January 27, 2013

Rajon Rondo Tears ACL, Out for Season: Boston Celtics All-Star guard Rajon Rondo has a torn right ACL and will miss the rest of the NBA season. Rondo injured his knee in Friday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. He was averaging 13.7 points and 11.1 assists this season.

posted by rcade to basketball at 04:31 PM - 10 comments

Man, the twenty-teens have been a rough decade to be a Boston sports fan...

I know I'm getting zero sympathy from any of you...

posted by hincandenza at 04:38 PM on January 27

I live in Detroit, so I'll just say "Yes. Zero."

But I do hate it when any athlete gets mangled like that. Hope Rondo recovers quickly.

posted by Etrigan at 04:48 PM on January 27

Couldn't have happened to a nicer punk. Just kidding. Are there any basketball players who have fully recovered from an ACL tear? I've just assumed its a death sentence.

posted by phaedon at 05:05 PM on January 27

Well, phaedon, all eyes will be on Derrick Rose as he begins his comeback. Not only to see how well his recovery goes, but also to see if anyone can give the Heat a little trouble in the playoffs. Unless the Pacers get really hot, Miami may now have a cakewalk to the finals.

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:04 PM on January 27

Well I'm originally from Chicago and my personal opinion is that Derrick Rose is toast. It really sucks, considering how talented he is. I just can't see how such a small guy - with the physical way he plays basketball - can play for an entire season without risk of further injury. Amazing to me that Iverson never tore his ACL.

posted by phaedon at 07:08 PM on January 27

How Adrian Peterson has responded this year is amazing ... but he isn't playing basketball.

I think Rondo understands the game well enough to be able to adjust and still be effective if he is slowed after ACL issues. On the other hand, a huge part of Derrick Rose's game has to do with his ability to get himself open via lateral movement (jumping laterally rather than vertically) - I just can't see him being as effective, although I hope I'm wrong.

posted by cixelsyd at 08:05 PM on January 27

My son and I went to today's game. On the way, son remarked that with the way Celtics had been playing of late, it would probably be a Miami blowout. We get there and hear the news that Rondo is out with a hyper extended right knee. Oh boy, massive blowout in store. Not quite to halftime, wife texts us that it's an ACL tear, son gets on the smart 'phone and confirms same, but something really strange is happening on the court. It seems the Celtics - none of whom knew the extent of Rondo's injury until after the game - were playing some dogged defense and staying in the game. To make a long story short, the team held on for a win in 2 OTs, which tells me that if they work hard enough on defense, they'll still win their share without Rondo. Playoff chances? Not much, if they can even get there, but if the effort is there...

As for an ACL tear inhibiting Rondo's style of play, perhaps it might be a good thing. He has a tendency to get himself out of control from time to time and attempt things that just won't work (except sometimes they do with spectacular results). Being unable to do as many athletic things as he has been able to do might make him slow down a bit and begin to understand the game a bit more. He has a good basketball IQ, is coachable (despite some of the stories), and will probably learn to pick his spots a little better.

posted by Howard_T at 12:16 AM on January 28

So, if the season becomes a wash, do the Celtics blow up the team and ship out Pierce and KG?

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:37 AM on January 28

The general consensus seems to be you can't do that in "today's NBA", that GMs don't trade for aging superstars for a one year go-for-broke effort. So I don't know what they do except play spoiler if possible. Will be sad to watch the old playground bully now that all the kids are bigger than him.

posted by yerfatma at 12:11 PM on January 28

So, if the season becomes a wash, do the Celtics blow up the team and ship out Pierce and KG?

Pretty much what yerfatma says, unless you can find a partner that has some expiring contracts that would offset the Pierce and Garnett salaries. In that case, you roll with it for the year and make your move next season with a bunch of money in hand. If you do this, it would be best if you can also hoard some draft picks for future years as well as for this year's draft. In that way you can get some decent free agents on contracts that are not excessively long (3 years max), pick up some promising players out of college, and have enough time for the rookies to develop.

One other consideration is that Rondo should be back and in good condition for the latter half of next season. Jared Sullinger looks to be improving game by game, and he could be a "go-to" guy next year. His defense is much better now than at the start of the year. Fab Melo is doing well in the D-League, and very well could be the shot blocking presence that Boston needs next year. In other words, unless you get a block buster of a deal, why blow it up. The recovery time from a demolition project will be nearly as long as waiting it out and trying to get better through the draft.

A personal opinion if I might: I'm a C's season ticket holder, and I'm not likely to give up on the team. It's not because of blind fandom, although I've been a fan since the 1952-53 season. Rather, my son and I go to the games to see the game, not the team. To us, watching individual match ups, looking at coaching strategies, and marveling at the sheer athleticism of the players is worth the price of admission. We will miss watching Rondo because of the many creative things he can do, but it won't stop us from going to the games.

posted by Howard_T at 04:06 PM on January 28

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