Rondo not thinking overseas... yet


Rondo not thinking overseas... yet

BOSTON Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo is no different than most of the NBA's young superstars.

As much as he longs to get back on the floor with the C's, he can't totally rule out playing overseas.

"I may (play overseas)," Rondo said at Red Bull magazine signing on Saturday which features him on the cover. "But right now I'm focused on trying to get better. Right now, I think and I hope that there will be a season. That's where my focus is."

But as we have seen with Rondo, he has the ability to shift directions - on and off the court - quickly.

And while it appears as though the market for high-priced American talent has dried up, the fact that Rondo hasn't totally ruled out the idea speaks to the uncertainty that the dilemma that some of the league's top talent will deal with if the lockout continues to drag on and potentially wipe out the entire season.

Do they stick around and hope a deal gets done between the owners and the union, or head overseas for less money than their NBA contract - but more money than nada, which is what they're making right now.

While Rondo appears to be patient throughout this process, that by no means equates to him just hanging around doing nothing.

In what Rondo himself describes as an "excellent summer," he has filled his Day Book with appearances such as the one he made at the Barnes & Nobles book store in Boston on Saturday, resuming his studies at the University of Kentucky (he left for the NBA after two seasons at UK) along with appearing in various celebrity basketball games with other NBA stars.

Rondo recently played in a charity game in Florida along with fellow all-stars Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Not surprisingly, Rondo was booed.

"It was fun," he said. "They knew I was in the building I had a fun time at the game."

Actually, Rondo admits he's been having a lot of fun all summer despite the lockout.

"It's just an extended vacation," said Rondo, adding that he's also "trying to train to get better. It's more time for me to work on my game. That's how I try to pace it these next couple of weeks, months that we have."

But Rondo knows all too well that the core group of Celtics that he has played with - has won with - isn't getting any younger.

Kevin Garnett is in the final year of his contract, and there's no telling if he'll re-sign or retire - season or no season.

Ray Allen will likely play a couple more years, but you have to wonder just how much longer can he continue to play at such a high level.

And then there's Paul Pierce, the youngest member of the Celtics' Big Three who recently turned 34 years old.

As players age, maintaining their conditioning becomes tougher.

Not having a normal training camp will make it even more daunting for them.

But Rondo said he's not worried about the health of the Big Three.

"They'll be ready," Rondo said. "They're the most disciplined guys I know. I'm not worried about them at all."

A bigger concern for him and the Celtics has to be filling out a roster that currently consists of just six signed players. That total does not include first-round pick Jajuan Johnson who the C's acquired via trade on draft night, and second-round pick E'Twaun Moore.

"It'll be a different makeup," Rondo said of the C's next team. "A lot of different guys; that's eight spots. A lot of new faces. We'll try and get them accustomed to how we do things here in Boston and go for a championship."

But that goal is put on the backburner during this lockout which began July 1.

At this point, just getting the season started is the goal for every player, Rondo included.

And that goal has brought a lot of players together as allies, after spending so much time fighting as enemies.

"We have to be. This is a time of need for the players to stick together," Rondo said. "This is what it's all about. Regardless of what we do on the court, go at each other or compete and play as hard as we can against each other, when we're off the court, we're friends, we're family."

Rondo added, "when the lights come on and you go on the court, that's when you go to war. Off the court, we have to stick together especially in a time like this."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

WATCH: Celtics vs. Hornets

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics host the Hornets at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

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Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

Celtics-Hornets preview: Boston, Charlotte heading in opposite directions

BOSTON -- The last time Boston saw the Charlotte Hornets last month, both teams were streaking in the wrong direction with each coming in having lost three in a row.

Both come into tonight’s game streaking, although in two very different directions.

Boston (25-15) has won 12 of its last 15 games to firmly establish itself as the third-best team in the East behind Cleveland and Toronto. Meanwhile the Hornets (20-20) are on the cusp of falling below .500 for the first time this season after losing their last four games.

Still, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen enough of this Hornets team to know that a win tonight won’t come easily.

“This is a good team,” Stevens said. “We all know Charlotte. They don’t beat themselves. We’ve had to play really well against those guys. This is going to be a tough one, as we all know.”

Figuring out why these two teams are trending in opposite directions isn’t all that complicated.

For the Celtics, their success of late has hinged heavily on their ability to make 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s problems have had a lot to do with a tough slate of road games (all four of their recent losses were on the road) and their inability to make shots which has been an issue in some form for them all season regardless of the opponent.

Look at the last four games, all of which the Hornets lost while the Celtics won three of their four games in that span.

The Hornets rank 21st in scoring with a 101.5 points per game average while the Celtics average 110.8 points which ranks 8th in the league.

Charlotte ranks dead-last in the league the last four games when it comes to shooting the ball (40.5 percent), while Boston comes in 18th at 46.0 percent.

But it’s the 3-point shot and its impact on having an effective field goal percentage, that really separates these two.

Boston has averaged a league-best 15.3 made 3-pointers in the last four games while the Hornets and their 9.8 made 3’s ranks 20th.

And as far as its impact on eFG%, Boston comes in with the eighth-best eFG% in the league (54.8 percent) while the Hornets next-to-last in the NBA with an eFG% of .462.

So what does that mean tonight?

Boston will look to continue being fueled offensively by good ball movement and attacking the rim which in turn should result in lots of good looks from 3-point range which is clearly a strength of this team.

Charlotte will search for other sources of offense besides former UConn star Kemba Walker who is on the short list of candidates for a spot on this year’s Eastern Conference all-star roster.

As was the case in Charlotte’s 102-93 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, an off-night shooting for Walker (17 points, 7-for-23 shooting with three assists) left the Hornets extremely vulnerable to defeat. Similar struggles tonight will provide a similar ending for Charlotte which would allow both teams to continue streaking along … something the Celtics wouldn’t mind at all.