Atlantic Notes: Celtics, Rondo, Raptors, Nets

The Celtics enter tonight's contest against Houston riding a four-game winning streak thanks in no small part to the play of Rajon Rondo.  Rondo was nothing short of stellar on Sunday afternoon, finishing with 18 points, 20 assists and 17 rebounds en route to his second triple-double in three games.  Here's a look at the C's and the rest of the Atlantic Division..

  • Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated took a gander at Rondo in an attempt to quantify the point guard's trade value.  Rondo's performance could arguably suffer if he were without Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to spread out defenses, but Lowe wonders if he might benefit working with less shooters and more off-the-dribble help.
  • With star prospect Jonas Valanciunas thriving in Lithuania, the Raptors should consider moving Andrea Bargnani prior to the trade deadline, writes AJ Mitnick of Sheridan Hoops.  In Lithuanian league play the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft is leading the league in scoring with 16.1 PPG and third in the league with 7.6 RPG in just 22.8 minutes per game.
  • Nets coach Avery Johnson is disappointed for Brook Lopez as the center will be out of action for at least three weeks with a sprained ankle, writes Colin Stephenson of The Star-Ledger.  Lopez remains centerpiece of the team's efforts to trade for Dwight Howard but Stephenson writes that it gives Orlando something more to think about before pulling the trigger.

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