We may have seen the last of Rajon Rondo in a Dallas Mavericks uniform.
Mavs’ coach Rick Carlisle yanked Rondo :36 seconds into the second half of Tuesday’s Game 2 loss to the Rockets, when Rondo picked up two fouls and a technical in just more than half a minute. Dallas was better off without him — he has played 37 minutes against the Rockets in two games and is a -35 on the court.
Now he is done, likely for the playoffs, reports ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Reports have come out saying Rondo was playing through a sore back in the playoffs, then some contact he took during Game 2 aggravated the issue. Let’s say I’m skeptical it’s that bad, but this is the report.
Back injury or no, this is the smart play by Dallas. It says everything you need to know about how bad things have gotten with Rondo and the Mavericks that Dallas is just better when Raymond Felton is on the court instead of Rondo.
This also is almost certainly the end of Rondo in a Dallas uniform.
Dallas traded for Rondo back in December, giving up a quality young defensive big in Brandan Wright, for the chance to improve their perimeter defense. But from the start Rondo was a bad fit in Dallas. He and coach Rick Carlisle clashed over control of the offense. Plus Rondo’s lack of shooting — and his not being surrounded the quality of shooters he had when at his peak in Boston — allowed teams to pack it in and dare Rondo to shoot jumpers. Rondo still hasn’t developed a jumper.
Rondo will be moving on this summer. He’s not getting a max, and it will be interesting to see how many years a team would give him right now.