GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 29, 2012

Crunch Time


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Maligned Star

Is any athlete in Boston more scrutinized than Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo. It seems like every time the all star guard has an off night it’s open season on his heart, character, and ability to lead the team. Those criticisms showed up again on Thursday after an off night against the Clippers, a 30 point Celtics loss.

Sure Rondo is rough around the edges and he has let his emotions get the best of him on several occasions. But saying that the point guard has no heart or leadership abilities is just plain false.

Funny how everyone forgets the 2010 playoffs, when that immature and over emotional Rondo put the Celtics on his back on the way to the Easter Conference Title. In that 2010 playoffs Rondo was the best player on the court in every series except for the finals, and that’s arguable. Steve Nash, Deron Williams and Chris Paul, the top point guards in the league along with Rondo, have not been able to lead their teams to a finals the way the Celtics guard has.

Rondo was able to lead Boston to the finals with Kevin Garnett playing with a hobbled knee, Ray Allen shooting ice cold from the field and Paul Pierce being locked down by Ron Artest.

You have to take the good with the bad with Rondo, he is frustrating at times, but he has proven in the past that when it’s all on the line he is at his best. I think it’s pretty safe to say a stellar performance in the playoffs holds much more water than an off night in late December.

Pro Bowl diss

While it is an honor for players like New York Giants Zach DeOssie to be named to the Pro Bowl, they are less interested than ever to play in the All-Star game because it is now held the week before the Super Bowl. Thus the two teams that make the Super Bowl do not participate.

As Patriots special teamer and all-around good guy Matt Slater said about being selected to his second straight Pro Bowl:

“I’d rather be eating gumbo in New Orleans (at the Super Bowl) than pineapple in Hawaii.”

Poor Avery

If Avery Johnson, who was fired as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets yesterday, didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all.

The former longtime NBA point guard was fired from his first head coaching job in Dallas in 2008 after leading the Mavericks to a 51-31 record that season, and this season was canned by the Nets following the Christmas Day loss to the Celtics with Brooklyn a respectable 14-14.

Johnson, like Celtics coach Doc Rivers, is a protege of longtime San Antonio coach Greg Popovich.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru

and David Willis