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Rondo says he ‘might pop up and just play’ in D-League before returning to Celtics

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Rajon Rondo heading to the D-League to get some work in was an idea that was made public a few days ago by Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

The D-League has historically been used as a player development tool more than a place for players to find their way back from injury, and it would be a first to see a player of Rondo’s stature appear in one of the league’s regular season games.

Rondo met with reporters before Boston’s loss in Chicago on Thursday and reiterated the possibility, but made it clear that it’ll be more of a spur of the moment decision than something that’s planned as a step along the way before he returns to action for the Celtics.

From Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald:

“It’s an idea, definitely,” he said. “That’s more game-like speed. With our schedule, we don’t get a lot of chances to play a lot of pickup, so that may be a possibility. You just never know. I might pop up and just play. You guys won’t get the memo. You’ll have to catch me on YouTube or something. But I don’t know. It’ll be like an overnight decision.

“I think that’s what it’s for. I’d probably be the first guy to do that, but it doesn’t make a difference. I want to make sure I’m healthy and handle it the right way. I haven’t had a preseason. I haven’t had a training camp. Right now, this is pretty much my training camp.”

No problem on the YouTube part, since the D-League live streams all of its games there.

Rondo doesn’t need to rush back into action, considering that the Celtics’ plan is to rebuild and develop young talent more than it is to make a playoff push, despite the fact that the team’s sub-.500 record had it atop the Atlantic Division and in line for a postseason spot until just recently.

The last thing the All-Star guard wants is to try to come back too soon, only to suffer another injury when his body isn’t fully ready to take on the rigors of the NBA season. Rondo will take his time, and might just give basketball fans in Maine a special treat along the way during his rehabilitation process.

Isaiah Thomas nutmegs Knicks center Marshall Plumlee (video)

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Isaiah Thomas usually saves his best play for the fourth quarter, but the Celtics guard showed out early with this pass between Marshall Plumlee‘s legs to get Kelly Olynyk a layup.

Thomas uncharacteristically just didn’t have enough late. Though he scored 39 points, he shot just 2-for-9 in the final period, as the Knicks pulled away for a 117-106 win.

Kevin Durant misses dunk so hard, ball flies past halfcourt (video)

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Kevin Durant played great in the Warriors’ win over the Thunder last night, but – perhaps fueled by excess emotion – he missed this incredibly emphatic dunk attempt.

Later, Russell Westbrook showed his former teammate how to do it (sparking their apparent conversation):

James Harden outduels Giannis Antetokounmpo as they produce fantastic highlight video

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James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo met in a battle of two of the NBA’s best point guards. (Still weird to say.) The final lines:

  • Harden: 38 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 blocks
  • Antetokounmpo: 32 points, 11 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks

The winner? Harden and the Rockets, who topped the Bucks, 111-92.

But the real winner? Anyone who gets to watch this highlight video. It just gets better as it goes.

PBT Extra: Who do you want to see most in first All-Star Game?

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Tonight the NBA All-Star Game starters will be announced. Then the coaches have a week to vote and the rest of the roster will be put together by them.

This year should see a few first-time All-Stars, guys bursting on the scene and grabbing fans attention — so we asked people on Twitter who they most wanted to see in his first All-Star Game and I break it down in this PBT Extra.

The winner? Giannis Antetokounmpo with 45 percent of the vote. Which shouldn’t be a surprise, he’s second in the fan voting for the frontcourt in the East (behind only LeBron James). Good news for those fans, the Greek Freak is almost guaranteed to be a starter, he’s getting plenty of media votes and likely a lot from the players as well.

Second place in the poll? Joel Embiid of the Sixers. I’d love to see him, but will players and media members vote in a guy on a minutes restriction? Will the coaches pick him for that same reason? He is on the bubble.