Rajon Rondo, which has been quite obvious to anyone with a working pair of eyes, has been playing hurt. We knew that, of course, or at least suspected it. Now, thanks to Kevin Garnett, we know it. (ESPN Boston)
“Rondo’s playing hurt. [Rondo's hurt]. He’s giving us everything he has and he’s grinding. I think the nights where he’s playing countless minutes for us, and he’s not playing washed up guys. He’s playing [Indiana's Darren Collison] and [New Jersey's Deron Williams] and all these guys and they’re coming at him. He knows that, so he’s just a little focused in. But everybody’s banged up at this point and [Rondo] is no different from that.”
When asked what’s bothering Rondo, Garnett said, “I don’t know. You’d have to talk to him.” But the Boston Herald reports it’s likely Rondo’s ankle which has been bothering him.
Rondo did leave the floor in New Jersey on Monday night to get his right ankle re-taped after rolling it, but apparently, according to another source, it’s been a problem for longer than that. And when Rondo was able to return against the Nets, the ankle wasn’t seen to be a big problem.
The question, I suppose, is how hurt? Hurt enough to shut it down for a little while? Hurt enough to take some time off, and jeopardize the number one seed so he can get better? Hurt enough to let Carlos Arroyo take over as starting point guard for the time being? That hurt?
If he’s as hurt as he looks, Rondo should take some time off. I care about the number one seed, quite a bit, but what does playing in Boston matter if Rondo’s so banged up Derrick Rose runs circles around him? What does playing in Boston matter if Rondo’s capable of playing thirty minutes with zero points, zero rebounds, and zero free throw attempts, in perhaps his best effort of the past six games?
Shut it down, Rondo. Get better. There’s a big picture here, and it’s far more important than any game that will be played in the next couple weeks.