The NBA came down pretty hard on Rajon Rondo Monday afternoon when they issued the star point guard a two-game suspension.
Two games may not seem like a lot, but considering the 66-game condensed season and the recent struggles of the Celtics, two games is an eternity.
Head coach Doc Rivers spoke of the suspension prior to Monday’s game in Dallas. “You’re always disappointed when that happens,” said Rivers. “You should never put yourself in front of the team. But it’s an emotional game. We can all agree that it was a pretty bad foul — and a clear foul — that wasn’t called. At the time, we were getting our butts kicked and the frustration was high and it’s a human game. I can guarantee you five seconds … after it happened, I guarantee you Rondo wished he could take it back.”
The league had to send a message and decided to make Rondo the example. Players have to respect the boundaries of the officials. Like it or not, there has to be some order on the floor and Rondo was clearly out of line.
With the suspension, and the upcoming All-Star break, Rondo will be eligible to return on February 28th when the Celtics travel to Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers. In his absence, Avery Bradley will start with Keyon Dooling and E’Tuan Moore getting their fair share of minutes at the point.
“Obviously we would like to have him on the court,’’ Dooling said. “We’re a better team with him on the court. But things like this via injury, via circumstance, situations like this come up and you’ve have to be prepared. I prepare myself to play two positions and when I am called, definitely be ready.’’
The Celtics have lost five of their last six games and look to close out the first half of the season with a stop in Oklahoma City on Wednesday night to take on Kevin Durant and the high-flying Thunder.