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


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."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?


BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: What's going on between Patriots, Butler?

0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss what’s going on between the Patriots and Malcolm Butler after Bill Belichick praised Jonathan Jones and Eric Rowe but didn’t have much to say on Butler.

5:39 - John Farrell thinks David Price out of the bullpen can be similar to Andrew Miller with the Indians last year in the playoffs. Our panel on BST break it down.

10:35 - Curran, Holley, Smith, and Phil Perry talk about the NFL ratings being down and why that continues to be.

15:15 - Evan Drellich joins BST after the Red Sox win to explain why Drew Pomeranz could be even more threatening, how good the bullpen actually is, and the offense not driving in runs.

Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings


Krug, Forbacka Karlsson suffer upper body injuries vs. Red Wings

BOSTON – The Bruins ended Tuesday night’s preseason home date with another feel-good victory over the Red Wings, but it may have come at a cost.

Both Torey Krug and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson were injured in the second period of the B’s 4-2 win over the Red Wings at TD Garden, and didn’t return to the game. Krug was hit in the face with a puck in the defensive zone during the second period, and quickly exited the ice with Bruins trainer Don DelNegro after the impact of the puck hitting his face initially took his feet out from under him.  

“[Krug] clearly didn’t finish the game, and took a shot up in the facial area,” said Bruce Cassidy of Krug, who had a couple of shots on net in 9:10 of ice time while largely playing with Charlie McAvoy in an offensive-minded pairing. “We’ll probably have an update tomorrow.”

Forbacka Karlsson took a hard tumble into the end boards in the game’s middle period, and never returned after serving up the primary assist on Danton Heinen’s goal earlier in that very same period. JFK tried to return to Tuesday night’s win over the Red Wings, according to Cassidy, but was kept out of the game with an upper body injury that has his status as questionable moving forward.

“He went into the boards late in the second. He’s day-to-day, upper body. I think wanted to – he did come back and try [to return to the game],” said Cassidy of JFK, who put up an assist and a plus-1 rating in 8:37 of ice time before leaving the game. “I don’t think it’s serious, but I can’t speculate. We’ll get another update tomorrow. It didn’t look good, but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looked. We’ll know more [about JFK] tomorrow.”

It certainly sounds like both Krug and JFK could miss a day or two of practice moving forward after the injury wear-and-tear of preseason action, but the hope is that the Black and Gold won’t be missing a couple of key performers for anything more than that.