BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Celtics held off the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night without Rajon Rondo on the floor.
They may have to do it again Thursday night against the Brooklyn Nets.
Rondo left Wednesday night’s 98-93 win over the Jazz with five minutes remaining in the third quarter after suffering a sprained right ankle. He limped to the bench and was treated by trainer Ed Lacerte before retreating to the Celtics locker room.
He returned to the bench but did not re-enter the game. Head coach Doc Rivers said it was “iffy” that Rondo could have returned, and the same goes for Thursday night.
“I have no idea,” said Doc. “With sprained ankles, [the next day] you’ll know more.”
The Celtics are currently in a four-games-in-five-nights stretch, likely playing into Doc’s decision not to play his All-Star point guard. And given how early it is in the season, they certainly won’t risk any further injury.
“He’s not going to play all 82,” noted Doc. “It’d be nice. You know how I think guys; the next guy. Just somebody has to step up and we have to figure it out. Tonight was a great example that we did that.”
So who steps up if Rondo can’t go in the Celtics first game at the new Barclays Center?
Read: Celtics-Nets Preview
Jason Terry would likely shift over to starting point guard with Courtney Lee taking over at the starting two-guard. Rivers also has options with Leandro Barbosa, who scored 10 of his 16 points Wednesday night after Rondo went down, but he is far more effective off the bench.
It’s never good when the Celtics are without any of their starters, especially Rondo. But with the season just eight games old, the Celtics won’t risk a long-term ailment if it means missing an early-season game against the Nets.