The Boston Celtics were outscored by 15 points in the fourth quarter Wednesday night en route to their ninth consecutive loss and 14th in their last 15 games.
The Celtics again let their opponent control the tempo in what was a 105-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, and Celtics broadcaster Tommy Heinsohn was critical of point guard Rajon Rondo’s inability to push the ball late in games.
Heinsohn said on CSNNE after the loss that Rondo developed bad habits while playing under former coach Doc Rivers, whose teams were veteran-laden and had no problem “running plays to perfection.” Some strategies that worked on those Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett-led squads, Heinsohn said, do not work with the younger, less talented roster the Celtics have now.
“This team has to go and find opportunities without plays,” he said. “They’ve got to be aggressive without plays because they don’t execute that well yet.”
The Celtics legend even went as far as to say head coach Brad Stevens should bench Rondo if these habits continue, despite the fact the team has just four games left to play in a lottery-bound season.
“One of the things you do, and it’s tough to do with a guy like Rondo, is you pull him out and put someone else in,” Heinsohn said. “I don’t care (that he’s the captain). That’s what you have to do. You’ve got to pull him aside and talk to him. It’s a bad habit that he has from playing with different types of players. He has to play the style that brings out the best in these current teammates.”
With the loss, the Celtics now are tied with the Orlando Magic for the NBA’s third-worst record.