Who Will Back Up Rondo?

Who Will Back Up Rondo? With the Celtics waiving Gabe Pruitt on Friday, Doc Rivers now has two realistic options to back up Rajon Rondo at point guard this season. But which of the two makes the most sense to be the No. 1 point guard behind No. 9?

Eddie House and Marquis Daniels (if he ever officially signs) will both command playing time off the Celtics’ bench in the 2009-10 season, and the duo will certainly get their chances to show Rivers they are capable of being penciled into the occasional starting role if needed. But once Rondo checks out of the game for the first time, who will Doc turn to first to control the offense?

Neither of the two is a true point guard, and neither of them are listed as a point guard. But one would think that the coaching staff would turn to their best talent over familiarity with the position when it comes to competing at a high level.

House enjoyed a fine season in '08-09, averaging 8.5 points and 1.1 assists in 81 games for the Celtics. Without a single start to his name last season, House became the ideal bench player for the Celtics by filling in at both point guard and shooting guard, where his dangerous 3-point shooting was displayed.

Daniels averaged 13.6 points and 2.1 assists per game as both a starter and reserve for the Pacers in 54 games last season. Daniels averaged nearly double the amount of minutes of House, but his long-range shooting is nowhere near comparable to that of House.

The stats up and down are comparable when you take into account that Daniels received a lot more minutes with the Pacers than House did with the C’s. The only real big differences would be House’s 3-point ability and Daniels’ size. Other than that, it’s a tough call as to who should be the first player off the bench not named Rasheed Wallace.

Both players would make more sense entering the game for Ray Allen or Paul Pierce, but right now, the Celtics don’t appear to have the luxury of making clean switches in their lineup with no real backup to Rondo. There is still plenty of time for the Celtics to find a reliable backup at point, but the options are growing slim. Though Stephon Marbury is still a possibility if he decides to take a pay cut and give up his European basketball aspirations.

At the end of last season, it became evident that Rivers was growing tired of watching Tony Allen falter as a point guard off the bench, and with still no true backup signed, the C's are going to have to decide who to hand the ball to when Rondo needs a breather. Without a true point man listed, it will take some creativity on Doc's part to make sure the bench doesn't let games get away when the the Big Three aren't on the floor.

As of now, it's House or Daniels. Take your pick.

Who's hot?
Marquis Daniels has committed to the Celtics, and now the Celtics just need to find a way to get it done. Whether it’s a straight signing or a sign-and-trade deal, the C’s desperately want Daniels and rightfully so. Now it’s time to make the move official.

Who's not?
The Celtics released Gabe Pruitt on Friday after two unimpressive seasons with the Celtics. Pruitt averaged 7.4 minutes in 62 games with the C's over two years. He was charged with DUI following a Celtics' loss to the Clippers in Los Angeles on Feb. 26.

Quote of the week
“Gabe wasn’t getting a lot of time on the court with us, but we feel he can still be an NBA player."
–Danny Ainge, in the Boston Herald, on Gabe Pruitt's career

What to watch for

There's no telling if Stephon Marbury will decide to return to the Celtics for a second year, and there's also no telling if Starbury will keep at his 24-hour live webcasts. The strange point guard spent some time entertaining Internet users recently, and there is a good chance he might try to top his legendary performance.

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