Rondo enjoying new-look offense

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Rondo enjoying new-look offense

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

BOSTON With so many injuries, the Boston Celtics have few options other than to play more small ball - and there couldn't be anyone happier about this than Rajon Rondo.

He loves his bigs, of course.

But with more guard-oriented players on the floor around him, it allows the NBA's assists leader even more opportunities to make things happen in transition.

"I just try to be more conscience and put the ball, try to put the bigs in pick and roll," Rondo said. "It's only one big for us out there; depending on what the other team does, we usually have four shooters around me. It's hard to defend l love the small lineup; I love playing with that rotation."

It certainly looked that way in Friday night's 99-94 win over Charlotte.

Rondo had 18 points and 13 assists for his 15th double-double this season, tops on the team. He also added six rebounds.

While Rondo has had better games statistically, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was very pleased with how Rondo controlled the action against the Bobcats (15-22) who came in having won six of their last eight games.

"Just his control of the game," Rivers said. "Seeing what I see. You know, there (were) a couple things he saw that I didn't see, and I liked what he saw better."

Charlotte coach and former Celtic Paul Silas could sense that it was indeed going to be one of those kind of nights for Rondo.

Not only did he score more than usual, but he was doing it from the free throw line and 3-point range - places were few of Rondo's points ever come from.

"You're talking about a 43 percent free throw shooter is knocking everything down, knocking 3s down," Silas said.

Rondo made his lone 3-point attempt and was 3-for-4 from the free throw line.

It was one of those nights when Rondo seemed to make all the right decisions, at the right time.

"And those are good nights for a coach, I can tell you that, when those nights happen," Rivers said. "And it's just the flow of the game; sometimes guys get that and sometimes they don't. But when he (Rondo) gets it, it's really good."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.  

WATCH: Celtics vs. Pistons

WATCH: Celtics vs. Pistons

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