And now we know what has been going on.
During Rajon Rondo’s two-week slump he has been battling an injury to the pinky finger on his right hand — that’s his shooting hand — he admitted to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England. Rondo has shot 37.8 percent in his last 10 games because of it (well off his 48.2 percent on the season).
And he re-aggravated it Saturday against New Orleans.
“My finger, my hand went numb,” Rondo said. “I was a little concerned about it, going back in.”
The injury is not going to cause him to miss any time, but coach Doc Rivers would like to get his minutes down, both for his hand and his legs. The play of the recently returned Delonte West may allow that to happen.
But look for teams to lay off Rondo and dare him to beat them with the jumper until his hand gets right and he can do it.
Rajon Rondo was 0-2 shooting with no points Wednesday night, the latest bad line in a slump that has been going on for a couple of weeks. Rondo looks slow and banged up.
Kevin Garnett stood up for Rondo, saying he is doing all he can right now, as reported by WEEI:
“Rondo’s playing hurt,” said Garnett. “He’s hurting. He’s giving us everything he has. He’s grinding. He’s playing countless minutes for us, and he’s not playing like a washed-up guy.”
We’re not talking a major injury here, we’re talking the bumps and bruises that come with an NBA season — but because of the lack of a quality point guard behind him, Rondo has played extra minutes and not had the chance to rest. The load is wearing on him.
That happens during the season, but the timing of it a month out from the playoffs has to be concerning to Celtics fans. They have a series of road trips with a lot of games ahead, and Boston is locked in a close battle with Chicago and Miami for home court in the East. They can’t really afford to rest Rondo too much, even though they need to.
Which is to say, Doc Rivers has some challenges and hard choices ahead of him getting this team ready for the playoffs.