By A. Sherrod Blakely
BOSTON With so many injuries, the Boston Celtics have few options other than to play more small ball - and there couldn't be anyone happier about this than Rajon Rondo.
He loves his bigs, of course.
But with more guard-oriented players on the floor around him, it allows the NBA's assists leader even more opportunities to make things happen in transition.
"I just try to be more conscience and put the ball, try to put the bigs in pick and roll," Rondo said. "It's only one big for us out there; depending on what the other team does, we usually have four shooters around me. It's hard to defend l love the small lineup; I love playing with that rotation."
It certainly looked that way in Friday night's 99-94 win over Charlotte.
Rondo had 18 points and 13 assists for his 15th double-double this season, tops on the team. He also added six rebounds.
While Rondo has had better games statistically, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was very pleased with how Rondo controlled the action against the Bobcats (15-22) who came in having won six of their last eight games.
"Just his control of the game," Rivers said. "Seeing what I see. You know, there (were) a couple things he saw that I didn't see, and I liked what he saw better."
Charlotte coach and former Celtic Paul Silas could sense that it was indeed going to be one of those kind of nights for Rondo.
Not only did he score more than usual, but he was doing it from the free throw line and 3-point range - places were few of Rondo's points ever come from.
"You're talking about a 43 percent free throw shooter is knocking everything down, knocking 3s down," Silas said.
Rondo made his lone 3-point attempt and was 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
It was one of those nights when Rondo seemed to make all the right decisions, at the right time.
"And those are good nights for a coach, I can tell you that, when those nights happen," Rivers said. "And it's just the flow of the game; sometimes guys get that and sometimes they don't. But when he (Rondo) gets it, it's really good."