Rajon Rondo will try to play in Game 5 of the Chicago Bulls’ playoff series with the Boston Celtics, according to a report.
Rondo injured his thumb during Game 2 of the Bulls’ series and has missed the last two games, both losses for Chicago. He was initially expected to miss a few weeks with a fractured thumb, but the point guard had his cast removed and was seen attempting some shots on Tuesday.
The Vertical’s Shams Charania now reports that Rondo will try to play in Wednesday’s playoff game.
Vertical Sources: Chicago's Rajon Rondo preparing to attempt to play in Game 5 against Boston. Final decision TBD, but there's chance.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 26, 2017
Rondo was a major factor in the two playoff games in which he participated. If he’s able to play in Game 5, that could potentially give Chicago a major boost.
The first-round series is tied 2-2.
The NBA apparently did not believe Rajon Rondo’s explanation for why he stuck his leg out near a Boston Celtics player during Game 3, as the Chicago Bulls point guard has been fined $25,000.
The league announced on Sunday that Rondo has been fined for attempting to trip Jae Crowder in the first quarter of Chicago’s loss to the Celtics.
Rajon Rondo fined $25,000 for Jae Crowder trip attempt. pic.twitter.com/IKNO4vWVwl
— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) April 23, 2017
Rondo, who is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb, stuck his leg out while sitting on the bench after Crowder made a shot near the baseline. You can see the video here. Rondo later claimed he was simply stretching his legs, which he does from time to time since he once had surgery to repair a torn ACL.
The Celtics and Bulls will face off for Game 4 on Sunday evening.
Rajon Rondo was caught on video appearing to trip an opponent during Friday night’s playoff game between the Celtics and Bulls, and his explanation will blow you away.
The Chicago point guard, who is out with a thumb injury, was asked about the attempted trip after the game. His explanation was that he was just stretching out:
Bulls' Rajon Rondo denies trying to trip Celtics' Jae Crowder from the bench: "When you tear an ACL, your leg gets stiff on you." pic.twitter.com/OAjkWXYLTK
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 22, 2017
Here’s video of the trip. It’s interesting that he didn’t even deny it.
Rondo’s Bulls lost the game 104-87 but still lead the series 2-1. We’ll see if the league buys his explanation or if they end up fining him instead.
The Chicago Bulls have been dealt a major blow after getting off to a great start in their playoff series against the Boston Celtics, as Rajon Rondo will be sidelined indefinitely with a thumb injury.
The team announced on Friday that Rondo suffered a fractured thumb, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the point guard will not need surgery.
Rajon Rondo will not need surgery on his fractured thumb, but he is out for tonight's Game 3 and indefinitely.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 21, 2017
Rondo’s absence could drastically change the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. While he has had his struggles during the regular season, Rondo lately has looked closer to the player who helped the Celtics win a championship in 2008. He had 12 points, six assists and eight rebounds in Chicago’s Game 1 win before posting 11 points, nine rebounds and a whopping 14 assists in Game 2.
The Bulls could have to alter their offensive approach without Rondo. He had looked like a true floor general in the first two games.
- Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo has a long history of stepping things up in the playoffs, and though most of the current members of the Boston Celtics weren’t with the organization with the point guard, they’re wary of what he can do.
Rondo has had an uneven season with the Chicago Bulls, but the current crop of Celtics, who are set to face him in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, know the lore and are expecting the best from Rondo.
“I’m a fan of the game. I know, whether he tries it or not, those big games he’s always gonna be ready for them,” Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas said Friday, via ESPN’s Chris Forsberg. “He’s always gonna play his best [in big games]. And that’s just me watching him when I was younger and before I got in the NBA. You know, when it counts, he’s gonna be ready and he’s gonna perform. So we’ve got to slow him down and eliminate what he does best, and that’s getting everyone involved.”
Avery Bradley, the only Celtic who has been around long enough to have played with Rondo, concurred.
“Rondo’s like my brother. On the court, off the court, we’re brothers,” Bradley said. “It’s weird playing against him, going up against him, but I think I said it last game: I know he’s a true competitor and he’s going to bring his best game in the playoffs. So it’s going to be fun playing against him. Weird but fun.”
Rondo had a tumultuous season, averaging 7.8 points and 6.7 assists in a modest 26.7 minutes per game. He’s barely played in the playoffs since 2012, with only a brief stint with Dallas that saw him sent home early since then. His reputation precedes him, but he may struggle to live up to it.
Rajon Rondo definitely has his flopping down.
Rondo was leveled by DeMarcus Cousins on a screen during Sunday’s Pelicans-Bulls game, and he hit the deck as if he’d run into a brick wall:
I miss Rondo… pic.twitter.com/eXLgBdOpQ1
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) April 3, 2017
That happened with Chicago up 105-94 and five minutes left in the game. Rondo’s acting paid off, because he was hit with a technical foul.
They should have outlined Rondo’s body with chalk with the way he played dead. Rondo had 10, 9 and 9 in the 117-110 win.
Rajon Rondo is planning a big party to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Boston Celtics’ 2008 NBA title, and one prominent member of the team is not invited.
Sorry, Ray Allen.
Rondo told ESPN’s Marc J. Spears that he is putting together a vacation with his former Celtics teammates, and the consensus from the 2008 squad was to not reach out to Allen.
“I asked a couple of the guys. I got a no, a no head shake,” Rondo said.
Allen and Kevin Garnett came to Boston via trade during the 2007 offseason and joined Rondo and Paul Pierce in leading the team to its first NBA championship in 22 years. The team also reached the NBA Finals in 2010, ultimately losing to the Los Angeles Lakers.
In the summer of 2012, Allen took less money to join LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. One of the reported reasons was that he wasn’t getting along with Rondo. Allen helped the Heat win one of their two titles with LeBron in 2013.
“It will be a long story about that, but it is what it is,” Rondo said. “I don’t know a good analogy to put this in. It just wasn’t the greatest separation. It wasn’t the greatest thing that could’ve happened to us as a team, a bond. We were at war with those guys [Miami]. To go with the enemy, that’s unheard-of in sports. Well, it’s not so unheard of. It’s damn near common now.
“The mindset we had. The guys on our team. You wouldn’t do anything like that. It makes you question that series in the Finals … Who were you for? You didn’t bleed green. People think we had a messed-up relationship. It’s not the greatest. But it’s not just me. I called and reached out to a couple of other vets and asked them what they wanted to do with the situation. They told me to stick with what we got [without Allen].”
For what it’s worth, Leon Powe — a role player with the 2008 Celtics — said his “preference” would be that Allen is invited. Another anonymous member of the team said he has no problem with Allen’s exclusion because “(Ray) left to the enemy.”
It is somewhat surprising that Rondo and some of his former teammates aren’t ready to bury the hatchet with Allen. You knew when Garnett made remarks like this years ago that Allen was persona non grata for a while, but typically time heals all wounds. Apparently not in this case.