Notes: Arroyo to give Rondo a rest

Notes: Arroyo to give Rondo a rest

By Jessica Camerato

WALTHAM Doc Rivers enjoys watching Rajon Rondo out on the court, but this season he has been seeing him out there a little too long for his liking.

Rondo is averaging over 37 minutes per game this season, and Rivers has been worried about his playing time.

With Delonte West and Von Wafer injured, and rookie Avery Bradley still developing, the Celtics lacked a reliable option behind Rondo.

So they made finding a backup point guard for a Rondo a priority. On Saturday, they came to terms with veteran Carlos Arroyo.

The guy Ive got to keep down more is Rondo, Rivers said after Rondo played nearly 42 minute on Friday against the Golden State Warriors. Even though hes young, hes still playing too many minutes the last four or five games. With Delonte out, thats put a lot of stress on us as well.

Arroyo was waived by the Miami Heat prior to their acquisition of Mike Bibby. The nine-year veteran averaged 5.6 points and 2.0 assists this season.

The acquisition of Arroyo gives Rondo the opportunity to get some additional rest during the games. Even though he is only 25, Rondo, like the majority of the Celtics, suffered injuries this season.

After battling through a strained left hamstring and sprained left ankle, Rondo is being cautious about his health as he plays major minutes.

Id benefit a lot from playing less minutes, he said. But we dont practice long, we practice hard, so thats key for my recovery. Im doing what I can do on off days as far as getting my rest, icing, getting a massage, so Im young. Ill be ok.

As the Celtics look to add healthy bodies, they still wait for the return of Shaquille O'Neal. O'Neal is not expected to play on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers as originally targeted.

"Shaq probably will not be ready on Wednesday it looks like now because its foots bothering him again a little bit," coach Doc Rivers said after practice on Saturday.

The Celtics are hoping West (ankle) will return on Wednesday. Wafer is day-to-day after straining his right calf on Friday.

"When they say theyre healthy, Im playing them," said Rivers. "Weve just got to get them on the floor."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comjcameratonba

Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley


Beyond the numbers: The dual threat of Avery Bradley

BOSTON – Another year, another season in which Avery Bradley plans to showcase a new and improved skill that will benefit the Boston Celtics.
But with each improved skill, Bradley moves just that much closer to being an all-around, two-way talent that creates problems for teams at both ends of the floor.
We all know about Bradley’s defense, which was good enough to land him a spot on the NBA’s All-Defensive first team last season. He also gets props for steadily improving his game offensively in some area every summer, but defenses might have their hands full more than ever with Bradley.
According to NBA stats guru Dick Lipe, the 6-foot-2 Bradley was the only guard in the NBA last season to shoot better than 70 percent in the restricted area among players who took a minimum of 200 field goal attempts.
He is among a list that includes Los Angeles Clippers big men DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin; Miami’s Hassan Whiteside; current teammate and former Atlanta Hawk Al Horford; San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge; Golden State’s Kevin Durant and Atlanta big man Dwight Howard.
But if you’re thinking about keeping him away from that part of the floor, Bradley also made the 3-point shot a bigger part of his offensive game last season; as in, 40 percent of his shots came from beyond the 3-point line.

Having that kind of diversity makes him a difficult player to get a clear read on how to defend. And because of that, it may open things up even more so for his teammates.
Bradley can shoot from the perimeter; he can score close to the rim. His ball-handling skills have improved in the offseason to where it no longer looks as though it’s a major weakness.
And he defends at a level few players in the league can match.
Collectively it makes Bradley one of the many challenges awaiting teams whenever they face the Celtics, a player who is poised to showcase his diverse set of skills beginning tonight against the Brooklyn Nets. 

Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue


Pregame number: Al Horford to the rescue

Tonight’s pregame number to watch is 45.4%. That was the Celtics' score frequency on pick and rolls finished by the screener last season, which was the worst rate in the NBA.

Score Frequency: The percentage of possession in which the team or player scores at least 1 point.

The major problem for the Celtics last season was personnel, as Jared Sullinger finished the most pick and roll plays for the C’s after setting a screen, and he was -- to put it nicely -- freaking terrible. Sullinger was the second-worst roll/pop man in the league, averaging a paltry 0.87 points per possession.

Fortunately, the Celtics replaced Jared Sullinger with four-time All-Star Al Horford, who is one of the elite roll/pop men in the NBA. Last season, Horford finished fifth in the NBA averaging 1.13 points per possession as a roll/pop man and boasted a more than solid 57.1 eFG% on those plays. 

eFG% (Effective Field Goal Percentage): Measures field goal percentage adjusting for the fact that a 3-point field goal is worth one more point than a 2-point field goal. The equation is ((FGM + (0.5 * 3PM)) / FGA

If you watched the preseason, then you already know the kind of impact Horford can have on the Celtics half court offense. So keep an eye out for those pick and rolls tonight and throughout the season, and we should see that 45.4% Score Frequency jump somewhere closer to 50%.