Our first official game without Rondo, how will it play out? (The last game didn’t count because the guys did not know he was out until post-game.)
Fact: The Sacramento Kings (possibly Seattle Supersonics next season) are 4 of 10 in the last games, coming off a scrappy win over the Wizards 96-94.
Game time: 30 Jan 2013, 1130hrs AEDT
Watch on: NBA League Pass
1. Fab Melo has rejoined the team from D-League.
2. John Salmons is day-to-day due to an illness. He played 12 minutes in their last game (v Wizards) and exited the game early.
Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee will be the new starting backcourt. Lockdown defense? You got it. We will be needing plenty of that against the likes of Tyreke Evans and Isiah Thomas, both of whom drive and finish very well. Let us not forget perimeter guys like Jimmer Fredette and Francisco Garcia, there is plenty to handle and all four of our guards need to keep up their share of the D.
Second chance points. As always, a potential killer for the team. The Kings rank 9th in the league on offensive rebounding, and a middling offense (ranked 15th) that should not be getting any bonuses on scoring. Don’t make life easier for the Kings, clean up the defensive glass. Look for Bass, Green and Wilcox to contribute on this. Sully and KG of course, should not even be questioned on the effort. Winning this is half the battle.
This is where we will see the new-look Celtics. Without Rondo, look for Pierce and KG to run pick and roll sets as the first option. Pierce will definitely be handling the ball and performing PG duties a lot more, the same way he did whenever Rondo was out. Without Rondo pounding the ball, expect the guards to move the ball around a lot more in search of the open shot.
Will it work? No question about that. The question is, will they focus on driving in search of points in the paint? We cannot afford to keep relying on the mid-range jumper. Drive and dish, keep the offense flowing and the opportunity for the 3 or layup open. There’s plenty to look forward to tomorrow on offensive execution.
We have to move past the cloud of despondency Rondo’s absence has caused, and continue to work for the wins. Keep believing, just keep looking forward to the next game, one step at a time. The season is only at the midway, and the team has no reason to give up. We have the guys necessary to make things work, all that’s left is to unite. Time to Ubuntu, gents.