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."

Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

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Mayock: If I'm Cleveland, I'd be 'stoked' land Garoppolo for No. 12 pick

NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock quarterbacked a marathon conference call with reporters from around the country on Monday, and his perspective on this year's crop of draftable signal-callers makes Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo seem like the top option for a quarterback-needy team.

Garoppolo might interest the Browns in particular, Mayock noted, because of the number of picks they have near the top of the draft.

"In my opinion," Mayock said, "if I'm the Cleveland Browns and I've got No. 1 and No. 12, if I came away with either [defensive end Myles] Garrett or [defensive tackle] Jonathan Allen at No. 1, and gave up the 12th pick in the draft to get Garoppolo? I would be stoked.

"I would feel like I had a difference-maker on defense and we had a quarterback on offense. Now let's get to work. We got five in the first 65 picks. Let's get to work. From my perspective, especially looking at the quarterbacks this year, if they gave up No. 12 and could get Garoppolo, I'd be all over that."

More to come . . .

Haggerty's Morning Skate: NHL teams aren't just making trades for themselves ahead of deadline

Haggerty's Morning Skate: NHL teams aren't just making trades for themselves ahead of deadline

Here are all the hockey links from around the world, and what I’m reading while feeling like Warren Beatty took the sneaky way out by handing that wrong Academy Award card to Faye Dunaway last night. Clearly he knew something was amiss and he let her step into it. Kind of a weasel move if you asked me.

-- An interesting letter from FOH (Friend of Haggs) James Mirtle about the pay wall involving The Athletic sports website in Toronto.

-- Dean Lombardi and the Los Angeles Kings dealing for Ben Bishop is about more than just an insurance policy for Jonathan Quick.

-- FOH Mike Halford has the Minnesota Wild going for it with their trade for Martin Hanzal, but also keeping him from the other teams in the West.

-- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the Penguins are in great shape after winning the Cup last spring, and it’s clear they’re in good hands after Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle opted not to sell the franchise.

-- Kyle Quincey is being held out of the lineup in New Jersey because of pending trades, and the wonder is who else in New Jersey might be getting dealt.

-- Gabriel Landeskog and his Colorado Avalanche teammates know the trade deadline is coming. It would certainly be weird if they didn’t.

-- The San Jose Sharks feel fortunate for the timing of their bye week as it was clear that they needed a break.

-- For something completely different: Gronk was busy doing Gronk things at the Daytona 500 over the weekend.