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Lee and Rondo have had trouble getting on the same page so far
Courtney Lee had a chance to seal last night's game in Philly. He was standing in the corner, where he's made a killing over the past few seasons, wide open for three. The Celtics were up 1 with 26 seconds left in overtime when Lee launched one up from the corner, but instead of sealing the game, he over shot by a good three feet, an air ball that gave the ball back to Philly.

23 seconds later Evan Turner hit the game winning jumper, and the C's left Philly with a bitter 95-94 overtime loss. After the game, Lee held himself accountable.

I mean I know Doc (Rivers) talked to the media and probably said it was unfair that I was sitting like 12 minutes (before the shot) but it doesn’t matter,”

“NBA players we get paid to play this game. At least, I got hit the rim and give us a chance to get the offensive rebound. I didn’t do that so I’m very disappointed in myself.

Lee's miss finished off a quiet night for the first year Celtic, as he had just 5 points, a rebound, and an assist in 20 minutes. Lee was also quiet against Minnesota on Wednesday, finishing with just 2 points. However the two games prior (vs Portland and @ Milwaukee) were arguably his best games of the season. So what gives on the inconsistency? While it's impossible to say exactly, Lee has played his best basketball of the season when Rajon Rondo has been out of the line-up. In the three games that #9 has missed this season, Lee has hit double figures in the scoring department each time, averaging 12 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in 35 minutes per game.

Unfortunately for both Lee and the Celtics, he just has not been able to carry that play over when Rondo has suited up, averaging just 4.4 points a contest in 16 games. Obviously playing time has something to do with the numbers (35 minutes a game when Rondo doesn't play compared to just 22 when he does). But it's clear that it's not just that. While most players seem to thrive when Rondo is feeding them passes, the opposite seems to happen for Lee.

The biggest difference in Lee has been from downtown. The five year pro entered this season a career 39% three point shooter, but is shooting just 26% so far in Celtic green. Last night's air ball was just the latest miss for Lee, but despite his disappointment, he says his confidence is not shaken.

The confidence is always going to be there because I’ve been playing basketball for a while,”

“I can’t count or recall how many times I’ve shot and airball but you’ve just got to continue to work and keep practicing, that’s all.

Tonight's another chance for Lee to get on the right track, as the Celtics finish off a rare home and home with the Sixers at the Garden. Unless something changes, Rajon Rondo will be in the line-up, and the Celtics need to hope that he and Lee get on the same page sooner rather than later.

Follow Mike on twitter - Mike_Dyer13

Michael Dyer 12/08/2012 02:10:00 PM Edit
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