The season is nearing a close, and the Boston Celtics will not make the playoffs this season. Even though mathematically they still could, they waived the white flag sometime ago. Danny Ainge said he does not expect Rajon Rondo to play in the second leg of back-to-backs for the remainder of the season. That's an excellent choice, especially since Rondo doesn't really want to as well. It's not really a shocker. But thankfully the team is on board for that.
“Based on where we are as a team and Rondo is his rehab, it’s probably safe to say he won’t [play in back-to-backs] the rest of the year,” Ainge said during his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio 98.5 the Sports Hub on Thursday morning. “We need him to play because we want him to get re-acclimated. There’s a mental process, a mental hurdle to overcome when you come back from an ACL tear. So it’s important for him to play some games, but at the same time we don’t want to wear him out or take any risks.
"We want him to have a full year of rehab and strengthening and not take any steps backwards or something crazy. So we’re going to be careful with Rondo as we finish the year. It appears he’s gaining ground on returning to himself so that by that by the beginning of next year, he's 100 percent."
This has been one long training camp for Rondo. The Celtics were not going out there every night looking for a championship. This was a transition year for the Celtics. Rondo still has work to do. He's still lacking some of the explosiveness that he's had in the past. He's looking good otherwise. The passing is on point, and his shooting is a dream come true. Another part of this is building chemistry with some of the guys. Not all of them will be around year, but building a relationship is important.
I think many of us have allowed Rondo to use this season to figure things out. He has a lot going on, and I think he's created a great culture, despite the losing record.