Some reaction to Sunday’s news that Rajon Rondo is out for the year with a torn ACL:
Jackie MacMullan of espn.com: Rondo never suspected a torn ACL, which he learned Sunday would sideline him for the remainder of the season. According to Boston Celtics officials, the All-Star guard suffered the injury sometime late in the fourth quarter of Friday’s loss to Atlanta, but stayed in the game and played through two overtimes in a 123-111 loss. Rondo posted a triple-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists) in that outing, which proved to be his last of the season. Coach Doc Rivers said his point guard was “shocked” by the news.
Chris Gasper of Boston Globe: This was Black Sunday for the Green. The Celtics’ season went up in smoke like one of the victory cigars that parquet patriarch Red Auerbach used to puff. What should have been a Sunday of celebration as the wobbling Celtics snapped their six-game losing streak by tapping into a reservoir of Celtic Pride for a 100-98 double-overtime victory over the hated Miami Heat was a lost cause on Causeway Street. The Celtics’ win and the return of Ray “Benedict” Allen were rendered footnotes by the right knee of point guard Rajon Rondo.
Ian Thomsen of SI.com: A roar went up for Rajon Rondo in the second overtime of what his teammates hoped would be their breakthrough win of this troubled season. Rondo was sitting in a corner of the arena near the players exit in his winter coat with a scarf around his neck and a frozen expression. He didn’t look up to see himself on the scoreboard TVs, he didn’t wave to acknowledge the cheers and his expression didn’t thaw. By then he knew what so many of his teammates and fans didn’t yet know as they fought and cheered to beat the defending champion Heat. Rondo had found out only a short time earlier that he wasn’t going to play another game this season.
ESPN Stats and Info: Rondo was creating a league-leading 24.3 points per game off of his assists this season, nearly three more points per game than the next closest player. Last season Rondo created a career-high 25.8 points per game off of his assists. Rondo assisted on 49 percent of his teammates field goals scored when he was on the court this season. That assist percentage led the NBA, as did his 19 games with 10 points and 10 assists. The player who may feel Rondo’s absence the most is Kevin Garnett.
Sam Gardner of Fox Sports: If Boston has any aspirations of competing this season or at any point going forward, it needs to have a serious discussion about the direction of the franchise, and it might be in the team’s best interests to start looking at alternatives for what they already have. Because the inevitable demise of the Celtics team that has been the East’s most consistent over the last half-decade could finally be a reality with Rondo out long-term. Essentially, the Celtics have three choices as they analyze their immediate future, and their long-term status.