When he’s aggressive, looking for his shot, shooting open shots, even getting in there getting rebounds, offensive put-backs, that only helps us as a unit. And he’s done a great job of that the past couple games. We need that from him.”

And as he gets further removed from his offseason surgery, opportunities for him to be an impactful player for Boston will only grow.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Monday’s game.

 

STARS

Isaiah Thomas

The Celtics win, and Isaiah Thomas has another offensive flurry in the fourth quarter. So what else is new? He led all scorers with 35 points which included 17 in the fourth quarter.

Kemba Walker

He’s still playing at a level that puts him in the All-Star conversation, but it’s not going to happen with the Hornets continuing to struggle. They’ve lost five in a row now despite Walker’s 24 points on Monday.

 

STUDS

Al Horford

Boston is playing more inside-out basketball of late, and that’s opening things up for both Horford and his teammates. Against the Hornets he had 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting along with six rebounds and four assists.

Kelly Olynyk

For the second straight game, Olynyk had a strong, impactful performance for the Celtics utilizing his strengths as a perimeter threat and a 7-footer who can take advantage of smaller defenders around the rim. He finished with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting to go with nine rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Marvin Williams

He was the only other Hornet besides Kemba Walker who really impacted the game significantly. Williams had 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting which included 3-for-6 shooting from 3-point range.

Jae Crowder

The 6-foot-6 Crowder continues to have a sneaky-good season for the Celtics, particularly with his 3-point shooting which ranks among the league leaders. On Monday he had 15 points which included a trio of 3-pointers to go with seven rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.

 

DUDS

Nicolas Batum

Avery Bradley put most of his effort and attention into defending Batum and man, did it ever pay off. Batum grabbed 10 rebounds, but wound up missing nine of his 11 shots from the field to finish with just four points.