Rested Rondo ready to roll

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Rested Rondo ready to roll

ORLANDO, Fla. Before being an injury replacement for the All-Star game, Rajon Rondo's plan was to get some rest and be ready for the second half of the season.

While his plans for the weekend may have changed, he was still able to get enough downtime to feel recharged for what he hopes will be a much better stretch of play for the Celtics.

"I had a good experience," Rondo said. "It's always an honor to be named an All-Star. I had fun; I spent a lot of time with my family, I enjoyed myself."

He added, "I'll be ready to go."

While in Orlando, Rondo said he spent some time getting shots up.

In addition to the All-Star break, Rondo also missed the Celtics' last two games as part of a two-game suspension for throwing a basketball at official Sean Wright.

"I try to get back out there so I just won't be so cold on Tuesday (at Cleveland)," Rondo said. "I got a lot of shots up the last couple of days on my own."

He certainly didn't get many up in Sunday's game.

Rondo had two points on 1-for-3 shooting.

Instead, Rondo stuck to what got him to the All-Star game - passing.

He had eight assists in just under 16 minutes. The only player for the East with more assists was Dwyane Wade, who played about 33 minutes and finished with a triple-double of 24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.

Those are the kind of numbers - at least the rebound and assist numbers - that Rondo is known for registering.

And while it's unclear what kind of impact the two games missed will have on his play, Rondo isn't overly concerned.

"It won't take me long to get back into the swing of things," he said. "I only missed two games. Everybody's had a break."

And while he knows he has to step his game up, Rondo said the goal for him is the same.

"I'm ready to get back and get some wins," Rondo said. "That's the only thing that matters."

Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

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Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

The Patriots went into Wednesday with what could have passed as the deepest receiving group in team history, yet by lunchtime they had added another. 

Former Browns and Bengals wideout Andrew Hawkins announced on Twitter (via uSTADIUM) that he had chose to come to terms with New England. He explained that the opportunity to work with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick proved to be enough to convince him that he should pass up more lucrative offers from other clubs.

"After giving it a lot of though, I've decided that I'm going to join the New England Patriots," he said. "Super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender, and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs.

"The program is top-notch, and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history, man, so it's super exciting. It was never really about the money. To be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation . . . but it was all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so."

Hawkins (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) may be a familiar name to Patriots fans as he caught four passes for a season-high 56 yards and one touchdown against New England in Week 5 of last season. He finished the year with 33 catches for 324 yards and three scores. The 31-year-old has recently seen his name in the headlines as he completed his Sports Management degree at Columbia and graduated last week. 

The Patriots have receivers room that's currently pretty loaded with talent. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell figure to make up the top end of the depth chart, while former practice-squad wideouts Devin Street, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White figure to compete for playing time as do undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

"Nothing's for sure. I got my work cut out for me. It's an opportunity," Hawkins said. "That's how I'm approaching it. Going there and seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. I'm jsust excited to get there, get to work, and hopefully I can be part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy."