An MRI on Sunday confirmed the Celtics’ fears. Rajon Rondo has a torn right ACL and is officially done for the rest of the season, reports A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England.
Rondo was a late scratch for Sunday’s nationally televised home game against the Miami Heat.
While the return of Ray Allen was the big story heading into this one, news about Rondo’s injury and where the Celtics go from here is what will now dominate the headlines.
Rondo originally suffered the injury during Friday’s crushing loss to the Hawks, which was diagnosed as a hyperextended right knee.
Rondo is a double-double machine, and has been the only bright spot for a Celtics team that has struggled mightily offensively this season. He averages 13.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 11.1 assists, while playing 37.4 minutes per game.
Rondo was voted in by the fans as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, but now the commissioner will be forced to choose a replacement from the list of those who were ultimately snubbed.
It will be interesting to see what the Celtics do at the trade deadline in light of this news. The previous thinking was along the lines of considering to bolster the roster to make one more run with the current core intact, but with Rondo out and the team’s postseason chances severely diminished, they may look to launch into a full-fledged rebuilding of the team instead.
Courtney Lee started in place of Rondo against the Heat on Sunday.
The Cavs are shorthanded in the backcourt right now, with Kyrie Irving still out and Iman Shumpert sidelined for up to three months. Yahoo’s Marc Spears reports that they’re bringing in former Temple guard Dionte Christmas, who played for the Suns in 2013-14:
In 31 games for the Suns two seasons ago, Christmas averaged 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds in 6.4 minutes per game. He probably won’t get very many minutes if he makes the Cavs’ final roster, but there’s a chance they’ll keep him around on a non-guaranteed deal until Irving and Shumpert are healthy, just to have another body in the backcourt.
LeBron James sat out the Cavs’ preseason game against the Sixers on Thursday night, but Cleveland still held the lead for all but the final 5.4 seconds. Then, Sixers rookie Scottie Wilbekin did this:
Wilbekin, who played college ball at Florida, has a chance to earn legitimate minutes for the Sixers this season as they try to find young talent on the cheap. This is a good start.