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.