Rajon Rondo Likely Done In Dallas

by Adam Smith

Marc Stein of ESPN noted Wednesday that Rondo suffered a back injury during the Mavericks’ Game 2 loss to the Houston Rockets Tuesday night. Rondo only played 10 minutes during the game and finished with four points, one assist, one turnover and four personal fouls. It was a disappointing game from someone who has thrived in the postseason before, although the injury may be one explanation.

Or maybe it had more to do with a dispute with coach Rick Carlisle. When asked if Rondo will ever play for the Mavericks again, the Dallas coach gave a blunt answer, per Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com: Do you expect Rajon Rondo to ever wear a Mavericks uniform again? “No, I don’t,” Rick Carlisle said.

Still, Rondo failed to average double figures in the points department this season for the first time since his rookie year in 2006-07. He also only averaged 6.5 assists per game in 46 contests with the Mavericks after averaging 10.8 dimes a night in the first 22 games of the year as a member of the Boston Celtics. If Rondo continues to struggle, this may not be as significant of a loss as it appears on paper.

Perhaps Dallas will open up the offense without Rondo on the floor, which could lead to open looks for better shooters. Monta Ellis and J.J. Barea are both more accomplished perimeter shooters who can take advantage of open looks much more effectively than Rondo when defenders collapse on Dirk Nowitzki. The series shifts back to Dallas for Game 3 Friday, and the Mavericks must win to avoid a virtually unbeatable 3-0 hole.

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