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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

Rajon Rondo: I haven’t played defense in a couple years


Dallas Mavericks point guard Rajon Rondo is making his first trip to Boston as a visiting player on Friday night. And hopefully for the Mavs, Rondo will be doing something on the TD Garden floor that he hasn’t done in two years — play defense.

While discussing what should be an emotional return to the city where his career began, Rondo also touched on the defensive impact he has had with his new team. The secret? He actually has to play defense in Dallas.

“I haven’t played defense in a couple of years,” Rondo said, as transcribed by Jay King of “I’ve been able to hide it a lot with (Celtics guard) Avery Bradley on the ball. He’s helped me out, the young guy.

“But here they expect me to play defense. And in the West, if you don’t play defense you’ll get embarrassed every night at the point guard position.”

While the Mavericks’ defensive rating has improved from 105.1 to 100.6 since they acquired Rondo, the veteran guard said he believes there is plenty of room for his team to get better.

As for not playing defense in Boston, that was probably Rondo’s way of complimenting Bradley — who is a tremendous defender — more than anything else. As Lance Stephenson could tell you, there were moments where Rondo was plenty aggressive on the defensive end of the floor.

H/T Eye on Basketball


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