If you looked at things on Thursday night, you would've said the Chicago Bulls were in terrific shape. The Eastern Conference's eighth seed held a 2-0 advantage over the top-seeded Boston Celtics in their first-round series, a lead made stronger by the fact that Games 3 and 4 would be played in Chicago.
But then Friday morning happened.
That's when the team announced that point guard Rajon Rondo would be out indefinitely with a thumb injury. Rondo fractured the finger against the Celtics in Game 2, and coach Fred Hoiberg said his status will be re-evaluated in a week or so.
The 31-year-old was inconsistent in the regular season and at times not a threat at all, but he had put together two nice statlines against his old team so far in these playoffs. Now, though, it looks like he will miss at least the next few contests, barring a dramatic change in his health or him finding a way to fight through the fracture.
The news doesn't just affect the Bulls, however. It matters to the Wizards, too.
If Washington is able to win twice more against the Hawks, then they'll be slated to play the winner of the Chicago-Boston series. Even though the Celtics seem to be mired in a sizable slump, the Wizards would still likely prefer to square off with the Bulls, seeing as they went 3-1 versus Hoiberg's squad (all three wins were by more than 15 points).
But, due to Rondo's absence, things are about to get a lot more interesting between the Bulls and the Celtics. Despite Chicago's 2-0 start and their possession of homecourt, Boston will be feeling a lot better about themselves facing their now Rondo-less opponents.
That, in turn, will have the Wizards feeling somewhat worse about their chances of landing a favorable second-round matchup.
MORE WIZARDS: GORTAT'S REBIRTH HAS BEEN CRUCIAL THUS FAR