Slowly but surely: Rondo making progress on court

Slowly but surely: Rondo making progress on court
February 4, 2014, 6:15 pm
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WALTHAM — Rajon Rondo returns to the court Wednesday night coming off his best game this season, a near triple-double of 19 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds in Boston's 96-89 win over Orlando.

It was indeed a back-in-the-day moment for the four-time All-Star, the kind of game he and the Celtics desperately needed during his return to form.

But for those who now believe Rondo's back to being his old self, most agree he still has a ways to go before he's that good consistently.

"He's getting there," said Boston's Gerald Wallace. "I don't think he's all the way back. He still has a little bit of hesitation in a lot of his things. I tease him every time he comes to the bench. I tell him, 'Back in the day you would have hit them with an up-and-under move, or showed them the ball and faked it.' "

Wallace added, "He kind of jokes and says, 'I'm not ready for that now.'"

What Rondo is ready for is to continue making progress both in his health and better understanding of how to play effective.

Rondo may not be at full strength yet but it's evident that he continues to make positive strides, especially in his conditioning.

Building up his wind was a chief concern for the Celtics once he returned. And as we've seen, his conditioning is improving to the point where his playing time has also experienced a bit of a spike to where it is now on the north side of 30.

"I like where I'm at minutes-wise," Rondo said. "I don't want to force anything. I don't need to play 40 minutes. We have a pretty talented team."

And of those talented players, Rondo's game stands the most brightest of them all. That's why there's a strong belief that as he goes, so go the Boston Celtics during this rebuilding portion of their franchise.

"I like to make guys' jobs easier," Rondo said. "That's what I've done the past couple of years, get guys wide open looks, high percentage shots, close to the basket. They're rhythm shots."

And slowly but surely, Rondo is indeed finding his rhythm on the floor with his teammates - even the ones he played with last season.

"I have to get comfortable with everybody," Rondo said. "Jeff [Green] and I will find our rhythm, along with myself and Brandon [Bass] and everybody else I play with."