Rondo returns in gritty effort vs. Knicks

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Rondo returns in gritty effort vs. Knicks

WALTHAM -- With a brace on his right wrist and a bruise under his right eye, Rajon Rondo addressed the media following Saturdays practice for the first time since his return to action on Friday night against the New York Knicks.

The gritty match up against the Knicks was more than just his first game back since spraining his wrist on January 18. Limited by the injury as a right-handed player, it was the first time he had really shot the ball in over two weeks

I shot yesterday morning, he said. It wasnt really getting up shots because when I flick my wrist a lot, I didnt want it to start it to bother me or hurt again. So I got up shots when I took a couple shots in the game.

Rondo scored seven points off 3-for-8 shooting against the Knicks, compared to his season average of 14.4 points per game (5.6-for-10.9 FG). He also committed five turnovers.

I wouldnt say its like a mental block, but I took a jumpshot today and I hit it, so thats not an excuse, he said. I have to get back up to getting shots up, a lot more repetition, and getting my rhythm back.

Rondo expects to wear a brace on his wrist one or two more games. While it will help him heal, it is also a reminder of his injury.

I wouldnt say it bothers me mentally, but its really tight, he said. But I have to wear it for the support because I do hit the ground a lot. But yesterday I did a better job. I think I only hit it twice. If I can stay off the ground, my body feels a lot better the next day.

In addition to his wrist, Rondo also suffered a bruised right eye when he got hit on a play by Iman Shumpert, which he says did not affect him during the game. It was another unexpected bump in the road he ran into on his way back from injury.

You never know until youre in the game, he said. You can run, do cardio all you want, but when you get on the floor, you go through pick-and-rolls, you hit the floor, you get up, youre doing transition back and forth, its a different type of game.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.