Rondo Back, But Celtics Lose: Thoughts on the NBA for 1/18/14

  • Rajon Rondo returned last night, and it was awesome. He only played about 20 minutes, and had just 8 points and 4 assists, but it was fantastic to see him back out on the court. There was definitely some rust – especially in his first minutes of action – but he played better as the game went on, making a couple classic Rondo plays. The Celtics also named Rondo the 15th captain in team history, an indication of their plans to keep him around long-term.


  • Al Jefferson had another huge night, scoring 30 points and grabbing 16 rebounds in the Bobcats win over the Magic. He’s averaging more than 27 points and just under 11 rebounds a night over the last four games. Charlotte – who’s clinging to the eighth playoff spot – will need Big Al to keep playing well if they want to hang onto that postseason position.


  • The Utah Jazz picked up another win last night, knocking off the Pistons, 110-89, and continuing their streak of alternating wins and losses. The Jazz are now 10-8 since starting 4-19. In the East they would probably be a playoff team, but in the loaded Western Conference, they still sit at the bottom, nine games out of a playoff spot.


  • The Mavericks and Suns had a fun matchup last night, with the Mavericks pulling out 110-107 win. It’s going to be tough for Phoenix to hold on to their playoff spot without Eric Bledsoe the rest of the way. You never want to see any player get injured, but the Suns losing Bledsoe is especially tough as the Suns were a very nice surprise this year. They’re still fun to watch, but Bledsoe’s absence is going to make them decidedly less so. Even so, the future looks bright (#nailedit) in Phoenix.


  • The Washington Wizards picked up a win over the Bulls last night and finally moved to .500. There are now a whole FIVE teams in the Eastern Conference over the .500 mark: the Pacers, Heat, Hawks, Raptors and Wizards.


  • I would be remiss not to mention the brilliant game between the Thunder and Warriors, who continue to give us masterpieces when they get together. Kevin Durant dropped 54 points (a career-high) to lead the Thunder to a 127-121 win. Steph Curry, by the way, had a nice night as well, scoring 37 points and handing out 11 assists. Would be very down for a postseason matchup between these two clubs.