I walked into CSN today to an array of sympathy, which is something I'm not accustomed to. It seems my Bulls-in-six prediction earned me some street cred. (Just for the record, the CSN street cred co-exists with a Wegmans and a Bedford Farms.)
"Too bad about Rondo," I was told. "If he hadn't injured his thumb, your prediction would come true."
Whoaaaaa! This series ain't over. Two straight wins by the Bulls and my predictions does come true.
There are a couple of things to say here. Yes, all of New England -- minus Beetle Bertrand -- wanted me institutionalized for picking the Bulls. And when I said Rajon Rondo would be a major factor, the fitting for my straight jacket was underway.
Well, I don't look so crazy now, do I?
While I was the first to want Rajon Rondo out of a Celtics uniform, I have never ever questioned his ability to control the flow of a game . . . when he wants to. The problem was he was too often hurting the Celts with his petulant ways.
We saw what can happen when Rondo chooses to show up, like he did in Game 2 when he nearly put up a triple double. In that game Isaiah struggled, shooting 6-for-15. In Sunday's Rondo-less Game 4 Isaiah was terrific, as his 33 allowed the Celtics to tie the series at 2-2.
If Rondo doesn't play, Isaiah will no doubt go off again. This is why Chris Mannix is right and Rajon will suit up for Game 5. While Rondo needs his right thumb to play offense, he doesn't to play defense. Defense is played with the feet. Now, I know Rondo gambles as much as anyone but if he stays in front of Isaiah -- which he can do -- the Bulls can win Game 5. And the series.
1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.
5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.
11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.
The second opinion on Kyrie Irving’s sore left knee will be done on Thursday, according to the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett.
Irving, who has missed the last four games, is expected to decide between having a surgical procedure performed to help alleviate some of the soreness, or continue to manage it with rest.
During the 2015 NBA Finals, Irving suffered a fractured left kneecap injury which was the beginning of Irving’s left knee issues.
While Irving has had soreness of some form during various stretches of play this season, Celtics coach Brad Stevens has seen him making progress recently.
“That knee is still sore,” Stevens said. “He’s worked really hard to manage it throughout the entire season. He’s had some pretty good days recently. I’m encouraged by the big picture.”
But Stevens has made it clear that he supports Irving getting a second opinion, adding that Irving’s absence is due to the knee being too sore for him to play at a level he’s accustomed to.
“He’s out because of knee soreness, not because we’re choosing to rest him,” Stevens said. “That’s the bottom line. Again, we want him to feel 110 percent. He wants to feel 110 percent. Obviously, we’re fortunate we created a cushion early on in the year with playoffs and everything else. This is not one of those situations where we’re choosing to rest someone; it’s because he has a sore knee.”