Boston Celtics: Point Guards

Doc on point: New rules for guards

November, 28, 2012
US Presswire/Getty ImagesRajon Rondo vs. Deron Williams on Wednesday.
Rajon Rondo missed Boston's first meeting with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this month due to a sprained ankle, but he's back -- with his 37-game double-digit assist streak in tow -- for Wednesday's rematch at TD Garden, setting up a showdown with Nets point guard Deron Williams.

The almost nightly focus on Rondo and his point guard matchup left Celtics coach Doc Rivers talking at length on Tuesday about the position and what he believes is a new focus on whistles for defenders that impede a guard attacking from the perimeter.

"I think the rule changes -- I mean, hell, I couldn't have played in the league with these rules. Or, I could have been great. I don't know which one," quipped Rivers. "You can't touch anybody. You can't touch above the free throw line. We got two calls the other night, the guy was just -- I would have loved that, offensively; I would have hated it, defensively. It's brought the quick guard back in the league, the small guard back in the league.

"I watched a game [Monday] night late where [a team] ran pick-and-roll every single possession from the first quarter on. I mean, they literally ran it every possession in the game I was watching. It was unbelievable. And they won, because the other team couldn't stop it. It's just quick guards attacking, so that's why."

Rivers, who often yearns for the no-blood, no-foul nature of his playing days, gets frustrated by the constant stop-and-start nature that develops from ticky-tack fouls. Maybe that's why the Celtics spent much of Tuesday's practice focused on pick-and-roll defense, a chance to remind his team how to avoid those tempo-killing calls.

"Every time they call a foul it's worse, because the game stops," said Rivers. "If it's a touch foul, I never liked touch fouls. I think that's why the playoff basketball is so good. They still do the same fouls, but they don't call it as much, and the game is being played. It's a more physical game, but the guards can still move freely. I've always liked it that way better."

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Jeff Green
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksB. Bass 0.9