After an uninspired Game 1 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the odds were stacked against the Boston Celtics in Game 2. They had to play without their star point guard Rajon Rondo, who was, in my opinion, the only guy who played well for the Celtics in the first game.
But they managed to steal a win in Atlanta after Rondo’s teammates really stepped up in his absence, and now they head back to Boston with a great chance to take a strong lead in the series. When asked if he thought he let his team down by getting suspended for Game 2, Rondo quickly said, “No, do you think I let the team down?” He was just as touchy when asked if he thought he had to make up for his Game 2 absence on Friday night in Game 3.
“I don’t have anything to prove. Why would I have anything to prove? I just want to win, that’s it,” he said. “I’m confused about why you guys think I have anything to prove. This is a game I’ve been playing my entire life. The world knows what I can do. I’m just going to go out there and play, do what I do best; try to be the best point guard in the NBA.”
Of course, his reaction could have been different if the Celtics had lost and found themselves in an 0-2 hole that would have been difficult to dig out of, but they’re not. Rondo can just put the past behind him, because there’s no way the Celtics could have improved their outcome if he had played in that game. They won and it’s time to move on.
Rondo did say he’d learn from his mistake though. He says he let his emotions get the best of him in Game 1 and he’ll try his best to keep his composure from now on. That would be in the best interest of the Celtics. Even though they managed to pull out a win without him, they can’t afford to lose Rondo again.
There’s still a lot of basketball left to play in this series, the aging Celtics will be best off playing as close to full strength as they can.