Rondo still supporting Celtics teammates while injured

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Rondo still supporting Celtics teammates while injured

BOSTON Jason Terry saw a familiar face when he arrived at the Celtics practice facility Saturday night. Terry hadnt played with Rajon Rondo in a few weeks, but there he was again, hanging around the team just as he had ever since tearing his ACL.

Rondo has stayed involved with the Celtics since suffering the season-ending knee injury in late January. The point guard has quietly attended games at the TD Garden, staying in the back and out of the main arena. He isnt there for the fanfare of the crowd, but rather to support his teammates.

Hes still around, he hasnt gone anywhere, Terry told CSNNE.com following the Celtics triple overtime win against the Denver Nuggets. Saturday night I was in the gym getting shots up and he was in the weight room working out. Tonight (Sunday) at halftime, he was in this locker room telling guys, Keep it going, keep it rolling.

The Celtics are 7-0 since Rondos departure, including victories over the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers. In spite of widespread speculation as to whether the Celtics are a better squad with or without him, Rondo has continued to fulfill a role with his teammates who emphasize the value of his leadership.

It says that hes still with us, were not by ourselves, said Terry. He didnt have to be here. He could be at home and wed understand, we wouldnt trip. But its definitely something extra special (to have him here).

Rondos season may be over in terms of playing, but his involvement with the Celtics has not been sidelined.

Its been positive, its been very positive, said Terry. We all know how bad he wants to be out there. To see him go through what hes going through and still be upbeat and still be rooting his guys on, that tells you one, about how high of character he has and two, how hes still the leader of this team.

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

First-place Celtics continue to focus on playing well, not standings

WALTHAM, Mass. – When it comes to NBA standings, no Celtic pays closer attention to it than Isaiah Thomas.
 
But the 5-foot-9 All-Star is quick to say that while he’s aware of what’s happening with other teams record-wise, Thomas, like his teammates, isn’t obsessed with it, even with the Celtics (48-26) now in first place in the East following Cleveland’s loss at San Antonio on Monday.
 
“It’s a good feeling,” Thomas said. “It’s still not the end of the year; anything can happen. It’s a nice feeling to be the number one seed for once, but we just have to continue to control what we can control.”

The fact that Boston is even in position to finish with the best record in the East is amazing when you consider injuries and illnesses have forced them to use 13 different starting lineups this season.
 
And the preferred starting five of Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford and Amir Johnson has played together 31 times and posted an impressive 24-7 record.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens has been consistent in his message that while having the best record in the East is nice, he’s more consumed with the team continuing to improve.
 
“It doesn’t mean a whole lot right now,” Stevens said of being in first place. “The whole idea is to make progress, get better every day and stay in the moment. You do that if you’re in last place trying to build up or whether you’re in a position where you’re fighting for seeding. Ultimately, we’ve been able to grow and get a little bit better. But I still think we can play a lot better. That’s where my focus is.”
 
And the same holds true for his players. Thomas knows how unusual this season has been for the Celtics, who continue finding ways to win despite frequently being short-handed.
 
The latest example of that involves forward Jonas Jerebko, who is questionable for Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee because of a sore left knee that limited him in Tuesday’s practice.
 
“It’s a long season. A lot of things can happen whether they be good or bad and we know that,” Thomas said. “We just try to withstand the storm we’ve had a few times this year, and continue to try and stay as positive as possible and we’ve done that. We’re in a good position right now. We just have to continue to take care of business.”
  
And that means steadily improving while piling up the wins, particularly against teams such as the Bucks (37-36), who are among a handful of teams that could potentially be Boston’s first-round opponent.
 
Milwaukee comes in having won 11 of its past 14 games.

“It makes the game that much more important,” said Celtics guard Avery Bradley. “Just like the Miami game. We want to let the teams know now, they go up against us in the playoffs, it’s no mercy. We’re going to play hard. We’re going to bring it every single night. We’re going to play Celtics basketball every single night. Them knowing that, we can scare a lot of teams if we’re playing the right way.”

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

Jerebko questionable for Wednesday against Bucks

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics have spent most of this season playing short-handed and Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee will potentially be another one of those games.
 
Veteran forward Jonas Jerebko has a sore left knee and is considered questionable for the Bucks’ game.
 
“Jonas went through about half of [Tuesday’s] practice,” said Celtics coach Brad Stevens.
 
Jerebko has missed two games this season due to illness.
 
Because of Milwaukee’s length at seemingly every position, Jerebko’s ability to play both forward positions will be something the Celtics will surely miss if he’s unable to play.
 
This season, Jerebko has appeared in 69 games while averaging 3.9 points and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 35.0 percent on 3’s.