Rondo injury: Who wins/loses after ACL tear?
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
Rajon Rondo is out for the season. And so it goes, Kurt Vonnegut might say.
The Boston Celtics point guard has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the team announced Sunday. The Celtics went on to beat the Miami Heat in double overtime. And so it goes.
Rondo is one obvious loser in this ordeal. ACL reconstruction surgery is not fun, and it will take him months to even be able to jog again. But this kind of injury, an injury to the NBA’s top passer and the star of a perrenial playoff team, has a trickle-down effect. Some gain, some stumble. And so it goes.
Here’s a look at winners and losers from Sunday’s bad news:
Winner: Avery Bradley
You never want to see a teammate go down, but the third-year Celtics guard has to view this as a big opportunity to prove his value with his extension year coming up. Bradley is small for a shooting guard, and his offensive production hasn’t kept pace with his defensive prowess. But he may be the best fit to step in for Rondo in the short term, and he could earn himself a big contract if he proves to be a competent point guard.
Losers: Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge
Everything changes now for the Celtics’ coach and team president. They built this team around Rondo, spurning Ray Allen and attempting to inject some youth into the roster. Rivers now must train one of Bradley, Leandro Barbosa or Jason Terry to play point guard, though all three play better off the ball. Meanwhile, Ainge carries the burden of deciding the future of the organization at midseason: He can keep a talented but suddenly unbalanced roster whole, find a new point guard to plug into Rondo’s spot or tear the whole thing up and start fresh next season.
Winners: Philadelphia 76ers
No other team in the Eastern Conference realistically seems capable of catching the Celtics, unless they unload their stars. That may be fitting; it was a knee injury that helped torpedo the Sixers during the first half. Center Andrew Bynum has promised he will return this … [For more on Rajon Rondo injury: Who wins and loses after ACL tear?, click here.]