Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo called on his teammates to be better communicators and come out of their comfort zone in an effort to pick up the slack when Kevin Garnett goes to the bench. Friday night, the Sixers went on a 16-6 run when Garnett went to the bench for the first time with just under eight minutes left in the first quarter. Philadelphia took the lead and didn't relinquish it in a 106-100 win over the Celtics at TD Garden.
"Nothing's happening right," Rondo said in describing the Celtics with Garnett on the bench. "It's just chaos. We just have to do a better job when Kevin's not on the floor. I'm sure his plus-minus, they showed it in the playoffs last year and right now, it's carrying over. When Kevin goes out, teams go on runs for some reason in the past couple of games. We have to take the challenge as a team to try and find a way and stop those kind of runs when he does go out of the game because he's going to come out.
"Kevin does a great job of talking. Just follow the leader. It's not as hard as it seems. It's just a matter of some guys don't talk. And for us to win, I think guys have to come out of their comfort zone and do something they're not comfortable with."
Rondo, who finished with 20 assists and 14 points, also shouldered some of the blame, saying he has to cut down on his turnovers. He committed four on Friday night, three in the second half.
"Just certain stretches defensively," Rondo said. "I think in the second quarter we gave up too many points, 34 points. We have to do a better job with that and also, I have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. I think I had three turnovers in the fourth [quarter]. We just have to keep digging and everybody has to look themselves in the mirror and try to bring something else to the game."
The loss was the first of seven games in 10 days for the Celtics, who won't see much practice time over the stretch.
"Repetition," Rondo said when asked what the team can do. "We just have to continue to believe but we won't have as many practices as we would like so we just have to do what we were taught. And that's what we're not doing."