Rondo works play-calling skills back into shape, too

Rondo works play-calling skills back into shape, too
January 19, 2014, 2:30 pm
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Don't look for any kind of Rajon Rondo-to-the-Knicks deal, says A. Sherrod Blakely.

(USA Today Sports Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. — There is both a physical and mental learning curve that Celtics star Rajon Rondo is going through right now as he gradually returns to action.

Just as he needs reps to help him improve physically, the same is true for the mental side of his game, which in part involves him calling plays.

Play-calling has been one of Rondo's strengths. But the challenge he's dealing with now is learning how to incorporate it effectively in games, all the while continuing to adapt to playing with his new teammates.

It's one thing to simulate play-calling in practice. But five opposing players, all focused on limiting his effectiveness, does add a certain degree-of-difficulty to the job.

Balancing out what coach Brad Stevens wants, and what Rondo sees on the floor, is yet another twist to the play-calling dynamic.

Although his minutes were limited on Friday, Rondo did a few nice things against the Los Angeles Lakers that were unexpected.

"I'm not the first to do this, won't be the last," said Rondo, referring to playing with minutes restrictions. "I'll adjust and make the best of my 20 minutes. "

And part of that improvement will surely be making split-second decisions.

Stevens was pleased to see some of that against the Lakers on Friday.

"He had some nice improvisation in a couple of those plays," Stevens said. "It was a good read for him."