On Rondo's assist title


On Rondo's assist title

Breaking news from the Twitter account of our own A. Sherrod Blakely:

CelticsTalk: Celtics Rajon Rondo has all but clinched the NBA assist title. Steve Nash will need 76 in the next 2 games. nothappening A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) April 24, 2012
Pretty cool. As I noted in a retweet, Rondo will become the first Celtic assist king since Bob Cousy in 1960 the last of Cooz's eight straight crowns. But unfortunately, there's one aspect of Rondo's assist title that won't match what Cooz did back in '60.

That is, because Rondo missed so many games, he won't lead the NBA in total assists. Instead, for the third straight season and the sixth time in the last eight seasons, that title will belong to Steve Nash (who leads Rondo by 40 assists at posting).

But on the other hand, there's something about Rondo's 2012 season that Bob Cousy himself never achieved.

Cousy never averaged more than 10 assists in a season.

Now obviously times have changed, and the rules on what constitutes an assist are looser than Lindsay Lohan, Still, an impressive achievement for Rondo.

His first career assist title.

The first Celtics assists title in 52 years.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff


McIntyre still building and earning trust of B's coaching staff

BRIGHTON, Mass -- It hasn’t been an easy road for Bruins rookie goaltender Zane McIntyre since getting called back up by Boston a few weeks ago.

The 24-year-old netminder is trying to give the B’s top-level goaltending while earning the trust of the Bruins coaching staff, and adjusting to the sporadic playing time that goes along with playing understudy to a No. 1 netminder like Tuukka Rask. The three goals allowed in the third period of Sunday afternoon’s 5-1 loss to the Penguins didn’t look good on paper, but really there wasn’t much McIntyre could do with the defense totally breaking down in front of him during a 12-shot barrage in the final 20 minutes.

The 3.95 goals against average and .860 save percentage certainly look like a little frightening for the first-year goalie, but the truth is there’s going to be some bumps as he adjusts to life as a backup for the first time.

“[The adjustment] is mostly between the ears, to be honest,” said McIntyre. “I have confidence in my physical abilities and I know what I can do, and what makes my game successful. So right now it’s just building confidence every day in practice and staying persistent, staying with it. I know good things are going to happen when you surround yourself with good people, and the biggest thing is battling every day and making sure I’m contributing to the team.”

McIntyre will certainly have to be sharp if he’s put back in the crease on Tuesday night against the Red Wings after Rask exited from Sunday’s loss in the second period with symptoms of a migraine. The Bruins top goalie missed practice on Monday while getting himself checked out medically, and there’s a chance he could be out if the symptoms are in any way related to the Roman Josi shot he took off his neck last week.

“I’m just taking it day-by-day to be honest. That’s what I’ve always done in the past, and I’m just trying to build up confidence every day,” said McIntyre, who had been lights out in Providence prior to getting the call to Boston. “We’ll just see what happens and roll with it.”

That’s a challenge McIntyre will certainly be up for in a different way than Sunday’s mop-up duty, but it remains to be seen just how steady-footed the Bruins will be about their goalie situation if Rask is expected to miss any time this week.