No rest for Rondo ... yet
March, 10, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
AP Photo/Elise AmendolaCarlos Arroyo played well in his debut, but Rajon Rondo still logged big minutes.The arrival of Carlos Arroyo was supposed to drive down minutes for Rajon Rondo. Then Boston's All-Star point guard went out Wednesday night against the Clippers and played a game-high 43 minutes, 12 seconds. What gives?
Clearly the Celtics wanted Rondo on the floor after falling behind early and felt like he gave them the best chance of getting back into the game. And even though Arroyo exceeded coach Doc Rivers' expectations in being throw into the fire in his first night, the Celtics actually used him in the same lineup with Rondo with the goal of taking some of the wear and tear off their primary ball-handler.
“[The Clippers] have two guards -- they have two point guards on the floor, and I wanted Rondo to take a break as he was playing, by keeping him on the floor with his defensive energy, but then letting Arroyo handle the ball some so he wouldn’t have to do all the work," explained Rivers. "[Wednesday] was a figure-it-out game, which we didn’t."
Rondo has now played 37 or more minutes in 12 of his last 14 games, and more than 40 minutes in four of his last seven. As Boston gets more healthy bodies back (particularly Delonte West), it would seem Rivers could lean on an Arroyo-West combo at times with the second unit, allowing Rondo to trim down those minutes.
Arroyo enjoyed sharing the floor with Rondo.
"It makes my job a lot easier when you have another point guard playing with you," said Arroyo. "His IQ is so high, it makes your game, and the actual game, that much easier. Hopefully we can be out there more together, and understand how to play with each other and we can help the team."