Just when you think Lady Luck has turned the Bulls' way, something Bulls-like happens.
Rajon Rondo will be out indefinitely with a right thumb fracture, the team announced hours before Game 3 of the Bulls' first-round playoff series with the Celtics.
Rondo apparently suffered the injury during Game 2 of the Bulls' win over the Celtics on Tuesday at TD Garden, and though surgery isn't needed, there is no timetable for a return.
Rondo didn't appear to have any ill effects right after Game 2, not wearing any wrap or protective covering on his thumb, so it's unclear when the injury occurred.
Either way, it's a devastating blow in a series that began so promising for the Bulls, who lead 2-0 and have a chance to put an improbable stronghold on the matchup Friday night at the United Center.
Rondo was the catalyst for the Bulls against his former team, even going as far as telling his teammates in the fourth quarter that the Celtics were quitting.
Now it's the Bulls who must find resolve and adjust on the fly without their floor leader, who re-emerged in the last month as the starting point guard and helped lead a late surge to the playoffs.
The Bulls will have to rely on Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams at the actual position, but one would think Jimmy Butler will take on the bulk of ball-handling responsibilities in the meantime.
The Bulls still have the next two games at home this weekend, but the optimism has certainly dimmed considerably as Rondo was clearly the team's most critical player next to Butler.
Here are Three Things to Watch when the Bulls take on the Phoenix Suns Sunday on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with Bulls Pregame Live.
1. Something's got to give
What's the opposite of an unstoppable force vs. an immovable object? That's what we'll be looking at when the Bulls have the ball in their hands. Chicago ranks dead last in offensive efficiency, while the Suns have the 2nd worst defensive efficiency in the NBA. That means the Bulls, after scoring a season-high 123 points against the Hornets, can build on that momentum against a Suns defense that allowed 90 points in the FIRST HALF to the Rockets on Thursday.
2. Kris Dunn for real?
Fresh off the best game of his young career - he scored 22 points in a win over the Hornets on Friday - Kris Dunn continues to look like the best point guard on the Bulls roster. He's going through a really solid stretch right now, averaging 13.2 points on 47 percent shooting, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals over his last four games. With Eric Bledsoe out of Phoenix, Dunn could be in line for another big game going up against Mike James and Tyler Ulis, regardless of whether or not he starts over Jerian Grant.
3. Watch out for Devin Booker
We'll try to get an opponent in here once for every tune-in, and Devin Booker certainly fits the bill. Much like Dunn is doing, Booker is on quite a roll these days. Over his last four games Booker is averaging 30.5 points on 51 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists. The Bulls will need to keep their eyes on Booker at all times, especially after allowing Kemba Walker to go off for 47 points on Friday.
On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski, Kendall Gill, and Kevin Anderson react to a breakout game from Kris Dunn against the Hornets Friday night. They’ll discuss his development and how it impacts rookie Lauri Markkanen. Plus just how long will both the Wolves and Bulls be judged on the Jimmy Butler trade? Is Dwight Howard a hall of famer? And a new era in Philly with Simmons and Embiid. That and more on this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast.