Update: Rondo most likely out for rest of series

Update: Rondo most likely out for rest of series

CHICAGO -- The Boston Celtics may have caught a break -- literally -- in their quest to get back into their first-round series with Chicago with the news that ex-Celtic Rajon Rondo has a right thumb fracture that will keep him out indefinitely.

The Bulls come into tonight's Game 3 matchup against Chicago trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said the team learned of Rondo's injury Thursday night, adding that he's in a cast (that has more to do with a previous wrist injury) and will be re-evaluated in 7-10 days. That essentially means he’s out for the remainder of the series.
Hoiberg said Jerian Grant will replace Rondo in the starting lineup, although All-Star Jimmy Butler will assume more of the point guard-like duties.
“We’re going to miss ‘[Rondo], the pace that he sets for this team, the leadership that he brings,” Butler said. “And the way that he plays. But we still have to go out there; we’re expected to win. We know what we’re capable of. I guess we’re doing it for him now.”
Hoiberg said the injury, which will not require surgery according to Bulls officials, occurred in the third quarter of Game 2 on Wednesday night.
“It sounds like [Rondo] was swiping at the ball and either hit the ball or [Kelly] Olynyk’s elbow,” Hoiberg said. “That’s when the fracture occurred."

After the play, Rondo continued to play on and finished with 40 minutes, 22 seconds of court time.  Only Butler logged more minutes.

"It shows the toughness of Rondo to fight through and battle,” Hoiberg said.
For Celtics fans, that’s nothing unusual.
In Game 3 of the 2011 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat, Rondo suffered a hyper-extended elbow injury that initially looked like it could have been a season-ending play when he and now-Bulls teammate Dwyane Wade were tangled up.

Minutes later, Rondo was back on the floor and the Celtics won 97-81 for what became their lone win in the series.
And when Rondo suffered a torn ACL injury on Jan. 27, 2013 at Atlanta, he continued to play on that game, unaware of the injury that wound up sidelining him for the rest of the season.
One of the keys to Chicago's unexpected dominance of this series has been the play of the former Celtic All-Star.
In Game 2, Rondo had a near triple-double with 11 points, 14 assists and 9 rebounds.
“Rondo has been unbelievable in the two wins we had in Boston,” Hoiberg said. “So we get the news that we got [Thursday] night, it was very difficult. At the same time, the guys are going to get an opportunity to play more. It’s what you work for. It’s why you put so much extra time in the gym, is for this opportunity.”

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

File Photo

Gordon Hayward rips back a morning workout while repping his Butler Bulldogs

There hasn't been all positive news surrounding Gordon Hayward as of late.

The Celtics have been shooting down rumors of Hayward returning this season. Recent news has detailed a minor setback in his recovery.

But it's always good to see the C's superstar up early crushing a workout in the weightroom.

We might not see him back in 2018, but his dedication during recovery is something to admire.


Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

AP Photo

Celtics look to continue rolling on the road

It seems all season we’ve talked about the Boston Celtics overcoming adversity, whether it be a bad injury to a key player or a blown assignment leading to a loss.

Nowhere is this more apparent than their play on the road this season which ranks among the best in the NBA.

The Celtics will look to continue on their road warrior-like ways tonight at New Orleans, a team that’s fighting for playoff position in the tighter-than-usual Western Conference.

In recent years, the terrain has been rough for teams from the East venturing into Western Conference territory.

For this year’s Celtics?

Not so much.

Boston comes into tonight’s game with a 17-7 record against Western Conference teams, tops among all teams in the East.

And while Boston has eight road games left this season, they are on pace to finish with one of the best road records in franchise history.

Currently 24-9 away from the TD Garden (tops in the East, third overall in the NBA), that’s a winning percentage of .727 which is the fourth-highest in franchise history.

Here are five under-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on when the Boston Celtics take on the New Orleans Pelicans tonight.


It’s a given that Al Horford will spend time defending Anthony Davis tonight. And while Davis will likely have a strong night scoring the ball, you can count on Horford making it extremely tough on him. When the two teams met on Jan. 16, Davis was 8-for-19 shooting for 16 points in 52 possessions when defended by Horford. For the game, Davis had 45 points on 16-for-34 shooting.


We’ve seen “Playoff" Rondo and “National TV" Rondo deliver some impressive performances in the past. What will we see from “Well-Rested” Rondo? The Pelicans gave the ex-Celtic the night off on Saturday as to not play him in back-to-back games. Of the two games, it made sense to sit him against the Rockets and have him ready to roll against a Boston Celtics team that will not have its full complement of players available.


Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry had some choice words about the officiating in New Orleans’ 107-101 loss to Houston on Saturday that he clearly felt cost his team a better chance at winning. The only cost in play now is how big will the check be that he’ll pay the league for his comments about the officiating. His issue was that Anthony Davis doesn’t get enough calls based on the physical abuse he takes per game. Davis ranks fourth in the NBA in free throw attempts (7.8) per game, but only had four attempts against the Rockets. It’ll be worth watching whether the Pelicans, 16th in the league in free throw attempts (21.4) per game, will get to the line significantly more or less than their season average.


One of the keys to Boston’s improved play since returning to the floor since the all-star break, has been their ability to begin games with strong play. Boston has outscored their opponent in the first quarter each of the last eight games, and 10 of 11. In addition, Boston has been ahead at the half in each of their 10 games since the all-star break, which comes on the heels of trailing at the half in the seven games prior to the break.


Jayson Tatum has been one of the most impactful rookies in the NBA this season which will likely land him a spot on the NBA’s all-rookie first or second team. One of the strengths of Tatum has been his durability, evident by him being one of just two first-year players to appear in each of his team’s games played this season. He is joined by Memphis’ Dillon Brooks.