Rajon Rondo

Rajon Rondo says he was joking with ref, didn’t deserve suspension


Rajon Rondo didn’t take the court for the Celtics Monday night — not that they needed him, Boston got a nice win in New York anyway — as he sat out a one-game suspension for bumping referee Rodney Mott in a game over the weekend then impeding the investigation of the incident.

In vintage Rondo style, he’s not apologetic or even sure what the big deal was. From Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, on Sulia.

“The league thought it was a big deal. I don’t feel there was a need to have an investigation. I know Rodney and that particular time with that play, I actually went up to him and I made a joke, he laughed and in the midst, I did touch him and the league I guess reviewed it, the media blew it up, on SportsCenter or whatever and I served a one-game suspension.”

They were apparently joking about Josh Smith flopping, which is pretty funny.

I will grant Rondo this — Mott did not call him for a foul at the time. Referees are big on keeping their control of the situation, if Mott thought this something serious he wouldn’t have hesitated with a technical at the time.

However, Rondo also apparently was feisty when the league office called about the incident. That’s probably what fueled the full game suspension over just a fine. And he can’t blame anybody but himself for that.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?