Celtics

Rondo enjoying new-look offense

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Rondo enjoying new-look offense

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

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."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

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Marcus Morris targeting Oct. 30 game vs. Spurs as date for Celtics debut

WALTHAM -- It appears Marcus Morris’ debut for the Celtics will be when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 30.
 
The 6-foot-9 forward confirmed to reporters on Monday that, for now, that’s the target date.
 
Morris spent time after practice playing some one-one-one against rookie Jayson Tatum.
 
“I’m trying to push on it a little more,” he said. “Felt pretty good beating the rook’s ass one-on-one.”
 
The addition of Morris to the lineup can’t come soon enough for the Celtics (1-2).  They have already lost Gordon Hayward (ankle) for the season, and Marcus Smart (ankle) missed Friday’s win over Philadelphia. Smart said he would probably be in uniform for Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks. 
 
Those injuries have forced the Celtics to dig deeper into their roster, resulting in several first-year players seeing action. 
 
Having a veteran like Morris on the floor would bode well for the Celts in their quest to remain among the better teams in the East this season. 
 
Morris, who went through the non-contact portion of practice on Monday, joined the Celtics on Oct. 5, shortly after he and his brother Markieff (who plays for Washington) were acquitted of assault charges involving an incident in Phoenix in January of 2015. He appeared in one preseason game, scoring seven points on 3-for-6 shooting from the field.

Coach Brad Stevens said Morris was having some knee discomfort when he showed up for training camp. That, combined with showing up late to training camp because of his court case in Phoenix, resulted in him not having the level of conditioning he’s used to at the start of training camp. 
 
“It’s not that I’m in bad shape,” he told NBC Sports Boston earlier. “It’s just that I’m not where I expect myself to be conditioning-wise, right now.”
 
Morris echoed similar sentiments on Monday. 
 
“I’m in great condition,” he said. “I just want to be a little better. My conditioning has never been the problem. It’s the soreness in my [left] knee. It’s gotten a lot better over the past 10 days, so I feel I can play now. But be cautious because it’s a long season.”
 
Morris was acquired in the summer by Boston from Detroit, in exchange for Avery Bradley. The move was done to not only ensure there was enough salary cap space to sign then-free agent Gordon Hayward, but also for the Celtics to add a versatile player who can play both forward positions.