The Chicago Bulls may be up 2-0 in their best-of-seven series against the top-seeded Boston Celtics, but point guard Rajon Rondo has now been ruled out indefinitely with a fractured thumb. The veteran signal caller suffered the setback in Game 2 versus the Celtics on Tuesday.
Rondo doesn’t need surgery, but it is very unlikely that he will play again in the first-round of the playoffs.
That is crushing news for the Bulls’ chances of an upset as well. Rondon averaged 11.5 points and 8.5 assists in Chicago’s first two postseason victories. In Game 2, he posted 11 points, 14 assists, nine rebounds and five steals while shooting 5-of-11 from the field. Rondo was just one rebound short of becoming the first Bulls’ player since Scottie Pippen in 1997 to post a triple-double in the postseason. His 14 assists also tied a franchise record for the postseason.
During the regular season, his first in Chicago, Rondo averaged 7.8 points, 6.7 assists and 5.1 rebounds while shooting 40.8 percent from the field. Those numbers were a big decline from the previous season, where he accumulated 11.9 points, 11.7 assists and six rebounds per contest, but the former All-Star was turning it on for Chicago at just the right time.
As a result of the aforementioned injury, Jerian Grant likely moves into the starting lineup in Rondo’s place while Michael Carter-Williams will probably see more minutes off the bench.
Chicago surprised everybody by beating Boston in Games 1 and 2 by an average margin of nine points. The Bulls finished exactly .500 at 41-41 while the Celtics won seven of their last 10 regular season games to finish 53-29 en route to earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference.