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

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

NBA officiating: Smart foul that cost C's potential win was wrong call

Were it not for a Marcus Smart personal foul with under 12 seconds to play, the Celtics might have won Saturday’s game against the Trail Blazers in regulation. Instead, they lost in overtime, but it turns out they should have at least had a shot at the regulation win. 

The game's Last Two Minute Report released by NBA officiating, which assesses all calls made in the final two minutes of play, labels the Smart foul “IC,” or “incorrect call.”

Smart was called for a personal foul on a play in which he stole the ball from Damian Lillard under the net and scored. Had the foul not been called, Boston would have held a 112-111 lead with 10.8 seconds remaining. 

The report states the following: The replay shown on the DF BCAST shows Smart (BOS) makes clean contact with the ball.

Portland went on to outscore Boston, 14-10, in overtime to earn a 127-123 win at TD Garden.