Rondo re-aggravates hand injury

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Rondo re-aggravates hand injury

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

NEW ORLEANS Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo has not been himself recently, and now we know why.

The Celtics' all-star point guard has been battling a right pinkie injury, one that Rondo said has been bothering him for the past couple of weeks.

Rondo revealed the injury following Boston's 89-85 win at New Orleans, a game in which Rondo re-aggravated the injury and had to leave the game.

"My finger, my hand went numb," Rondo said. "I was a little concerned about it, going back in."

Rondo eventually returned to the floor, with the finger taped up - something he said he has been doing for the past couple of weeks.

Even before Saturday's win, there were signs that Rondo was starting to get closer to playing like he has throughout most of this season.

On Saturday, Rondo had his jumper going to the tune of nine points on 4-for-8 shooting from the field.

"They were cool. It felt good to hit a shot, more than one," quipped Rondo. "It was a relief. Coaches kept believing in me. I kept working at it, put the time and effort in."

He'll need to continue doing that, because teams will continue to give him the mid-range jumper until he forces them to defend him more straight-up.

As for his injury, it's not expected to keep him out of action.

But it does give Celtics head coach Doc Rivers another reason to continue pursuing ways to cut his minutes down.

During Boston's up and down play of late, a reduction in Rondo's minutes has indeed occurred.

He averages more than 34 minutes per game this season, but has played fewer than that in each of Boston's last five games.

Rivers has marveled at times at how Rondo has grown both as a player and a person, one who is on the road to recovery from his first major slump since emerging as one of the league's top point guards.

"This has been good for him," Rivers said. "You go through stages in your career, you go through struggles. This was really good for him."

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

Smart says Hayward is 'awesome' and plays up Stevens connection

Smart says Hayward is 'awesome' and plays up Stevens connection

Marcus Smart, meeting the media at his basketball camp for kids at Brandeis, sang the praises of potential future Celtics teammate Gordon Hayward.

"He's an awesome player," Smart told MassLive.com's Jay King and others on Tuesday. 

“He’s a dude who understands the game really well. I think it’s because he had [Celtics coach] Brad ]Stevens] as a coach. Nah, I’m kidding. He’s incredible. He’s a great player, he’s a great guy, and I think I speak for a lot of guys in this league when I say that.” 

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports' The Vertical is the latest to report that this summer the Celtics are working on acquiring both Hayward, the Jazz forward who played for Stevens at Butler, and trading for Pacers' All-Star forward Paul George.

How would Smart sell them on playing in Boston? 

“First off, this fanbase is incredible,” Smart said. “The energy that they give off every night, night in and night out, is remarkable. And then playing under Brad...who’s understanding the game more and more. He’s learning, and he’s becoming one of the greatest coaches in this league. 

"You’ve just got to love the things that he’s doing, and I think that everybody in the league understands that. They appreciate the work he puts in, and they see everything he’s been doing and accomplishing.”

NBA free agency opens this Saturday. 


 

Report: Celtics plan is 'sequencing' acquisitions of Hayward, George

Report: Celtics plan is 'sequencing' acquisitions of Hayward, George

The Celtics are working to acquire BOTH Paul George and Gordon Hayward this summer, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports' The Vertical reports.

More from Woj's report:

The Boston Celtics are pursuing an aggressive summer plan of sequencing the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward and relinquishing the assets needed to complete a trade for Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.

For salary-cap purposes, Boston wants a Hayward commitment before it can finalize a trade for George and secure the most dynamic free-agent coup in franchise history, league sources said.

For Boston, here’s the hitch: While Indiana believes Boston can offer the best possible package, the Pacers may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency on Boston’s timetable and could turn toward making a deal elsewhere for George, league sources told The Vertical. 

This report confirms an earlier one from the weekend that said the C's were looking to acquire both superstars.