Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. The Chicago Bulls series against the Boston Celtics will go on without him, as the point guard will be out for a while. The Rondo injury took place during Game 2 of the series, when the Bulls beat the Celtics 111-97 on the road. Rondo had played 40 minutes in the game, scoring 11 points, dishing out 14 assists, and grabbing nine rebounds on the night. He was a key player for the Bulls and one of the main reasons that the team upset the Celtics again.
A report was posted to Twitter by the front office of the Chicago Bulls, giving a Rajon Rondo injury update that fans of the team don’t want to hear about. After injuring his right thumb in Game 2 on Tuesday night (April 18), Rondo underwent a subsequent exam and X-rays confirmed he had a fracture to his thumb. One piece of good news in the situation is that he isn’t going to require surgery, shortening the timetable before he can return to the court. The unfortunate news is that he will miss at least the rest of the Bulls vs. Celtics series.
The Chicago Bulls hold a 2-0 lead in the first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, largely due to the play of starting point guard Rajon Rondo. In those two games, Rondo was averaging 11.5 points, 10.0 assists, 8.5 rebounds, and 3.5 steals per game. Those are All-Star numbers for the veteran point guard, showing that he still has a lot of energy left in his legs. It is going to be a huge hit for the Bulls to lose him, possibly giving up the single largest advantage that the team had on the defensive end of the court.
There is a small possibility that this Rajon Rondo injury update doesn’t mean his season is over, but the Chicago Bulls would have to make a deep run in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. Fans are very unlikely to see him on the court against the Boston Celtics this postseason, no matter how many games the series goes. For a point guard, having a fractured thumb is even tougher than playing in a low post position.
Tip off for Game 3 is at 7 p.m. ET on Friday night (April 21), giving the Bulls a short window to prepare for the Celtics. The biggest beneficiary in the series is going to be Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas, who won’t have to deal with Rondo trying to stop him for the rest of the series. That could be a difference-maker, as the Celtics have been trying to find any possible edge to get back in this best-of-seven series.
This is the first season that Rajon Rondo has been with the Chicago Bulls, after signing a two-year contract in free agency. He played in 69 games (42 starts), averaging 7.8 points, 6.7 assists, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.4 steals per game. At times, the coaching staff struggled to fit him into the offense, but things really started to gel in the second half of the NBA season. When the playoffs began, it was clear that he was again the floor leader of his team, elevating the play of the Bulls through the first two games of the series.
Though this Rajon Rondo injury update is extremely bad news for the Chicago Bulls, it isn’t the end of the world. The team still holds a 2-0 lead over the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. It means that the teams will now be playing in Chicago for the next two games, giving the Bulls home court advantage through most of the series. That could be a big deal, but the crowd is going to have to make itself felt to help the team overcome the loss of Rondo. Later on Friday, Rajon Rondo is expected to make a full statement, but the Chicago Bulls will have to move on before then.
[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]