Archive for January 4th, 2009

Rajon Rondo rocks

With 29 wins and five losses the Boston Celtics are having a fantastic season as reigning NBA champions.

Aside from stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, the team has gotten a big boost from ever-improving point guard Rajon Rondo.

Remember the not-so-distant past when it was not clear who between Rondo and Sebastian Telfair would emerge as the better player? Neither do I.

After an unspectacular start, since November 18 the super-quick Rondo is averaging 13.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 2.35 steals per game on fantastic 55.3% shooting.

Like spurs point guard Tony Parker, Rondo has a limited outside shot but shoots a great percentage thanks to penetration and smart play.

Rondo is currently tied with Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson for the highest shooting percentage of any guard in the league.

The Celtics floor general is also tied with Jason Kidd for third in the league at steals per 48 minutes.

And when not snatching the steal, Rondo plays effective, high-energy defense.

Although they will face competiton from the Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers in the East playoffs, Boston remains the favorite to return to the Finals come June, and Rondo will share in the credit with his more famous teammates.

The AP reports: Carmelo Anthony scored 22 points, including a layup with 56.5 seconds left, and the Denver Nuggets blew a 26-point third quarter lead before recovering to beat the New Orleans Hornets 105-100 on Saturday night. J.R. Smith scored 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter for Denver. Chris Paul had 30 points and 11 assists, and David West had 21 points for the Hornets, who had their four-game winning streak snapped… The Hornets played without center Tyson Chandler, suspended for one game for an altercation with Portland’s Joel Pryzbilla on Friday night. Hilton Armstrong started in place of Chandler and had 17 points.

The AP reports: The Minnesota Timberwolves celebrated their first winning streak of the season—at the Chicago Bulls’ expense. Randy Foye scored 21 points, Al Jefferson added 18 points and 14 rebounds and the Minnesota won consecutive games for the first time this season, beating Chicago 102-92 on Saturday night… Derrick Rose finished with 22 points, and Tyrus Thomas had 15 points, seven rebounds and eight blocked shots for Chicago, which has lost six of its last seven games. Ryan Gomes finished with 19 points for Minnesota, which has won four of its last six games. The Wolves had 28 second-chance points to the Bulls’ eight… Kevin Love had 13 points and seven rebounds.

The AP reports: Tony Parker hit a high-arching 15-footer at the buzzer and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Philadelphia 76ers 108-106 on Saturday night after blowing an early 21-point lead. Parker finished with 15 points and 10 assists to help the Spurs win for seventh time in eight games and rebound from a 100-98 loss Tuesday night to Milwaukee. Tim Duncan led San Antonio with 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Andre Miller led Philadelphia with 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting. Andre Iguodala added 25 on 10-of-15 shooting as both teams shot more than 50 percent.

The AP reports: Soaring for blocks and acrobatic dunks, Dwyane Wade stuffed the Nets. Wade scored 29 points, had three key blocks in the closing minutes and the Miami Heat overcame a 16-point deficit to beat New Jersey 101-96 in overtime Saturday night. Wade did it all in the Heat’s biggest comeback victory of the season. The superstar went up high for two blocks on dunk attempts by 7-footer Brook Lopez, including one in overtime and another late in the fourth quarter, and swatted Vince Carter’s jumper into the stands in the final minute of regulation… Trailing by 16 points in the first quarter, the Heat rode a season-high 19 points from Diawara and 17 points from Michael Beasley… Keyon Dooling had 23 points, and Carter had 20 for the Nets, who won in overtime a night earlier against the Atlanta Hawks.

Devin Harris did not play.

The AP reports: Mike Bibby made a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining, and Josh Smith scored a season-high 29 points in the Hawks’ 103-100 victory over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night. Joe Johnson had a season-high 14 assists, the last when he drove from the perimeter and into the left side of the lane before passing to Bibby for the winner… Flip Murray finished with 17 points for Atlanta, which snapped a three-game losing streak to Houston. The Hawks won their sixth straight at home, improving to 15-2 this season at Philips Arena. Overall, Atlanta has won six of seven… Reserve Carl Landry scored 18 points, and Yao Ming had 16 points and 15 rebounds to lead Houston, which has dropped two straight and five of seven. Aaron Brooks missed a 3 from the left corner at the buzzer that would’ve forced overtime. Von Wafer had 17 points for Houston, and Brent Barry added 16.

The AP reports: The Charlotte Bobcats can look bad one night and good the next. They’ve played well for stretches then gone on long losing streaks. Newcomer Boris Diaw isn’t surprised. The good Bobcats showed up Saturday night, with Diaw scoring 21 points and Gerald Wallace 24 in a 102-92 win over Milwaukee. It came a night after the same Bucks held Charlotte to 75 points in the Bobcats’ 28-point loss… Richard Jefferson scored 19 points, and Michael Redd added 17 to go over 11,000 points in his career for the Bucks, who had won seven of 10 games and were trying to complete a four-game season sweep of Charlotte… Emeka Okafor added 14 points, and D.J. Augustin had 12 for the Bobcats, who had assists on 22 of 33 field goals and surpassed 100 points for only the 10th time this season.

The AP reports: Danny Granger couldn’t quite keep up with Kevin Martin’s scoring pace, but unlike Martin, he made the most important shot of the game. Granger scored 13 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, making all six of his free throws in the final 1:30, to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Sacramento Kings 122-117 on Saturday night. Martin led Sacramento with a season-high 45 points. He made 13 of 24 shots, 12 of 12 free throws and a career-high seven 3-pointers, but missed two critical 3-pointers in the final minute… T.J. Ford had 16 points and seven assists, and Troy Murphy had 12 points and 13 rebounds for Indiana. Bobby Jackson had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Brad Miller had 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Kings, who have lost eight of nine.

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