Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski previews the upcoming Boston Celtics-Miami Heat Eastern Conference finals, and in that preview is this nugget — Celtics’ coach Doc Rivers is having point guard Rajon Rondo draw up plays in timeouts.
Wojnarowski outlines the scenario from the Celtics’ Game 7 victory Saturday night over the Philadelphia 76ers:
As soon as Rondo walked toward the huddle for fourth-quarter timeouts, Rivers met him far from the bench, and leaned into his ear to tell him the play call that the coach planned to diagram in the timeout. Only, Rivers wanted Rondo to do it himself. Go to the huddle, grab the clipboard and draw it up for teammates.
“So when I get into the timeout, they’ve already seen it once,” Rivers said. “That’s how good he is: He can draw it up, just like I can draw it up.”
Rondo was instrumental late in Game 7 to propel the Celtics to an Eastern Conference finals berth against the Heat and its tandem of Dwayne Wade and LeBron James. Rondo finished with a triple-double — 18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists — and hit two clutch jumpers (one 3-pointer) late to help seal the Celtics’ victory.
According to the Miami Herald, James thinks that keeping Rondo at bay is perhaps the X-factor in the series, which begins Monday at 8:30.
“No one can figure out how to defend Rondo,” LeBron James said. “He’s a unique player, a guy that breaks the defense down and creates for himself and creates for his teammates every single night.
“No one has the blueprint on how to guard him. You just try to limit his ability to score and limit his ability to find those open guys.”