Rajon Rondo is out indefinitely with a small thumb fracture, Bulls announce— Sean Highkin (@highkin) April 21, 2017
Rondo has been key for the Bulls in the first two games of their playoff series against the Boston Celtics. He’s been key in pushing the offense forward quickly while being a pest on defense. In the series, Rondo has averaged 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 10 assists and 3.5 steals.
Adjusting to losing your starting point guard in a playoff series is tough. Especially when Rondo has been as pivotal as he has in the series.
Fred Hoiberg will slot either Jerian Grant or Michael Carter-Williams into the starting lineup. Grant would be a better fit for the offense and MCW would have the best chance slowing down Isaiah Thomas at the point of attack.
It’d be less routine though he could start Paul Zipser and not have a true point guard in the starting lineup. Zipser has been great in his bench role and Hoiberg will most likely keep him there.
Jimmy Butler’s workload just grew sizably. Look for Butler to take up a lot of the distribution responsibility that Rondo had. Rondo was tasked with guarding Isaiah Thomas for the majority of the first two games.
This is where things get tricky. Jimmy Butler is the best option to slow down Thomas, though his offensive workload just got bigger. Does Hoiberg risk Bulter’s offensive output by having him guard Thomas? It’d be risky since they just lost so much offensive production by losing Rondo. It’s an interesting thought process Hoiberg will ponder prior to tonight’s game.
Rondo dislocated his elbow in a 2011 playoff series and returned to have an impressive impact on the game.
Don’t put it past Rondo to try to play. For now, the team says he’s out indefinitely, though we won’t know his true availability until closer to tonight’s game.