Rajon Rondo is being held out of back-to-back contests by the Celtics this season, in order to be extra-cautious with the team’s franchise player who’s coming off of serious surgery, and playing in what is nothing more than a rebuilding year for the organization.
That little wrinkle allows Rondo to be available for things he wouldn’t otherwise be scheduled for during a normal NBA season — like sitting in as an analyst on the team’s television broadcast.
From Chad Finn of the Boston Globe:
Rondo will serve as a guest analyst during the Celtics’ matchup with the Bulls on Monday, March 31.
He’ll join play-by-play voice Mike Gorman for the first quarter of CSNNE’s broadcast, with Cedric Maxwell substituting in for the final three quarters. …
The Celtics have used several color analysts during road games this season, including Maxwell, Jackie MacMullan, P.J. Carlesimo, Dave Cowens, and Bill Simmons. Tommy Heinsohn is the color analyst for home games but provides studio commentary when the Celtics are away.
It’s great for fans, obviously, to have the team’s best player analyzing what’s happening on the floor in real time. The question, though, is what version of Rondo will we get on the air?
Rondo has no trouble being straight forward in interviews, but often comes across as having an icy personality that could potentially alienate fans that aren’t as familiar with his style.
It’s awesome that the team has put this in motion, but we’ll have to wait and see just how Rondo is able to translate his basketball IQ to the uninitiated masses.
Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.
His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.
George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).
As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.
Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.
This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?
He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.
The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.
“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”
As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.
“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”
Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.
I think Cousins can help provide that.
I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.