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Boston Celtics Notes - October 2

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Happy October, everyone. We're a mere four days away from the start of the preseason (Wednesday, October 6, 7:30pm vs. the Philadelphia 76ers) and the regular season commences in just over three weeks. 

Here's a quick installment of Celtics Notes.

Rondo Wants to Be the Best

Julian Benbow of The Boston Globe touches on Rajon Rondo's motivation for this season. He's already earned a noteworthy contract extension, an All-Star appearance, and a championship ring. Now it's time to prove to everyone that he's the best the league has to offer.

That's the doubt that still shadows Rondo. What does he have to prove now?

"That I'm the best,'' he said. "Hands down. No speculation. ‘Oh, he may be top three, top five, top 10.' No, I'm the best.''

He holds an edge over the likes of Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Derrick Rose in terms of championship hardware, but I'm sure his critics will continue to harp on his poor free throw and jump shooting. Then there are the fans of those other point guards who are always sure to mention Rondo's superior teammates and how they've factored greatly into his success. While there's no question Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are three major reasons why Rondo has more rings than Paul, Rose, and Williams combined, his cumulative success shouldn't be credited entirely to them. It was just last summer when Rondo was the best player on the floor against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals - a floor that also sported LeBron James. The torch is in the midst of being passed, as Rondo continues to emerge as a more crucial player for the Celtics with each passing season. 

More Technical Talk

Not only is the NBA expanding its guidelines regarding technical fouls, but the fines for procuring techs are doubling from last season.

 Players and coaches will now be docked $2,000 for each of their first five technical fouls. The costs rise to $3,000 for the next five, followed by $4,000 for Nos. 11-15. Starting at 16, players are suspended one game for every two technicals, along with $5,000 for each.

We could be handing a whole lot of money back to the league this season. The new provision that worries me the most is the one that says players can't be demonstrative when they disagree with a call by way of raising their hands incredulously. Every player does that. I'm actually going to make a prediction and say Rondo could have a slight issue with techs this season. He's gotten more vocal with the officials with each new season. Just a hunch on my part. 

More Praise for West

All news has been good news regarding Delonte West. He's been the last player to leave the gym every day during training camp so far, and the praise continues to roll in.

Paul Pierce said West has been one of the top three players in camp. "He's been one of the most consistent,'' Pierce said. "He's been one of the most competitive. I mean, he's done everything we've asked him to do. He's looked great out there.''

Bringing Delonte back has paid off so far, and the early signs point to him having moved past the personal issues that have plagued him the last few seasons. If things continue to go well as the season gets going, he could turn into one of the league's feel good stories (I can already picture ESPN picking up on it and doing one of those profiles on a Sunday morning with Tom Rinaldi narrating), and it might not be long before we're regarding him as one of the steals of the offseason.