Celtics

It's official: Rondo is 2011-12 NBA assist king

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It's official: Rondo is 2011-12 NBA assist king

BOSTON When you're 26 years old, it's hard to see the historically cool dynamic of doing what so few have ever done before you.

Rajon Rondo came into Thursday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks having already secured the NBA's assists title this season.

Following Boston's 87-74 win over the Bucks, Rondo left no doubt about who the best passer in the NBA is this season as he tallied 15 assists with one turnover in just 25 minutes.

Bucks coach Scott Skiles, who set an NBA record by dishing out 30 assists in one game, is among the many impressed with Rondo's playmaking ability.

"He plays at his pace," Skiles said. "Even if you're doing a good job, it's hard to get it out of his pace. That's the pace that he plays at. He's always seen the floor well and he made some nice passes."

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers has not spent a lot of time concerning himself with Rondo's impressive assists numbers.

With Rondo having missed the previous four games with a back injury, Rivers was more concerned on Thursday with his conditioning.

"He just needed his wind," Rivers said. "That's why we played him."

While the back still has some soreness, Rondo seems determined to play through it.

"I plan on playing as much as possible," he said.

And lately, he has been playing at a level that's seldom seen in Boston - or any NBA city for that matter.

By finishing the season as the NBA's assists leader, he becomes the first Celtic to do so since Bob Cousy in 1960.

"It's a great accomplishment, very humbling," Rondo said. "I gotta thank my teammates personally, they are the ones that made the shots."

But it's Rondo who finds a way of getting them the ball exactly where they need it in order to be effective.

That knack for making the right play more often than not is among the many reasons why Rondo continues to build a strong case for being the best point guard this franchise has had since Cousy.

And to now have one more thing in common with the Hall of Famer only adds more credence to Rondo steady climb atop the list of great Celtics players.

Rondo acknowledged achieving a feat that had not been done since Cousy more than 50 years ago is special.

"It means a lot," Rondo said. "Cousy has always had great things to say about me. I would be honored if he could present me with a ball if I got one (for the assists title)."

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Agent says Gordon Hayward is unlikely to return this season

Gordon Hayward had surgery on his left ankle Wednesday night.

While there was hope he could return, Hayward's agent told Adrian Wojnarowski that the Celtics forward is unlikely to play for the remainder of the season.

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Hayward suffered the injury in the first quarter of Boston’s 102-99 loss at Cleveland on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8 All-Star landed awkwardly on his ankle after a lob pass by Kyrie Irving was deflected by LeBron James.

“We’re expecting this to be a full recovery,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said Wednesday, “No timeline on it but a full recovery.”

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Celtics drop back-to-back games

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their thoughts on Kyrie Irving’s struggles, not having Gordon Hayward, and the Celtics losing for the 2nd time in as many nights.

6:31 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins BST to discuss the message delivered by Hayward to the fans before the game, what was going on with Kyrie’s shot, and why they failed in stopping The Greek Freak.

10:33 - Albert Breer joins BST to preview the Falcons/Patriots Sunday night game and if Atlanta is in the middle of a Super Bowl hangover.

15:40 - In a new game called On The Clock, each person gets 40 seconds to rant on their selected subject including if Red Sox fans can root for the Yankees if the playoffs and how painful the Bruins season will be. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE