Rondo: The near-misses

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Rondo: The near-misses

I'm going to have something a little bigger on the Rondo situation tomorrow. You know, just to change things up a bit. In the meantime, here's another little diversion from the Rondo talk with a little something about Rondo.

As we speak, Rondo is the NBA leader in total assists, with 420. However, it's only a matter of time before he loses this title. The way it looks now, Greivis Vasquez will have surpassed him by next week, and by the end of the year, Rondo's name won't be visible on the list of top NBA assisters. (Rasheed Wallace approved.)

On the other hand, I'm willing bet he finishes the year as the NBA's leader in triple doubles.

To that, a lot of people will say: "BLSRHF! Who cares? They were 2-3 when Rondo tripled doubled this year. It's meaningless!"

But that's not true. They aren't meaningless. Because triple doubles are awesome. Are they more important than winning? Of course not. But they're still great.

Seriously, how many stat lines are cool enough to get name dropped in raps?

Perfect game? No hitter?

Anything else?

I'm talking single game stat lines. Not season.

Maybe "straight sets"? I'm almost positive that I've heard Jay-Z rap about beating someone in straight sets, but Google isn't backing me up.

Anyway, the world loves triple doubles, and Rondo currently leads the NBA with five. That's well ahead of LeBron, Nicholas Batum and Jose Calderon, who are tied for second with two.

Of course, there's always the chance that LeBron goes off and ends up with, like, 10. But the safe bet is that Rondo finishes on top. This would be the second straight year he leads the league in this category. This, after finishing second to LeBron in the two previous seasons.

And how about this: Over the last three years, Rondo has 14 triple doubles. Nobody else has more than six. The next three guys on the list (LeBron, Iguodala, Westbrook) have combined for only 13.

For his career, Rondo has 18 triple doubles. That ties him with Kobe four fourth place on the active list behind Jason Kidd, LeBron and Grant Hill.

Maybe the craziness thing of all?

Rondo missed an additional three triple doubles by ONE rebound this season.

That means he was three random rebounds away from having eight triple doubles in 38 games!

And OK, that's enough. Let's not go down that road. After all, three of the five triple doubles he did get featured exactly 10 rebounds, so you could also say that he was three random rebounds from having two. Bottom line: He finished with five. That's still amazing.

And certainly something we're all going to miss over the course of this Rondoless season.

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

Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

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Jae Crowder talks about constant trade rumors; love for Boston and Brad Stevens

Celtics forward Jae Crowder talks with Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine talks about building on a breakthrough season last year, and the love for his head coach Brad Stevens, and for the city of Boston.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about what lies ahead for Crowder in 2016/17.

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Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

Bradley knows the risks of his all-out brand of defense

WALTHAM – There are a number of NBA players we have seen through the years whose effort level has been questioned.
 
But when it comes to Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley, that has never been an issue.
 
In fact, Bradley’s all-out style of defense has been a major factor in him being sidelined for an extended period of time in each of his six NBA seasons.
 
Although he’s only 25 years old, Bradley is starting to embrace the idea of less all-out defense might not be such a bad idea.
 
“It’s hard to control my injuries because I play hard every single possession,” Bradley told CSNNE.com following the team’s first practice. “I can’t say that every NBA player doesn’t, but I know there’s not a lot. I play hard every single possession especially on the defensive end. That can take a toll on your body. I just have to make sure I’m taking care of myself and picking my spots a little better.”
 
Prior to the Celtics selecting Bradley with the 19th overall pick in the 2011, he suffered a dislocated shoulder injury. Throughout his five NBA seasons, the veteran guard has a long list of injuries which has sidelined him for at least five games every season in addition to missing some playoff games.
 
Knowing the risks involved in continuing his all-out brand of basketball, the fact that Bradley is even open to the idea of picking when to assert himself defensively and when to be more passive, is progress.
 
“I’m pretty sure someone like (ex-Celtics) Tony Allen …  he’s not going to go hard like every possession,” Bradley said. “He’s going to pick his spots, still play good defense.”
 
Which is exactly what Bradley is striving to do this season, and show that last season’s all-NBA First Team Defense nod wasn’t a fluke.

But as we have seen with Bradley throughout his career with the Celtics, he has a way of coming back every season having made a significant stride in some facet of the game to become closer to being a two-way player.
 
“That’s my goal; I want my teammates to be able to count on me playing well at both ends of the floor,” Bradley said.
 
And as I mentioned earlier, Bradley is still a relatively young guy who turns 26 years old in November.
 
‘I’m still a 90s baby’ just like everybody on this team,” quipped Bradley.
 
Being so young puts a premium of sorts on players to learn all they can as quickly as they can in relation to their respective team.
 
“I feel young; I feel young,” Bradley said. “I feel young. I still haven’t even played a full season yet. This will be my first season playing a whole season.”
 
Listening to Bradley talk about adjusting how he plays defensively, it’s pretty clear that he’s having an internal tug-of-war between continuing to play elite defense and easing up defensively.
 
“That’s just me. Some people can do it. Maybe I could take some (plays) off, play passing lanes,” Bradley said. “But I don’t think I’ll ever change into that. It could help our team out a little bit.”