How do Rondo, Westbrook stack up?

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How do Rondo, Westbrook stack up?

This season Rajon Rondo has already faced off against two of the leagues most touted young point guards, Derrick Rose and John Wall. On Monday, he will take on Russell Westbrook when the Oklahoma City Thunder come to Boston.

The two teams have not seen each other in over a year. The last time they played, November 19, 2010 in Boston, Westbrook led a Kevin Durant-less Thunder with 31 points with six assists, while Rondo posted 14 points and seven dimes in the Celtics 89-84 loss.

See how Rondo, who is tied with Steve Nash for most assists per game, and Westbrook, the fourth-highest scoring guard in the NBA, compare this season before they go head-to-head at the TD Garden.

Differentials from 2010-11 season averages are noted in parentheses.

Points per game
Rondo: 14.7 (4.1)
Westbrook 18.9 (-3.0)

Assists per game
Rondo: 10.1 (-1.1)
Westbrook: 5.5 (-2.7)

Rebounds per game
Rondo: 4.9 (0.5)
Westbrook: 4.8 (0.2)

Field Goal Percentage
Rondo: 50.4 (2.9)
Westbrook: 43.7 (-0.5)

Free Throw Percentage
Rondo: 59.3 (2.5)
Westbrook: 78.8 (-5.4)

Rondo is averaging 12.6 points, 9.6 assists, and 3.6 rebounds in the last five games. Westbrook is averaging 22.2 points, 6.0 assists, and 4.8 rebounds during the same stretch.

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

Brady allows himself to enjoy win: '[Bleep], you've got to be happy now'

FOXBORO -- Tom Brady can be his own worst critic. That's why last week, after beating the Texans in the Divisional Round to move on to the AFC title game, he wasn't thrilled. He didn't play up to his standards. The offense struggled at points. He wore his frustration like a five o'clock shadow.

Winning is not everything for Brady, most weeks. He has an idea of how he should perform, how the Patriots offense should perform, and when those ideals aren't met, he's generally displeased. 

PATRIOTS 36, STEELERS 17

On Sunday, after beating up on the Steelers, 36-17, that wasn't the case. It was a sound performance, but it wasn't perfect. It was explosive at times, but it shined a light on areas where the Patriots will need to continue to improve. 

Despite its imperfections, Sunday was no time to brood about plays missed or lessons learned the hard way. Screw it, Brady seemed to say. They were going to the Super Bowl. It was OK to smile.  

"It was a good day," Brady said. "I mean, we're going to the Super Bowl, man. [Expletive], you've got to be happy now."

The Super Bowl berth is the ninth in franchise history -- more than any other club -- and the seventh with Brady and coach Bill Belichick. By throwing for 384 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-42 passing, Brady tied Joe Montana for the most postseason games (nine) with three touchdown passes. 

Brady will also claim the record for Super Bowls played when he and the Patriots head to Houston. And if they win, he'll tie Charles Haley for most Super Bowl wins for a player (five).

Those are lofty numbers made even more significant, perhaps, due to the fact that Brady wasn't allowed to start this season as his team's quarterback. He was asked during Sunday's postgame press conference if it was personally satisfying to get back to the Super Bowl despite having to serve a four-game suspension due to Deflategate.

"Well, that's because of the hard work of a lot of people from my coaches to my teammates to our families that support us," he said. "It takes a lot of people, a lot of hard work and a lot of effort over the course of many months. This didn't start at 6:40 tonight.

"This thing started in April. It really started before that in free-agency when we were picking up guys like [Chris] Hogan and drafting guys like Malcolm Mitchell and guy who were in rehab like [LeGarrette Blount] and [Dion Lewis] and [James Develin] and Nate [Solder]. It's a lot of hard work. There are only two teams left standing, and I'm happy we're one of them."

They're going to the Super Bowl. He has to be happy now.