At first, Rajon Rondo suddenly being pulled from the starting lineup because of a reported hyperextended knee seemed like bad news in what could become a season-changing victory against a very good team.
Then, word started to spread that the Celtics had sent Rondo to a local hospital for an MRI with a fear that he'd torn his ACL. During the second half of Boston's game against Miami, ESPN reporter Doris Burke confirmed that Rondo will miss the rest of the year with the injury.
The immediate reaction was talk about the end of the season in Boston. Then, it sparked discussion about the end of an era with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. And for basketball fans as a whole, Rondo's injury is yet another ACL injury to one of the NBA's best and most exciting point guards.
The reaction at Celtics Blog said it all.
Gonna go out on a limb and say this hasn't been a great season for the Celtics*.— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) January 27, 2013
The sad part is that the NBA will be without a player that recorded two triple-doubles leading into his injury and was one of the most dynamic and unique players in the game. Rondo presumably injured his knee Friday when he played 45 minutes against the Atlanta Hawks. Likely, some of those minutes came after Rondo injured his ACL.
My favorite player of all time (Ron Harper) made it back from a torn ACL. Derrick Rose is back soon. Celtics fans? You can do this. LUV U.— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) January 27, 2013
I really thought Rajon Rondo's ligaments were made out of an indestructible super-compound. Damn it.— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) January 27, 2013
Now, the Celtics must move on with a backcourt crew of Avery Bradley, Courtney Lee, Jason Terry and Leandro Barbosa, a plenty capable group. Still, none of those guys, or anyone for that matter, can duplicate Rondo's skillset. Any roster moves down the road could help the depth, but it's probably not going to make anyone feel any better.