Just another triple-double for Rondo

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Just another triple-double for Rondo

ATLANTA Only in the world of Rajon Rondo can getting a triple-double be seen as a matter-of-fact kind of thing.

Lost in the afterglow of Boston's 89-81 come-from-behind win over Atlanta on Saturday was the fact that Rondo tallied his 25th career triple-double (second this season) with 14 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds.

"My shots weren't falling early and I was just trying to do the intangibles," Rondo said. "Get some rebounds, get myself going and continue to make plays for my teammates. And also just try to stay aggressive and ended up with a triple-double."

While attention certainly has to be paid to what Rondo accomplished statistically, just as important was the pace at which the Celtics have played the last two games.

It's no coincidence that Rondo's recent play comes about just as the C's have gone back to the lineup they had used a year ago this time that catapulted them to the Eastern Conference finals.

With a healthy Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass back in their familiar roles as starters, there has been a positive ripple effect throughout the roster.

One of the main reasons why most of the Celtics' veteran core remained positive and optimistic about the team's chances of turning things around, was because they saw first-hand how good they could be when they have all their core pieces in positions that they're suited to be in.

Boston wasn't going to get there until Bradley came back. And even then it would take some time before he would develop some form of consistency with his play. He's not there just yet, but he's far enough along to where his teammates -- and Rondo especially -- benefit from his presence.

Rondo doesn't have to defend the opposing team's best backcourt scorer which frees him up to exert more energy executing the C's offense.

"Rondo means so much to not just me, but this entire team," Bradley told CSNNE.com. "He helps us in so many areas; scoring, rebounding, defending, obviously assists. He's just a great player and a great teammate."

So great that what's considered by many as the definition of a good all-around game -- a triple-double -- is seemingly just another day on the job for this three-time All-Star.

New year, different circumstances, same approach for McDaniels

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New year, different circumstances, same approach for McDaniels

FOXBORO -- A year ago, the Patriots had a unique challenge: Fulfill Tom Brady’s desire to take every snap but also get Jimmy Garoppolo ready to run the team in Brady’s four-game absence.

This year, there’s no suspension looming. But Josh McDaniels still is tasked with getting Brady, Garoppolo and, yes, Jacoby Brissett ready for prime time.

“It’s the same every year for us,” said McDaniels a day before the first training camp practice. “We really didn’t change what we were doing in training camp last year.”

To quibble with the Pats successful offensive coordinator, there did appear to be a change, particularly with Brady’s usage during the preseason games. Perhaps the confluence of events in Brady’s personal life (mother’s illness) and that scissor mishap were driving forces, but bottom line is the program had to be altered. Still, the overall theme didn’t, and won’t again according to McDaniels.

“Everybody is going to get plenty of reps,” he said. “Fundamentals, techniques, all of the things that are basic to our success as we go through the course of the season, this is our opportunity to anchor those in our players so they’ll all three get plenty of reps . . . we’ll just let it play out.”

During OTAs and mini camp, Garoppolo spoke of competing to be the starter. Wishful thinking perhaps from the fourth-year pro, what with the GOAT firmly entrenched ahead of him on the depth chart, but it’s precisely that kind of attitude that is beneficial not only to the player but the entire roster.

“If you’re here, you’re responsible to try to push the people ahead of you so you can get out on the field and help us win,” said McDaneils. “I don’t think there’s a lot of deferring in any room, and that’s the great thing. That means we have a lot of competition and that’s the thing that makes everybody better. “

That competition started in the spring and will continue going forward to McDaniel’s satisfaction, or else. 

“They’ll be things I get mad at and will yell about,” he smiled.

Looking forward to it.

Quick Slants the Podcast: Behind the scenes stories on Belichick and the Patriots with Jerod Mayo

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Quick Slants the Podcast: Behind the scenes stories on Belichick and the Patriots with Jerod Mayo

Former Patriots defensive captain Jerod Mayo joins Tom E. Curran and Phill Perry to give a peak behind the curtain of the Patriots operation run by Bill Belichick.

Mayo talks about becoming a captain, how New England differs from other NFL franchises, what impact Belichick had on not only his career , but life, and how good the defense can be this season.