, Gloucester, MA

November 29, 2012

Crunch Time

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Streak Over

Rajon Rondo’s ejection for fighting Nets forward Kris Humphries Wednesday night had strong ramifications for the point guard outside of the ejection and looming suspension.

Rondo’s streak of 37 straight games with 10 assists, tied with John Stockton for second all time, came to an end in dramatic fashion. Rondo was probably going to pass Stockton on Wednesday if not for the ejection and if you have seen the Celtics play this season you know he was a legitimate threat to break Magic Johnson’s record of 46 straight games with 10 plus assists.

Of course this is all Rondo’s fault. He deserves credit for sticking up for a teammate but deserves criticism for the obvious over reaction. Rondo could have gotten the point across without starting a fight.

His looming suspension is also bad news for the Celtics, who are a mediocre team without Rondo on the court. The Nets and Knicks are both ahead of the Celtics in the standings, and with Rondo probably out for a couple of games, maybe more considering that he has been thrown out of a game three times now in the last year, those games could be the difference in an Atlantic Division title or a trip to Miami in the first round.

Ball Controversy

Natick and Plymouth South’s Division 2A playoff matchup Tuesday did not come without controversy.

In one of the most unnecessary rules in all of sports the MIAA requires teams to use a Spalding J5V football in the playoffs and postseason, this ball is given to each team prior to its playoff game so teams can practice with it.

Natick instead used its own Wilson GTS football, the same ball it used during the regular season. Natick coaches asked game officials if it could use the ball and the officials mistakenly allowed it.

The Red Hawks won the game 38-33 thanks to a high powered passing offense in inclement weather. The ball situation was brought to the attention of an MIAA official late in the game and Natick was hit with a 15 yard penalty. The MIAA ruled that Natick’s win will stand.

This is a slippery situation. Sure Natick won the game but using a ball that it is more familiar with certainly helped the Red Hawks, especially considering that they are a pass heavy offense.

Natick will meet Beverly on Saturday at Gillette Stadium in the Division 2A Super Bowl, and both teams will be using the Spalding J5V football.

— Compiled by Nick Curcuru