Celtics may try Rondo and Marcus Smart together in backcourt at first

When Adam Silver read aloud the name of “Marcus Smart” at the NBA Draft last week, many immediately predicted that Rajon Rondo would be on the next Amtrak out of South Station. While Rondo could still absolutely be traded between now and July 1, 2015 – the day his current contract is scheduled to expire with the Celtics – it shouldn’t be ruled out that the Celtics will at least experiment with the bruising Smart and the quirky Rondo on the floor at the same time in 2014-15.

Danny Ainge, Wyc Grousbeck and Brad Stevens have all, of course, already said that Smart and Rondo could play together. Do they all truly believe that? Who knows for sure, but Ainge is certainly one who isn’t afraid to think outside the box.

When Ainge was head coach of the Phoenix Suns in the late 1990s, he had a team that thrived with three and sometimes four guards on the floor at the same time. Jason Kidd, Kevin Johnson, Steve Nash and Rex Chapman (three of four described as traditional “point guards”) would often drive opposing teams nuts with their frenzied, unorthodox style of play and it resulted in 56 victories that season for Ainge’s Suns (see above video for a grainy glance at their early-season victory over Michael Jordan’s Bulls).

Smart is considered a relatively poor shooter, and when you add in the fact that the Celtics already have dreadful numbers from the outside (tied for 27th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage at .333 in 2013-14), it makes one wonder if the C’s can keep pace in a league where the top teams are great from deep (the champion Spurs were first in the league at .397 in 3-point field goal percentage in 2013-14).


The drafting of Kentucky swingman James Young should help shooting matters and Avery Bradley has shown that he is at least capable of knocking down mid-range jumpers and corner 3-pointers. But when Smart and Rondo are on the floor at the same time, one can bet that defenses will sag to the basket.

The big picture question regarding the Celtics and a potentially guard-heavy lineup next season is, “Does Ainge even want it to succeed?” Unless a Kevin Love trade to Boston is in the works, in which case Smart would likely be dealt Chauncey Billups-style, odds say that the Celtics aren’t going to be title contenders next season. What would the re-building Celtics have to lose next season – besides more games – by putting Smart and Rondo on the floor at the same time? There’s probably a better chance of this being an experiment in November and December than seeing Rondo pack his bags in the next few weeks.

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor pledges lower greenhouse gas emissions from New…

Just hours before the start of the People’s Climate March on Sunday, and two days ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit, Mayor Bill de…

Local

More than 310,000 attend People's Climate March

More than 310,000 people flooded midtown Manhattan Sunday with one main message ahead of the United Nation’s Climate Summit: do something about climate change. Activists…

National

The best places to see the Northern Lights…

A large solar storm hit the Earth's atmosphere and will tonight illuminate the skies with aurora borealis -- also known as the Northern Lights.

Local

Police officer killed Sunday morning Bronx crash, 8…

One NYPD police officer was killed and eight other officers were injured early Sunday morning when the van they were traveling in crashed  in the…

Television

'How to Get Away with' mischaracterizing Shondra Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes read Alessandra Stanley's New York Times piece about her being "an angry black woman" and "a romance writer" and it did not sit well with her.

Gossip

New nude celebrity selfies leak … and Clay…

A new batch of nude selfies of Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Lake Bell and Avril Lavigne hit the web and Clay Aiken has something to say!

Television

James Spader's route to villainy on "The Blacklist"

In honor of the second season premiere of "The Blacklist" tonight, where James Spader plays good guy/bad guy Raymond “Red” Reddington, it’s a good time to look back at Spader’s…

Television

True Detective

NFL

Rashad Jennings carries Giants in first win this…

Rashad Jennings, who came to New York from Oakland last year, by way of Jacksonville, was highly coveted this offseason by general manager Jerry Reese.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

Career

Here's how to make the most of visit…

You’re primped, you’re looking polished, you’re prepared with a stack of resumes. Job fair hunters, unite! There are a few things to keep in mind…

Education

Learn how to study effectively and stop cramming…

Picture this: It’s midterm week, and college students everywhere are trying to frantically memorize all of the math formulas, political theories and historical facts that…

Parenting

How motherhood inspired Bethenny Frankel's new book

Bethenny Frankel's new children's book is about how her daughter and dog didn't always get alone.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.