Rondo is odds-on favorite to lead NBA in assists


Rondo is odds-on favorite to lead NBA in assists

BOSTON Rajon Rondo has established himself as one of the NBA's top point guards already so it should come as no surprise that he's expected to repeat as the NBA's assists leader.

According to the online betting website, the odds of Rondo finishing as the league's top assist man are set at 5-to-2, followed by Brooklyn's Deron Williams (7-to-2), Los Angeles Lakers and former assist leader Steve Nash (4-to-1) and Los Angeles Clippers all-star Chris Paul (5-to-1).

In addition to assists leader, the site has the odds of Rondo winning league MVP at 28-to-1.

Not surprisingly, reigning league MVP LeBron James is the favorite with the odds set at 9-to-5.

James is one of just 12 players considered to have better odds than Rondo of winning the league's top individual honor.

The list of those behind the Rondo is fairly impressive as well, including former league MVP and Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki (30-to-1), Chicago's Derrick Rose (50-to-1) in addition to teammates Paul Pierce (60-to-1) and Kevin Garnett (500-to-1).

Celtics rookie Jared Sullinger (30-to-1) is given similar odds of walking away with the league's rookie of the Year award.

Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick by the New Orleans Hornets, is the favorite with the odds set at 19-to-10, followed by Portland's Damian Lillard (11-to-2), Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (9-to-1) and Sacramento's Thomas Robinson.

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Celtics hope to rebound after being outplayed by Bulls on the boards

Following Thursday’s 105-99 loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Boston Celtics will be on the prowl to rebound – literally – from its first defeat of the season.

Because for all that did not go right in Thursday night’s loss, the way Boston was beaten on the boards stands out emphatically.

“They got 24 more shots than us. We only turned it over (12) times,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the loss. “So that’s the obvious place they’re getting their possessions, on the glass. That’s going to be the number one thing, that has been the number one thing. It’s something we’ve talked about. We have to get better at it.”


Boston was out-rebounded 55-36 on the boards which heavily factored into Chicago’s 18-5 advantage in second-chance points.

In the Celtics' 122-117 win over Brooklyn on Wednesday, Boston won the overall rebounding battle 47-44, but had just 12 offensive rebounds compared to Brooklyn's 15 offensive boards. Despite the close margin, the Nets won the battle on the offensive glass running away, outscoring the Celtics 23-13 in second-chance points.

Stevens decided to start Tyler Zeller ahead of Amir Johnson to begin the third quarter, hoping Zeller would be a better matchup on the glass than Johnson who did not grab a single rebound in the 11 minutes of court time he got in the first half.

While Zeller did do a few good things on the glass and scoring in half-court sets, it wasn’t enough to swing the momentum Chicago was steadily gaining due to its ability to control the boards.

“I wasn’t real surprised but at the same time I knew it could happen,” Zeller told reporters, referring to Stevens’ decision to have him start the second half. “They did a good job of coming out and setting the tone. They beat us up on the boards, especially the first half. It’s something we have to get better at and continue to grow at.”

And it’s not a one-player or one-position issue, either.

Usually we think of bigs when it comes to rebounding. But Boston’s guards need to step up their rebounding game as well.

The struggles thus far have to be put in the context of this being just two games, the latter being the season opener for the Bulls who were jacked up more than usual due to it being the first game for Chicago native Dwyane Wade and ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo.

“We have to focus on boxing out,” said Boston’s Jaylen Brown. “Guards have to do a better job. Guys like me, Al (Horford), Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller) ... We have to do a good job of coming in the weak side and grabbing those; just focus on it, pay more attention to detail.”