BOSTON As a former NBA point guard, Doc Rivers is used to calling the shots. So it's understandable if most of the sets you see the Boston Celtics run are calls made by him.
But Rajon Rondo challenges Rivers' approach more than any other point guard he's ever dealt with. The result is Rivers giving Rondo the kind of play-calling freedom that you don't see a lot of in today's NBA point guards have.
"Rondo's the only one, in the years that I've coached," Rivers said. "And the reason you give it to him is because he's the smartest one."
Rondo has certainly been on a roll of late with his play-calling, which has been a big reason why the Celtics have won four in a row, including a 115-111 overtime win against New York on Sunday.
The 6-foot-1 point guard tallied his fourth triple-double of the season, and second in three days, with 18 points, 17 rebounds and 20 assists.
His numbers speak for themselves, but what's even more impressive is how he's putting them up while still getting his teammates involved.
Rivers said having Rondo call more of his own plays is a natural progression for his role with the team now.
"There's no guy on the floor that knows what should be run better than the point guard," Rivers said. "And if he has a feel for your team, then I'd rather have him make the call."
There are times still when Rondo will look to Rivers to make a call, but Rivers said,"it's sensational when he doesn't look."
Rondo says he has been calling his own plays for a couple of years, but it appears as though Rivers is giving him even more freedom to do so now.
"That's an honor," Rondo said. "You know I think I've had to earn his respect and knowing my knowledge of the game, we've sat down a couple times and just picked each other's brain."
Rivers added, "It's his team. I tell him that all the time, 'It's your team.' We're all in this together, but it's great when he takes over like that."