On that play less than two minutes into the game Saturday Rajon Rondo was inadvertently kneed in the face by teammate Richard Jefferson, he left the game not to return.
Now he’s not going to be back for a while — Dallas announced that Rondo suffered an orbital fracture to his left eye and a nasal fracture. He is out for the Mavericks next three games — Monday against the Timberwolves and a road trip to face the Warriors and Kings this week — and he could be out a while longer, there is no official timetable for his return.
Dallas has other point guards to fall back on with Devin Harris, J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton. However those guys do not dish out the assists nor, more importantly, defend like Rondo, who has averaged 9.2 points and 6.5 assists for Dallas since being traded from Boston earlier this season.
Rondo has improved the Dallas defense by 5.5 points per 100 possessions when on the court since the trade, however their offense has been 6.7 points per 100 worse when he plays. That has led some to question if Dallas is better off with him or not. But if Dallas plans to get out of the first round and do some damage in the playoffs it needs Rondo because their defense isn’t good enough in a loaded West without him.
Rondo certainly will be back from this injury before then, but he could miss a few weeks.
On Saturday, during the Mavericks’ victory over the Magic, Rajon Rondo took an inadvertent knee to the face from teammate Richard Jefferson, forcing him to leave the game. Now, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that the Mavs have ruled Rondo out for Monday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and doctors are examining the extent of the injury.
Sources say that Rondo, who suffered the injury in the first quarter of Saturday night’s win in Orlando, was scheduled to be evaluated extensively Sunday by the Mavericks’ medical staff to establish a firm timetable on how long he’ll be sidelined.
But Rondo has already been ruled out of the Mavericks’ home game Monday night against the Timberwolves, who will be welcoming Ricky Rubio back to the lineup after his 42-game absence thanks to an ankle injury.
“It was a really bad collision,” Mavericks center Tyson Chandler said of the shot Rondo took to the head just 98 seconds into Saturday’s game. “I don’t know what the prognosis is, but he is pretty beat up.”
This is not a promising development for the Mavs, who picked up their second straight win one day after snapping a four-game losing streak against the Miami Heat. At 32-17, Dallas currently sits at sixth place in the Western Conference, with games against the Warriors, Blazers and Clippers coming up before the All-Star break. Rondo missing any extended period of time would be a serious setback as they fight for playoff positioning.
Rajon Rondo took a nasty-looking knee from teammate Richard Jefferson in tonight’s Mavericks-Magic game.
The Mavericks are deep at point guard with Devin Harris, J.J. Barea and Raymond Felton. That trio can probably fill the void tonight against Orlando and Monday against Minnesota, a couple lottery-bound teams.
But if the Mavericks succeed without Rondo, look for the growing questions about whether they’re better without him to intensify. If I were Dallas, I’d definitely hope he’s ready to return by Wednesday’s Warriors game, though.