Rondo's triple-double another sign of growth

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Rondo's triple-double another sign of growth

WASHINGTON If you didn't know better, you'd think Rajon Rondo's triple-double in Boston's 94-86 win over Washington was just another day on the job.

To his Boston Celtics teammates and most followers of the NBA, Rondo racking up triple-doubles doesn't generate much attention.

In fact, not an eyebrow was raised as Rondo had 18 points along with 14 assists and 11 rebounds. It was his 14th career triple-double, and eighth during the regular season.

"He's been a walking triple-double since he walked into the league," said Paul Pierce. "He's very unique, unlike a lot of point guards in the league."

Kevin Garnett added, "That's . . . the Golden Child. He fills every category up . . . including turnovers. You know what I mean? That's my dog, though. His influence on the game is so, so special."

Sunday's performance was yet another game in which Rondo's perimeter shooting seemed to open things up for him and his Celtics teammates.

In the third quarter, the Celtics were on the short end of a 15-7 run by the Wizards, which cut Boston's lead to nine points.

It was a tightly contested 17-foot jumper by Rondo that pushed the lead back to double figures.

"That wouldn't have happened last year," said coach Doc Rivers. "That was great to see."

Rivers added, "He's far more assertive. He's comfortable taking jumpshots."

Even on a night when Rondo's all-around game was exceptional, his comments were centered around doling out the praise - much like he does passes - to his teammates.

"Without these guys, I don't know where I would be," Rondo said. "Not just the vets; my ex-teammates that I played with. It's the coaching staff as well. They always been very high on me and praised me and continue to want me to do good. It's a team effort and we got the win."

Indeed, the more you watch Rondo, the more you see the growth in his game. While the jumper remains a work in progress, it's clearly better now than it has been at any time in his career.

He's even developed a low-post game, one in which he posted up John Wall who is a couple inches taller, and still managed to score in the paint.

"I've been trying to post all season," Rondo said. "It was one play."

And it worked. And chances are he'll look to it again at some point, well aware that it becomes another tool in Rondo's growth as he continues to emerge as one of the NBA's best all-around players.

Ingram, not Simmons, set to attend NBA Combine

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Ingram, not Simmons, set to attend NBA Combine

BOSTON – The list of players who will be in attendance at the NBA pre-draft combine in Chicago next week has been released.

And not surprisingly, there are some projected near the top of the NBA draft board who will not be in attendance.

LSU’s one-and-done stud Ben Simmons, projected to be among the top two players selected, will not be in attendance.

Joining Simmons among the more notable players who won’t be in Chi-town is Croatian big man Dragan Bender whose current team Maccabi Tel Aviv is still in the middle of their season. He is projected by most as being the third overall pick. 

Providence star guard Kris Dunn, projected as a top-10 pick, will be among those in attendance, as well as his Friars teammate Ben Bentil.

The Celtics usually cast a pretty wide net at the combine, but this year it’ll likely be even wider due to the fact that Boston has eight picks that represents 13.3 percent of the draft.

Boston has three first-round picks, with the first to be determined during the draft lottery later this month. The pick comes from Brooklyn, and will be no worse than the sixth overall selection.

The Celtics also have the 16th and 23rd overall picks in the first round, along with five (31st, 35th, 45th, 51st and 58th) in the second round.

Here's the full list of prospects attending the NBA Combine:

Player College/Club
 Ron Baker Wichita State
 Wade Baldwin Vanderbilt
 Cat Barber North Carolina State
 Malik Beasley Florida State
 DeAndre Bembry St. Joseph's
 Ben Bentil Providence
 Jaron Blossomgame Clemson
 Joel Bolomboy Weber State
 Malcolm Brogdon Virginia
 Jaylen Brown California
 Robert Carter Maryland
 Marquese Chriss Washington
 Elgin Cook Oregon
 Isaiah Cousins Oklahoma
 Deyonta Davis Michigan State
 Cheick Diallo Kansas
 Kris Dunn Providence
 Henry Ellenson Marquette
 Perry Ellis Kansas
 AJ English Iona
 Kay Felder Oakland
 Dorian Finney-Smith Florida
 Michael Gbinije Syracuse
 Daniel Hamilton Connecticut
 AJ Hammons Purdue
 Josh Hart Villanova
 Nigel Hayes Wisconsin
 Buddy Hield Oklahoma
 Brandon Ingram Duke
 Demetrius Jackson Notre Dame
 Justin Jackson North Carolina
 Brice Johnson North Carolina
 Damian Jones Vanderbilt
 Skal Labissiere Kentucky
 Dedric Lawson Memphis
 Jake Layman Maryland
 Marcus Lee Kentucky
 Caris LeVert Michigan
 Thon Maker Orangeville Prep/Athlete Institute
 Patrick McCaw UNLV
 Isaiah Miles St. Joseph's
 Jamal Murray Kentucky
 Malik Newman Mississippi State
 Georges Niang Iowa State
 Chinanu Onuaku Louisville
 Marcus Paige North Carolina
 Gary Payton II Oregon State
 Jakob Poeltl Utah
 Taurean Prince Baylor
 Zhou Qi Xinjiang (China)
 Malachi Richardson Syracuse
 Wayne Selden Kansas
 Pascal Siakam New Mexico State
 Diamond Stone Maryland
 Caleb Swanigan Purdue
 Melo Trimble Maryland
 Tyler Ulis Kentucky
 Jarrod Uthoff Iowa
 Denzel Valentine Michigan State
 Isaiah Whitehead Seton Hall
 Troy Williams Indiana
 Kyle Wiltjer Gonzaga
 Stephen Zimmerman UNLV

Is Danny Ainge or Larry Bird a better NBA GM?

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Is Danny Ainge or Larry Bird a better NBA GM?

Danny Ainge and Larry Bird were both hired as NBA general managers in 2003. Ainge was back with the Celtics, where he spent the prime seasons of his playing career. And Bird went back to the Pacers, where he coached for three seasons.

There's no question that Bird was the better player. But who has been the better GM?

Trenni Kusnierek has a very interesting argument for why Ainge gets the edge. Watch the video above for her reasoning.

Bird not renewing Vogel's contract; McHale not a candidate

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Bird not renewing Vogel's contract; McHale not a candidate

Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, a good friend of Brad Stevens, is out in Indiana.

Pacers president Larry Bird made the official announcement on Thursday.

Vogel’s contract was up in Indiana and Bird elected to not renew it. That, according to Bird, was hard for Vogel to hear.

Both Bird and Vogel spoke shortly before Bird’s press conference with members of the media, and that’s when Bird gave him the news.

There is speculation now as to who will take over as head coach. With Kevin McHale removing himself from consideration for the Sacramento Kings job, there was some thought that he could become the head coach of the Pacers under good friend and former teammate Bird.

That isn’t going to happen either.