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KC Johnson: Hoiberg said he has been giving Rondo an index card with an offensive package for that game and Rondo is making “a lot of calls on the fly.” This is how Hoiberg prefers his PGs to play—instinctively, making reads, not reliant on calls from sideline.
Nick Friedell: Rondo acknowledged that night to night the PG’s aren’t sure who is playing. They’re just taking it day by day.
KC Johnson: Goes without saying but Jerian Grant now starting at PG only solidifies Rondo’s desire to be elsewhere. Bulls have tried 2 starters over him now. This will be Jerian Grant’s 6th start. He also has 8 DNP-CD games. This is one weird Bulls team.
TMZ Sports spotted Rondo getting into a private car at his hotel before the Bulls played the Wizards — while the team bus was parked right outside. The timing is interesting since Rondo has voiced serious displeasure with Hoiberg over his recent 5 game benching. But a rep for the Bulls tells TMZ Sports there’s a perfectly good explanation for Rondo traveling solo. “On game days, Rajon often goes to the arena early before the team bus departs the hotel. We have few players who will do this when they want to get in extra work pregame.”
“They (media members) can drill me for the next four or five minutes,” Rondo said when there was a pause. “I haven’t had this much attention in awhile. I appreciate this. “Playing for the Bulls, playing for big organizations, like Boston, you’re going to be judged from Day One,” said Rondo. “It’s part of it. You signed up for it. I don’t mind being judged or pressure being put on myself. People have been counting me out since Day One. That doesn’t matter about being in a box. It’s not a great feeling as a player to play like that. You’re only as good as your coach thinks you are. That’s a big part of each individual’s success in the NBA. You look at James Harden and the year he’s having. (Mike) D’Antoni turned over the keys to him and he’s having his best year ever with the right personnel around him. Certain guys got an opportunity to shine and play without restraint and certain guys will rise to the occasion. And some won’t. Just trying to get a win.”
Taj Gibson: “It was great to have Rajon back on the floor.” Notes his coaching ability as a veteran player.
KC Johnson: Rondo: “You’re only as good as your coach thinks you are. That’s a big part of each individual’s success in the NBA.”
Rondo acknowledges “it’s a lot different than I anticipated” while discussing his role on the team. Doesn’t want to get into specifics, but clearly frustrated by being taken out of rotation.
Vincent Goodwill: Mirotic out with the flu. Rajon Rondo will be the first sub off the bench tonight
If Rondo ultimately plays with the second unit, Hoiberg may have to stagger Dwyane Wade’s minutes differently as he and Rondo haven’t paired effectively. “I’m not going to say that,” Rondo said, when asked if his strengths as a player are offset by the roster construction. “Am I going to think it? I thought a lot the last 24 hours. I thought a lot all season. I’m trying to figure out a way to help this team grow and get some wins.”
KC Johnson: Rondo indeed met w/ Gar Forman & John Paxson late Saturday. Save for Boylen incident, front office has lauded Rondo’s professionalism. Rondo told reporters he’d keep working, which is what meeting centered on. Hoiberg hasn’t ruled out using him w/ 2nd unit at some point. If Rondo remains out of rotation in February, would look for movement then. Until then, status quo.
Vincent Goodwill: One big thing from Rondo: “(Fred) said said I would be able to call a lot of plays.” Said things changed
KC Johnson: Does Rondo agree with Hoiberg that he’s slow? “I disagree. But that’s part of it. He’s the head coach. And we’re going to go with that.”
Vincent Goodwill: Rondo on explanation from Hoiberg: “Told me I’ve been looking slow the last five games.” Do you agree? “I disagree.”
Nick Friedell: Rondo, on if he feels he’s been singled out: “I’m Rajon Rondo. It is what it is.”
“It’s been really good,” Hoiberg said about his relationship with Rondo. “I talked to several coaches that had Rondo, who have been around him, including Rick Carlisle, who I played for in Indiana; he was an assistant under Larry Bird. He actually was the first guy who came up and talked to me after the trade happened and he said it’s going to be great. He said, ‘I think you guys have the perfect personalities for each other.’ From the minute we signed him and he came to Chicago, I knew he had a chance to be successful. He was very bought in to what we were trying to do, he wanted to come in and watch film; we worked a lot with his shot early in the process and he was around our guys and from the very first moment you could tell guys were going to gravitate toward him because of his voice, his veteran presence. Like all players, you learn a lot from the different situations you have been through. I’m sure that’s the case with Rajon.
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March 24, 2018 | 5:26 am EDT Update
Think about it. It’s fair to wonder if the Jazz even wanted to win. Put yourself in Dennis Lindsey’s shoes. The Jazz GM has a solid team, a frontline center and an exciting rookie to build around. But he needs another star. The top of the draft looks chock full of them. So maybe, with your team stinking up the joint in January, you sit Gobert a few more weeks and join the race to the bottom. Earlier this week, I asked Jazz coach Quin Snyder if he ever had those conversations. “Never,” Snyder said. “That’s just not how we do things. There was never any kind of suggestion of that. In the larger picture, we’re finding out who we are. This experience right now, having to compete for a spot, there is value in that. Things might happen — you can’t take anything for granted. The result ultimately isn’t the only reflection of where you are. The goal for me is to continue to improve. Not X wins, or how many in a row, but how can we keep getting better. It’s how we started the beginning of the year. It’s how we are now. We aren’t overthinking it.”
“He pays attention to every detail,” Mitchell told Yahoo Sports. “Every little thing. Even at shootaround, if we’re walking through a play, if you’re standing in the wrong spot, he’ll yell at you, he’ll let you know so you are always locked in. That plays a part in development. When you are locked in all the time, you form habits.”
Tom Orsborn: Manu on winning six straight: “Unexpected to tell you the truth. Not that we aren’t optimistic,. But we were a little demoralized, a little down…But we can’t be satisfied. We have to go on the road and keep improving.”
“One thing when you’ve got a bunch of young guys is they don’t understand what it takes to survive in this league,” Bickerstaff said. “If you want to make it there’s a matter of bounce-back, a matter of pride, a matter of mental toughness that you have to show on every given night and every opportunity you get. What happened tonight… there’s no defending the way we played.
Bickerstaff nor Gasol were in the locker room when it opened for media after the game. Perhaps that was a good thing because several Grizzlies players didn’t appear to take the loss hard given the amount of laughter and joking between them.
Curry was not made available to reporters postgame. He wasn’t anywhere in sight once the locker room opened. After his first two ankle injuries, he talked to reporters. After all three that happened in-game this season, he was in the locker room, which gave an early sense of how he was feeling and moving, a peek at Stage 1 of the treatment. But this injury is different, it’s likely more severe and, for the first time during this recent rash of freak accidents to all their main guys, the return timeline is threatening to bleed into the postseason.