The talk around the Knicks for much of the season concerned the horrid rash of injuries. But the Celtics have sustained their share, too. And none has hurt more than the blown out ACL suffered by Rajon Rondo, a guy Doc Rivers said would be a great coach if he weren’t so crazy.
So while Rondo, who tore his ACL in January, wasn’t on the court, he was with the team providing leadership and guidance for the first round series with the Knicks. Confined to his home Friday with the lockdown that was implanted in Boston with the Marathon manhunt, Rondo joined his mates Saturday morning.
“I want him around. He’s a good mind. He’s a great, great mind. He knows the game. He’s a smart kid. People have no idea his IQ. They really don’t,” Rivers said.
“He’s always been on another level that way. I always tell him, if he wasn’t so crazy he’d be a great coach,” Rivers laughed.
The Celtics, who also lost point guard Leandro Barbosa to injury after Rondo went down, have used Avery Bradley, known for his defense, at point guard through the end of the season. He was thrilled to see Rondo.
“Everybody smiled and hugged him this morning. I was surprised he was here, but I was so happy to see him. He’s our leader. It makes me feel even more relaxed out there,” Bradley said. “He can still contribute leadership. He’s still in everybody’s ear. Having him on the bench, he’ll be coaching us just like Doc. He’ll be a big presence. I definitely missed not having him in the gym. When he came I was so happy to see him. We’re like a family. When somebody is gone for a week and they come back, we’re like, ‘Yeah, you’re back.’ That’s the kind of feeling it is.”
And as happy as the Celtics and Rivers were to see Rondo, they can’t help but think “what if?” Rivers admitted worry over the point guard position as a whole.