Tag: Raymond Felton

Portland Trailblazers v Dallas Mavericks

Playoff Rondo didn’t make the trip to Dallas, but it’s not like Rondo is sticking around


In the first half of Dallas’ Game 2 loss to Houston Tuesday, Rajon Rondo so nonchalantly walked the ball up the court — under no pressure from a defender — that he got an eight-second backcourt violation.

That lack of awareness and effort seems to sum up Rajon Rondo’s playoff effort in Dallas.

Playoff Rondo, who was a thing in Boston, did not make the flight to Texas.

Rondo has struggled to fit in with the Mavericks since coming to Dallas in a December blockbuster trade. He has clashed with coach Rick Carlisle, mainly about offensive freedom and control, with both sides having said they worked through it and that it was all good now. But the playoffs have a way of stripping away the latest coat of varnish and exposing things as they truly are — and it is clear Rondo is not a fit with what Dallas does. He makes them worse.

Rondo has played 37 minutes total in the first two playoff games this season and Dallas has been outscored by 35 points in that time.

Rondo picked up two fouls and a technical in the first :36 seconds of the second half Tuesday night. Carlisle promptly benched him, and Rondo didn’t see the court the rest of the game — because J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton were simply better. Carlisle and the Mavericks need to find a way to beat the Rockets (Dallas trails 0-2 in the series), and Rondo does not help that cause.

After the game, Rondo avoided the media while Carlisle largely dodged the Rondo question.

“You have to ask him (whether he cared about being benched),” Carlisle said in a postgame press conference broadcast on NBA TV. “All I know right now is that we need everybody at their competitive best. This isn’t about one guy who did or didn’t play. This is about everybody pulling in the same direction for the organization. That’s what it’s about.”

The other thing that has become clear: Rondo is gone from Dallas this summer.

He is an unrestricted free agent, and there will be no shortage of suitors — expect the Lakers among others to reach out. But it will be interesting to see if any GM still will offer him the max deal Danny Ainge had said Rondo deserves. Not likely, not even in this “market max” year where some guys will get overpaid. Rondo’s playoff performance likely ensured that. Maybe more interesting, how many years will Rondo be offered? He seems to have lost some of his explosiveness following years of injuries (including a bad ACL one), which hurts both his offensive penetration and his defense. Combine that with a lack of outside shooting and Rondo destroys offensive spacing.

That’s what has him on the bench in Dallas, and he may not see the court much at all the rest of this series. Dallas doesn’t want to be one-and-done in the playoffs.

But Rondo wants to be one-and-done in Dallas. And it shows.


Former Knicks coach Mike Woodson criticizes Phil Jackson for trading Tyson Chandler

Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers

When Phil Jackson took over as the Knicks’ president of basketball operations last season, he made a series of sweeping changes. He replaced head coach Mike Woodson with Derek Fisher, and dealt former Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks for Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin and other pieces.

Woodson, now an assistant under Doc Rivers with the Clippers, spoke to reporters Wednesday night following the Clippers’ 111-80 blowout win over the Knicks, and criticized the move to trade Chandler.

From the New York Post‘s Marc Berman:

One thing is for sure: Woodson would have fought to keep center Tyson Chandler, whom Jackson couldn’t jettison fast enough the day before the NBA draft.

“Had I stayed on board, I probably would’ve pushed to keep Tyson and keep the core group together because that’s what won the 54 games two years ago,’’ Woodson, now a Clippers assistant, said Wednesday night before his new team clobbered the Knicks, 111-80. “But people change. You got to live with it. They’ve had a tough season so far.

“Hopefully they can rebound this summer and put some pieces together and get back to winning basketball games.’’

That’s easy for Woodson to say now that he’s moved on, but after the way last season ended for the Knicks, big changes were in order regardless. Chandler wasn’t going to be a long-term part of their future, and trading him also allowed Jackson to get rid of Raymond Felton’s contract. Chandler has been great in Dallas, but he’s more valuable there than he would have been on a rebuilding Knicks team.

Rajon Rondo suffers orbital fracture to his left eye, will miss time

Rajon Rondo

On that play less than two minutes into the game Saturday Rajon Rondo was inadvertently kneed in the face by teammate Richard Jefferson, he left the game not to return.

Now he’s not going to be back for a while — Dallas announced that Rondo suffered an orbital fracture to his left eye and a nasal fracture. He is out for the Mavericks next three games — Monday against the Timberwolves and a road trip to face the Warriors and Kings this week — and he could be out a while longer, there is no official timetable for his return.

Dallas has other point guards to fall back on with Devin Harris, J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton. However those guys do not dish out the assists nor, more importantly, defend like Rondo, who has averaged 9.2 points and 6.5 assists for Dallas since being traded from Boston earlier this season.

Rondo has improved the Dallas defense by 5.5 points per 100 possessions when on the court since the trade, however their offense has been 6.7 points per 100 worse when he plays. That has led some to question if Dallas is better off with him or not. But if Dallas plans to get out of the first round and do some damage in the playoffs it needs Rondo because their defense isn’t good enough in a loaded West without him.

Rondo certainly will be back from this injury before then, but he could miss a few weeks.