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News » Rondo emerging as Celtics' newest star vs. Bulls


Rondo emerging as Celtics' newest star vs. Bulls


Rondo emerging as Celtics' newest star vs. Bulls
BOSTON - With Kevin Garnett in street clothes and Ray Allen on the bench for the final 10-plus minutes, Paul Pierce put the defending champs in position.


Tuesday's games

  • Celtics 106, Bulls 104 (OT) (Celtics 3-2)
  • Magic 91, Sixers 78 (Magic 3-2)
  • Mavericks 106, Spurs 93 (Mavs win 4-1)
  • Blazers 88, Rockets 77 (Rockets 3-2)

Monday's games

  • Hawks 81, Heat 71 (Tied 2-2)
  • Nuggets 121, Hornets 63 (Nuggets 3-1)
  • Lakers 107, Jazz 96 (Lakers win 4-1)

FOXSports.com analysis

  • Playoff results, schedule
  • 2009 NBA Playoff Central
  • Goodman: Rondo Celtics' new star
  • Hill: Stars with something to prove
  • Behrendt: Odom key to Lakers' win
  • Rosenberg: Billups over AI for Hall
  • Hench: 5 stars for future Finals

Video

  • Tuesday's playoff highlights

Photos

  • Tuesday's action | Monday

Whatever the case, it was the right play for Rondo, who has made nearly every correct decision of late. Some players would have allowed Miller to score and also have a shot at a three-point play that could have won the game.

Not Rondo.

This Celtics team hardly has the look of a club that can run through the playoffs and repeat last year's success — not with Garnett likely out for the remainder of the postseason and Pierce looking somewhat ordinary for much of the series.

However, Boston has found a future star in Rondo, who has shown the ability to not have to make perimeter shots and still dominate.

The speedy Rondo is averaging 24.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 10.2 assists, 3.2 steals and just 2.2 turnovers per game — staggering numbers for a kid who few thought would become a starting point guard in the NBA, never mind one of the elite.

"I think I'm just focusing more knowing that guys are going to be out," Rondo said. "I'm not trying to go outside my role. I'm still one of the role players on this team."

His role has now turned into that of the catalyst for a team that everyone has written off in terms of advancing deep into the postseason.

In a series that has already featured an NBA-record three overtime contests, the third-year floor leader has easily been the best player.

Better than Pierce, Allen or anyone on the Bulls, including his opposite number, rookie point guard Derrick Rose.

"He just attacks," Rose said of Rondo. "More than anyone else I've gone up against. He just keeps coming."

"He drove with the intention of, 'I'm going to score, or you're going to foul me,'" Boston coach Doc Rivers added about his point guard. "That's the speed and the power."

In overtime, Pierce stepped up — well, stepped back — and made three consecutive jumpers from about 17 feet over Bulls defender John Salmons, with the third giving Boston a 106-104 lead with 3.4 seconds remaining.

But without Rondo, Boston isn't even in position to threaten down the stretch. After Rose sank a jumper with 7:20 left, the Bulls had a double-digit lead and were close to putting the Celtics away.

Rondo answered with a drive and then followed with a steal and layup to cut it to 83-77. Then he passed up a wide-open 3-pointer and instead found Allen for an uncontested trifecta that made it a three-point game with 5:42 left.

But Allen fouled out on the ensuing possession on a questionable call and the Celtics were overmatched.

Maybe with the old Rondo.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 29, 2009

 

 
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