Coach Scalabrine tells Rondo to 'be more aggressive'


Coach Scalabrine tells Rondo to 'be more aggressive'

Brian Scalabrine has expressed his desire to play in the NBA next season, whether it's with the Bulls or another team.

But like everybody else, his career will end at some point. When it does, the heady Scalabrine should be able to find a job somewhere as an assistant coach, if he wants.

Exhibit A: His pregame chat with Rajon Rondo prior to Rondo's career-high 44 points and all-time great performance in a postseason game in Boston's 115-111 loss.

Scalabrine has always been a huge fan of Rondo since their playing days together in Boston, and Scal knows how special the point guard can be. Rondo clearly values Scalabrine's views, as he asked him why he wasn't having success around the rim in Game 1.

Now we don't know exactly what Scalabrine said to him, but Scal offered us a bit of insight into the meeting. In a nutshell: be aggressive.

"Rajon, they're collapsing on you," Scalabrine said of his message to Rondo on Comcast SportsNet New England's pregame show. "Use your instincts, make plays. That's what you want to do. That's why you're so special. Your instincts are off the charts. If you see a layup, shoot a layup. If you see a pass, make the pass. Trust your guys: trust Ray Allen, trust Paul Pierce. And I feel like he feels that he needs to be more aggressive making basketball plays If 20 shots is what it takes, that's what it takes. Rajon Rondo needs to be more aggressive in making his players around him more better."

Horford's all-around play key in first regular season game with Celtics

Horford's all-around play key in first regular season game with Celtics

BOSTON – The Al Horford love fest continues with the veteran big man delivering yet another impressive performance for the Boston Celtics.

And this one?

Unlike his play in the preseason, Wednesday night's game counts.

Horford’s all-around play was pivotal to Boston holding on for a 122-117 victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

CELTICS 122, NETS 117:

The four-time All-Star made several high-basketball IQ-type plays that in hindsight, were major key moments in Boston pushing its lead to as many as 23 points.

In the third quarter with Boston ahead 71-65, Horford took advantage of Brooklyn closing out too hard on him and drove into the lane. As the Nets defenders collapsed to take away a shot attempt in the lane, Horford swung the ball to Jae Crowder whose jumper triggered a 14-5 run.

Boston would lead by double figures until the last couple of minutes of the game.

“We have to keep playing the right way, for 48 minutes,” Horford said when asked about the team’s late-game collapse.

The late-game struggles aside, there was a lot to like about how the Celtics played throughout the first 40 minutes.

And a big part of that strong play has to be credited to Horford whose ability to help keep the ball moving allowed the Celtics to finish with 36 assists on 48 made field goals, the kind of opening night assist numbers that haven’t been seen around these parts in decades.

Horford was among those getting into the act, scoring 11 points to go with five rebounds and six assists.

To see him racking up guard-like assist numbers isn’t unusual when you consider he was third in the league last season in assists per game (3.2) for a center.

“Guys were moving the ball very well,” Horford said. “It’s kind of contagious.”

Said Crowder: “I never saw coaches clap on a three-second call. We moved the ball in the first quarter so much we got a three-second call. We passed up a lot of open shots. It just shows how unselfish we are playing as a unit.”

And while that selfless brand of basketball was on display at times last season, the addition of Horford seems to have taken it to another level.

“He opens the floor, he makes it easier for everybody; he’s always in the right spots, he’s a threat at all times,” said Boston’s Isaiah Thomas. “He can hit the 3, hit the mid-range, and also post up so he has the full package; a guy that makes it easy for everybody.”