Former Boston Celtics star Rajon Rondo revealed to JJ Redick that during his playing days, he liked winning basketball literally as a player and metaphorically as a coach. On Redick’s podcast, “The Old Man & The Three,” Rondo revealed that he wanted to out-coach Brad Stevens when he and the Chicago Bulls took on the Celtics during the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
“When I was going against the Celtics when I played for the Bulls, my whole mindset that entire series was to beat Brad Stevens,” Rondo said. “I was working on fourth-quarter execution plays that we could run in the fourth that Stevens hadn’t seen us play yet. So when we did run those plays, they weren’t able to make those counters or adjustments.”
Rondo added the additional preparation he took when he and the Bulls went up against the Celtics during that series.
“I think I watched maybe like four or five of (Stevens’) games to where his fourth quarter plays they were calling sets that they ran for Isaiah (Thomas), (Al) Horford in that particular series to get ahead of the curve.”
The Bulls won Games 1 and 2 of that series before Rondo went down because of a broken right thumb. The Bulls then lost the next four games.
Dalano Banton Modeled His Game After Rajon Rondo
On August 23, Taylor Snow of Celtics.com revealed that new Celtics addition Dalano Banton was inspired by Rondo as a basketball player growing up.
“From a young age, Banton modeled his game after former Celtic point guard Rajon Rondo. He stuck with the position, even after experiencing a massive growth spurt in high school, rising from 5-foot-9 as a freshman to 6-foot-6 by his junior year,” Snow wrote.
At the height of his game, Rondo was one of the league’s best point guards, making the all-star game four times from 2010 to 2013. Banton won’t come to the Celtics with nearly as high expectations, but his passing abilities for someone his height at six-foot-eight could prove to be more than beneficial for the Celtics, but that’s only if he proves himself to be a dependable rotation player.
Banton may not be able to shoot well, but he has a career assist percentage of 19.6%.
Michael Carter-Williams Mentioned as Celtics Target
Sports Illustrated’s Ben Stinar explained why former Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams could be worth a look to the Celtics, noting his playmaking abilities.
“The Celtics have Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Kristaps Porzingis, but they will need to have the right point guards facilitating their star forwards the basketball,” Stinar wrote. “Carter-Williams is a capable facilitator who could be an excellent addition to their bench.”
Stinar then explained why Carter-Williams would do well on the Celtics roster and how inexpensive he would be.
“At 31, he is still in the prime of his career and would likely benefit from playing next to the elite players on the Celtics,” Stinar wrote. “Carter-Williams would likely be able to signed for a veteran’s minimum contract, so there would be no financial risk for the Celtics to bring him into training camp.”