Rose-Rondo growing into rivalry

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 
 
Posted11/5/2010 1:00 AM

Derrick Rose vs. Rajon Rondo hasn't really caught on yet as one of the NBA's best individual rivalries. At least, not like LeBron vs. Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams or Kevin Garnett vs. good taste.

But when the Bulls and the Celtics face off Friday night in Boston, the game will feature two point guards at the top of their games.

 

Rondo set an NBA record for the most assists in the first five games of the season and leads the league with an astounding 16.4 average. Rose, meanwhile, ranked second in scoring at 27.7 points per game heading into Thursday's game against New York.

"He's a good player," Rose said of Rondo. "He's doing exactly what that team needs him to do. It's hard when somebody doesn't have to score and they can still control the game."

Perhaps adding some juice to the matchup is last summer's Team USA experience. Rondo was the last player removed from the roster and Rose took over the starting point guard spot just before the World Championships began.

"We loved competing against each other," Rose said. "It's too bad he left. But the whole experience was fun.

"I really didn't know what was going on. I was confused. It happened in the morning. We woke up, went to a morning meeting, and he wasn't there. We really didn't know what was going on. Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) wasn't saying too much about it."

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Smart guard:

Former Boston forward Brian Scalabrine offered a theory for Rajon Rondo's step up this season.

"I always thought that mentally, he's probably the smartest player I've ever played against," Scalabrine said. "Some players play out of instincts and what they see, they can go and attack.

"He plays out of concepts. He's like Doc (Rivers) or a guy like Mark Jackson. They see stuff in a way that could happen in a way you could beat a team that most people, including players, don't see."

Thibs returns home:

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau downplayed Friday's trip to Boston, but his players know it will be a big deal, since Thibodeau spent the past three years as a Celtics assistant.

"To beat those guys on their home court would be great," said ex-Boston forward Brian Scalabrine.

Added Derrick Rose: "We know we've got to go out and play that game and play hard. There might be a little more yelling than usual. But we're basketball players. We've been yelled at our whole career, so I think we should be used to it."

Bull horns:

Brian Scalabrine was asked before Thursday night's game to compare Joakim Noah and Boston's Kevin Garnett. Similar motor, but who is the better trash talker? "Kevin gets in people's head probably better than anybody," Scalabrine said. … White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen sat courtside Thursday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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