The head-to-head matchup between Rajon Rondo and Deron Williams, two of the NBA’s premiere point guards, may be put on hold. Rondo rolled his ankle in the third quarter of the Celtics’ home win vs the Utah Jazz Wednesday night and did not return.
According to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com, Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said Rondo might not be able to play for the team’s road game against the Atlantic Division rival Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night:
“I have no idea. With sprained ankles, tomorrow you’ll know more. [H]e’s not going to play all 82, I doubt. It’d be nice. You know, how I think, guys, the next guy, just somebody has to step up and we have to figure it out.
The way it currently sounds, Rondo will be out; post-season health has always been a goal of Rivers’ aging Celtics and it’s unlikely the coach will risk something more serious by keeping Rondo in the lineup early in the season if he feels like his point guard is not 100 percent.
Though widely regarded as one of the toughest players in the league, Rondo’s short-term outlook appears questionable, as teammate Paul Pierce said the team will have to make plans assuming he’s not ready to play against the Nets:
“You don’t wish any hurt upon any of your teammates, but it’s the nature of the business, it happens. We went without him a few games last year, so we just have to make the adjustments.”
The Celtics went 8-5 without Rondo last season. If Rondo is in fact out for the Celtics, former Sixth Man of The Year Jason Terry, who recently supplanted Courtney Lee in the starting lineup, will move over to the point and Lee will start at shooting guard.