Rivers: Celtics need Rondo to be an 'aggressive scorer'

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Rivers: Celtics need Rondo to be an 'aggressive scorer'

BOSTON Courtesy of a hip injury suffered last week, Rajon Rondo's availability wasn't known until shortly before Wednesday's tip-off against Memphis. 
He finished with a double-double of 11 points and 10 assists, but that performance -- like so many this season -- was not enough as the Celtics suffered a 93-83 loss to extend their season long losing streak to four in a row. 
Rondo is already charged with orchestrating the C's attack, one that Celtics coach Doc Rivers was pleased with at the start of Wednesday's game. 
Boston led 26-25 after the first quarter, which was the C's first lead after a quarter of play since they defeated Brooklyn on Christmas Day.
But many of the things Rondo did well in the first didn't necessarily translate throughout the rest of the game. 
"With the way we were not scoring," Rivers said, "and you could see Kevin (Garnett) struggle today with his shot, we really need him to be more aggressive in our pick-and-roll package, in our offense."
While Rondo has embraced the role of being more of a scorer this season, Rivers needs him to pick it up even more on nights like Wednesday when the C's offense seems to be stuck in neutral.
"And that's not second-nature to him, to be an aggressive scorer," Rivers said. "But we really need him to be that. We need him to get in the open court, attack the basket, look for baskets in transition instead of guys shooting 3s that aren't going in."
While Rondo refuses to acknowledge it, the injury has clearly limited his effectiveness at both ends of the floor. 
Defensively he has been beaten repeatedly off the dribble. And on offense, he doesn't attack the basket nearly as much which might also be because more often than not, his drive attempts rarely result in fouls against the other team even when contact is made. 
"I just didn't get the calls tonight," Rondo said.
And as far as the injury impacting his play, Rondo said, "I'm out there playing. I don't really blame anything on my injury."

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

Coyotes hire Craig Cunningham as scout

The Coyotes have hired former player Craig Cunningham as a pro scout, keeping the 26-year-old in hockey after a cardiac episode ended his playing career this season. 

Drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, Cunningham played 34 games for Boston over parts of two seasons before he was waived and claimed by Arizona. He totaled 19 games for the Coyotes, but served as captain of the Tucson Roadrunners, the team’s AHL affiliate. 

Cunningham was hospitalized after he collapsed during pregame warmups on Nov. 19. He was kept alive by continual CPR, but had his lower left leg amputated the next months due to an infection from the episode. 

Known as a high-character player who was popular with his teammates, Cunningham’s transition to scouting lets him further his career after a scary break. 

"I'm very excited to begin the next chapter of my life with the Coyotes," Cunningham said in a statement released by the team. "I'm very grateful to John Chayka, Dave Tippett, the Coyotes and Roadrunners organizations, and all of the great fans across Arizona for the incredible support I've received over the past year. I'm looking forward to helping the Coyotes and I can't wait to get started in my new role."

Said Chayka, the team’s general manager: ”We're thrilled to have Craig join our hockey operations department as a pro scout. Craig was a smart, hard-working player with an incredible passion for the game. We're confident that he will bring those same qualities to the Coyotes in his new role and that he will be an invaluable asset to our organization. We look forward to Craig helping us in several areas and are excited that he is staying with the club."
 

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?

Quick Slants the Podcast: Who's been better for the Patriots, Welker or Edelman?


Phil Perry and CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran debate which receiver has been better for the Patriots: Wes Welker or Julian Edelman? It's part of this edition of Quick Slants The Podcast.