RAJON Rondo had his hard cast that protected his fractured thumb removed on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) but the Chicago Bulls veteran guard will remain sidelined for Game 5 of their first-round NBA playoffs series against the Boston Celtics.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg ruled out Rondo for the pivotal game on Wednesday in Boston to break a 2-2 series, and will start surprise Game 4 contributor Isaiah Canaan instead over Jerian Grant, who started for the injured former Celtic after suffering the injury in Game 2.
Hoiberg, though, is optimistic in seeing Rondo back potentially for Game 6 or Game 7, if necessary, with the way the injury is healing.
“His wrist injury has quieted down a little bit. So just decided to remove the cast. He’s still in a splint for his thumb,” said Hoiberg told reporters after Bulls practice on Monday.
The Bulls have lost a 2-0 series lead after losing back-to-back games at home with Rondo out for what he was told was a ‘couple of weeks.’ With Grant and Michael Carter-Williams’ poor performance, Hoiberg is turning to Canaan to run the point and possibly free up vet Dwyane Wade from playmaking duties that has limited him on offense.
“Obviously with Rondo going down, the ball's going to be a lot more in my hands. But I talked to coach about it, there were a couple opportunities where I could have been more aggressive. Some of it is on me. Sometimes when I'm running the offense, I'm doing it. I'm passive. I come off and the first screen is a pick-and-roll, I get off of it, and it doesn't come back,” said Wade, who only had 11 points in 38 minutes in Game 4
“So I have to figure out a way to, certain times be more aggressive than I was last game. And I'll figure it out. I've been playing a long time, so I'll leave it up to myself to figure it out," he added.