Celtics’ Rondo has a big fan in Thibodeau
BY MICHAEL O’BRIEN firstname.lastname@example.org January 9, 2011 12:32AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
The Boston Celtics’ Rajon Rondo is holding on to the second starting-guard spot in All-Star voting for the Eastern Conference, narrowly leading Bulls star Derrick Rose. Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade is first.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is in Rose’s corner, but he understands what Rondo — who entered the game Saturday against the Bulls averaging 13.7 assists — brings to the table.
“Rajon is an offense unto himself,” Thibodeau said. “I think that he was a very confident player from the first year that I was [with the Celtics], and he’s just gotten better and better. He’s very smart. He knows how to read defenses.”
Against the San Antonio Spurs last week, Rondo had 22 assists, 12 points, 10 rebounds and six steals, becoming the first player in NBA history with more than 20 assists, 10 or more rebounds and at least six steals in a game.
“He’ll provide whatever the game needs, whether it is defense or making plays, and he can make something out of nothing,” Thibodeau said. “He can look a defense off and create a great shot every time down the floor.”
The Bulls allowed the Philadelphia 76ers to shoot 56.3 percent Friday, a season high for opponents’ field-goal percentage.
“We are scoring enough; we are scoring plenty,” Thibodeau said. “It’s our defense that we have to straighten out. Every aspect of our defense requires five people being tied together. If two or three guys aren’t doing their job, it is going to show.”
It’s still Bogans
The Bulls’ recent struggles have Thibodeau facing daily questions about making a change at shooting guard. Veteran Keith Bogans has started every game this season, but he isn’t getting as many minutes overall as Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer. Thibodeau said he doesn’t see himself making a change any time soon.
“Defense and toughness, keep the ball moving,” Thibodeau said. “That’s what [Bogans’] role is. The big thing is, it is not any particular guy right now. . . . It’s our entire group.”