BOSTON As E'Twaun Moore was nearing the end of a recent interview, teammate Marquis Daniels was walking past and began to stare at Moore intently.
Just like that, the cool-as-can-be rookie stumbled over his words, and lost his focus.
"I had some distractions," Moore grinned afterward.
To see Moore slightly rattled is in stark contrast to how he has performed thus far with the Celtics in training camp. Of all the new faces this season, Moore's play has been the biggest surprise of them all. A second-round pick out of Purdue, Moore has thrust himself into the thick of the battle to be in the C's rotation this season.
Although he is a rookie, Moore plays with the kind of poise you'd expect from a more seasoned NBA player. To chalk it up to him being a four-year college player doesn't do justice to his game, and how he has made the most of his limited opportunities to play.
He'll be among the faces to keep an eye on tonight when the Celtics close out their preseason schedule against Toronto.
When the two teams played on Sunday, the C's emerged with a 76-75 win. Moore only scored four points in that game, but they came late in the fourth quarter when Boston needed someone to step up.
Even though the game was close, you never got the sense that Moore was in a rush.
"When you get young guys in they want to go so fast and they're rushing," said Celtics guard Ray Allen. "You can see he has a speed that's kind of in between. He knows when to turn it on and he knows when to kind of lull his defender into a false sense of reality. That helps out here. That's one thing you have to learn when you're a young player in this league. And if you have that already, the game slows down for you."
Former Celtics and current Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo is up to his old tricks, apparently.
The Bulls have suspended Rondo for Monday’s game due to conduct detrimental to the team, with Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical saying that the suspension is the result of a “heated exchange” the 30-year-old had with a Bulls assistant during or after the team’s 107-82 loss to the Mavericks Saturday.
Rondo clashing with others is nothing new. He once shattered a television on which the Celtics were showing him game footage to critique him and had to be carried out kicking and screaming by Kevin Garnett. Chris Sheridan reported in 2013 that Doc Rivers had an “intense dislike” for Rondo and that the two almost fought.
After being traded out of Boston, Rondo was suspended for a game by the Mavericks after a shouting match with Rick Carlisle. Last December, he was suspended for calling referee Bill Kennedy a homophobic slur, leading to Kennedy coming out as gay.
Interestingly enough, there's something of a pattern of Rondo's bigger infractions occuring in games against former teams. The Kennedy incident came in a game against the Celtics, while this recent one was against Dallas.
This is the first season of a two-year, $28 million Rondo signed with the Bulls in the offseason. He is averaging 8.2 points per game, 7.2 assists per game and 6.7 rebounds a night.
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