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#pounditThursday, March 4, 2021

Bulls bench Rajon Rondo for entire second half vs. Pacers

Are the Bulls already letting the air out of the Rajon Rondo experiment?

Rondo was benched for the entire second half of Chicago’s 111-101 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday after finishing minus-20 in the first half, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. Michael Carter-Williams took over at point guard to start the third quarter.

Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg said after the game that he wasn’t sure who would be starting at point guard for the team moving forward but did give Rondo credit for being “a great teammate” and “leading the cheers” on the sideline despite his benching.

Rondo, who finished the game scoreless with one rebound and one assist in 11 minutes, has had a hard time assimilating into the Chicago ecosystem, and that much is reflected in his season averages. He entered play on Friday putting up just 7.5 points (his lowest since his rookie season) and 7.3 assists per game (lowest since his sophomore season) on a career-worst 37.2 percent from the field. Rondo has proven to be entirely incapable of playing off the ball, which is virtually a must when sharing the floor with Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade. Meanwhile, opposing defenses ignore him like a telemarketer whenever he’s on the perimeter. He also had this embarrassing incident with a Bulls assistant coach earlier this month.

Reports emerged earlier on Friday that Hoiberg could be on the hot seat, so maybe benching Rondo, who has been a net negative for Chicago all year, will be the first big move he makes in an effort to save his job.


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