BOSTON (CBS) – CSNNE analyst Tommy Heinsohn had some choice words for Celtics captain Rajon Rondo following the team’s ninth straight loss on Wednesday night.
The Celtics outscored the Atlanta Hawks 26-14 in the third quarter and held a seven point lead going into the fourth quarter. The Celtics, as they have many times this year, were not able to maintain the lead and allowed Atlanta to end the game on a 25-8 run.
Tommy criticized Rondo and how his style of play hasn’t transitioned well from the era of the “Big Three” to the current team.
“Rondo has developed bad habits from playing with Doc Rivers’ team,” Heinsohn said to Kyle Draper on CSNNE Celtics Postgame Live. “That was an experienced elderly team, so they weren’t pressing the issue. They executed plays to perfection. This team has to go and find opportunities without plays, they got to be aggressive without plays because they don’t execute that well yet. They are not well schooled in playing together because of injuries and everything else.”
When asked how you go about breaking those habits, Tommy stated bluntly, “One of the things you do, and it’s tough to do with a guy like Rondo, is if he doesn’t do it you pull him out and put someone in. Pull him aside, talk to him, the whole bit. … He’s got to play the style that brings out the best in these current players.”
Going off Tommy’s comments, Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak took their stance.
Gresh was quick to question if Rondo’s execution was a result of his pace of play or if Brad Stevens isn’t challenging Rondo’s style enough.
“If you have a player with a bad habit and a new coach comes in and he puts in his system and he’s got an idea as to what kind of habits the player has, it’s up to the new coach to coach it out of him right?” asked Gresh.
“You would think,” said Zo. “Especially if that’s the guy you’re going to build around right, that’s the future.”
“Supposedly,” said Gresh.
Now to be fair, Brad Stevens has only had the opportunity to coach Rondo for 29 games as the All Star guard works his way back from knee surgery. Fans have criticized Rondo in the past, but it’s quite different hearing it from a Celtics legend like Tommy Heinsohn.
If Rondo’s style of play doesn’t fit Brad Stevens’ coaching style, the Celtics will have some interesting decisions to make as Rondo heads into free agency next summer.
Listen below for the full discussion: