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Rajon Rondo’s Production Is Always Bad In March

The Boston Celtics seem to be slipping back into their 2009-10 form as of late. They dropped what should have been a “gimme” game in New Jersey Tuesday night and have now lost three of their last four to some mediocre teams (New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Los Angeles Clippers).

Some have begun to question the Kendrick Perkins trade in terms of defensive production. Zach Lowe of SI.com does a good job of explaining the numbers in terms of the Celtics’ defensive woes since Perkins was traded. As Zach stated, the Perkins trade has hurt Boston a little bit but nothing is for sure due to all of the external factors.

One of those factors has been the obvious struggles of Rajon Rondo. For the season, Rondo has been the catalyst of the Boston Celtics, sparking them on both ends of the floor with averages of 10.5 points, 11.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 49% shooting. However, since the Kendrick Perkins trade, his averages have dropped to 8.2 points, 9.5 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and a deplorable 39.7% shooting. If we look at his numbers of the last four games, it’s even worse (7.3 points, 6.5 assists and 29% shooting). Rondo’s struggles are a hindrance to the team and some have questioned if the trade of his best friend, Kendrick Perkins, has some how dampened his production this season.

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Larry Johnson on Grand Ma Ma’s Sweet Tea, UNLV, Converse, Nike, and Coaching

Former UNLV All-American and NBA All-Star Larry Johnson was the inspiration for the famous Grand Ma Ma character Converse marketed. Starring in the commercials that promoted “React Juice,” Grand Ma Ma was easily one of the most successful sneaker campaigns the NBA has seen. Years after Johnson’s NBA career came to an end, the Grand Ma Ma character is still beloved by basketball fans. Larry has used it promote a new line of Sweet Teas his beverage company is producing. Folks on the East Coast can begin to look for Grand Ma Ma’s Southern Sweet Tea on the shelves, and before long the hope is to have it in stores across the country.

Larry Brown Sports was lucky enough to talk with the former UNLV, Hornets, and Knicks star and we covered a wide range of subjects including the National Championship Game against Duke, his association with Converse and how a slight from Nike began that relationship, his feelings on coaching, and much more.

Larry Brown Sports: Recently Paul Silas said that Michael Jordan could still score 20 points a game in the NBA, what about you, how’s your game?

LJ: No, I can’t get two rebounds or score any points now. I left it all on the court when I played, my back is so bad.

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Dwight Howard Drops a ‘Pause’ When Asked About Andrew Bynum (Video)

Those of you who are unfamiliar with the slang definition of the word “pause” may be more familiar with the term “no homo.”  Both essentially mean the same thing and are used when making a reference that could be construed as sexual in nature.  The latter is used more in a hip hop setting while the former is a bit more common in everyday conversation and in the media.

Dwight Howard, who is no stranger to goofing off during interviews, made the reference when talking about Andrew Bynum after the Magic’s loss to the Lakers on Monday night.  It reminded us a lot of Gus Johnson’s “pause” when Spike like said he “likes Dick” a few years ago, which pretty much introduced LBS to the term.  Check out the Dwight Howard “pause” video, courtesy of Cosby Sweaters.

Referee Bill Spooner Sues AP Writer Jon Krawczynski for Makeup Call Tweet

Minnesota Timberwolves beat reporter Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press is being sued by referee Bill Spooner for tweeting something deemed defamatory. During the second quarter of a T-Wolves-Rockets game, Minnesota coach Kurt Rambis complained about a call. Krawczynski tweeted “Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he’d ‘get it back’ after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That’s NBA officiating folks.” Here’s that tweet:

The concept of makeup calls isn’t at all new, and it’s something most fans and broadcasters recognize is a part of the game. But writing about it publicly is another story, and Spooner says he never told Rambis he’d make up the call. Here’s the front page of the filing in court:

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Wilson Chandler’s Jersey Misspelled

It truly amazes me how frequently we seem to come across jersey mistakes for professional athletes. A few weeks ago it was Andray Blatche of the Wizards getting the treatment, and before that it was Danny Jennings of West Virginia and Kevin Williams of the Vikings. This happens so frequently it’s become a running thing here at LBS. The latest mishap was with the Denver Nuggets staff that misspelled Wilson Chandler’s last name:

Chandler just seems too easy to screw up. The good news is at least we know someone does the stitching manually.

Derrick Rose a Little Surprised by Chicago Bulls’ Success

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is one of the top MVP candidates this season — just ask him. The third-year man out of Memphis has blossomed and is averaging nearly 25 points and eight assists per game. With the help of a beefed up supporting cast, Rose has the Bulls at 46-18 and only a half game out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Rose joined the NBA TV crew after his team’s 94-76 blowout win over the Hawks. He was asked if he thought his team would be as good as they are and he admitted he’s even been somewhat surprised. “We always knew we were going to be a good team, but because of the way we went into training camp just working hard, playing with each other. But I think it’s a little surprising how far we came with everybody being injured,” Rose said. He added “Booz being out, Joakim being out, but we’re just playing together and playing good basketball right now.”

Most people expected the Bulls to be vastly improved and a threat in the Eastern Conference, but not many people anticipated they would be challenging Boston, Miami, and Orlando. I guess the only one unsurprised by Chicago’s success is Jerry Reinsdorf who’s expecting four championships out of D. Rose.

Kobe Bryant Misses Friday Practice, Phil Jackson Quiet on Late Night Session

Kobe Bryant was already set to have Friday off from practice, but his late night practice session after the loss Thursday doused him with fatigue and made it a certainty he couldn’t do much work. Kevin Ding reported that while far fewer reporters were present than on Thursday night, Kobe “sat still on an exercise bike, his gray hoodie over his head and more than a few yawns coming out of his mouth” during Friday’s practice.

WATCH: Videos of Kobe Bryant practicing

While Kobe successfully changed the conversation of his team’s loss to his workout, his coach did not seem amused. Mike Bresnahan wrote that Phil Jackson “didn’t like Bryant’s personal overtime session.” Phil only answered one question on the subject and deflected a second attempt for comment, making it obvious he wasn’t thrilled with Kobe’s actions.

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