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Rajon Rondo, just like Celtics, bounces back for win

May 8, 2011, 2:15 AM EDT

Miami Heat's Wade and Boston Celtics Rondo tangle in second half of Game 3 of their NBA Eastern Conference playoff series in Boston AP

Rajon Rondo has been the bellwether for the Celtics. When he is on his game, the Celtics offense flows. When he is off, the team is flat.

In Game 3, he wasn’t really on his game. But he became a Celtics legend, anyway.

He dislocated his left elbow in the third quarter in a gruesome injury. He came back and played the entire fourth quarter, scoring four points and added an assist and a rebound. His performance was at the heart of Boston’s 97-81 win.

The question now becomes can he do it again? Can the Celtics?

The injury happened when Rondo and Dwyane Wade got tangled up in the third quarter. Wade, falling to the ground, seemed to wrap his hand around Rondo, who tried to brace his fall with his left hand. The elbow couldn’t take it.

The injury was gruesome, with his elbow bending the wrong way. There was no way to watch the replay and not think he was done for the series, let alone the game.

Celtics medical staff thought the same thing, but they popped the elbow back into place. Which has to hurt. A lot.

But there was Rondo back out for the fourth quarter, a sleeve over his left arm (along with his customary sleeve on the right) and playing basically one-handed. He made both his shots in the quarter, and his steal at midcourt and layup was one of the best moments of the series.

Rondo was an inspiration on a night the Celtics needed it to stay in the series.

But now comes the real test, winning Game 4 and evening the series 2-2.

Rondo said after the game he would play in Game 4 Monday night. How well, how much he can do with his left arm, could be key because you know Miami is going to show no mercy and attack him. Test him. There is no mid-game adreniline to mask the pain. Boston got the win in Game 3 despite another unimpressive statistical night from Rondo, but it will be harder to do that in Game 4.

But Rondo is a Celtics legend. And those guys always seem to rise to the occassion.

  1. purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 2:20 AM

    Gotta hand it to him… Rondo has guts! A lot more guts in fact that La Bum James and wussy overrated Bosh!

    • zackd2 - May 8, 2011 at 8:26 AM

      More than Paul “Wheelchair” Pierce too

      • andyhr17 - May 8, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        Yes, more than 21410 career points, 9 time all-star, NBA finals MVP/Champion future Hall of Famer Paul Pierce.

        Yeah, Pierce left the game in a wheel chair….none of his detractors seem to remember that he came back into the game after the injury.

      • mytthor - May 8, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        Actually, Andy, that’s the point of what his detractors have to say – that he left like it was a career ending injury and came back like he just needed to piss 2 seconds later.

      • andyhr17 - May 8, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        He didn’t leave like it was a career ending injury. He left like he felt a pop in his knee and didn’t want to put any pressure on it. It’s called being smart/safe about it. Went to the locked room, they looked it over, he put pressure one it, returned to the game. The only people who say he acted like it was a career ending injury are the people who hate him and the Celtics and will grasp onto anything they can possibly turn into a joke?

        Here’s a joke: Bosh had a pinched nerve in his neck and that’s why he was basically a no-show last night and was on the bench for portions of it. Rondo damn near had his arm snapped off and he was back in remarkable time and out on the floor contributing.

      • purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        andyh… balderdash! In watching too many NFL games over the past 40 years I have NEVER seen a player taken to the lockerroom in a wheelchair, and of course football is a far more violent game than basketball.

        Unfortunately knee injuries happen all the time in football, but the injured player is typically helped off the field by having a couple of teammates support him so as to keep the weight off the injured knee.

        Pierce’s whole wheelchair bit was a combination of grandstanding and being a cry baby.

      • andyhr17 - May 8, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        Yes they’re helped off of the field by teammates ….and then CARTED INTO THE LOCKER ROOM.

      • zackd2 - May 8, 2011 at 4:18 PM

        The points & all star things have nothing to do with Pierce being a drama queen.

        How does he end up with a potential career ending injury during every damn national TV game? Every time he hits the floor it’s the biggest injury, rolling around on the ground in angony, with Tommy Heinsohn running on the floor to kiss his floor burn and yell at the refs.

      • andyhr17 - May 8, 2011 at 6:36 PM

        The mark of an excellent player is most people hating you. I’d say that applies to Pierce here.

  2. purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 3:14 AM

    Hey! Where have all the Laker homers who frequent this forum gone? To find a tall bridge to jump off of?

    If you need some help in that regard Laker Homers, here is the mapquest link to a nice tall bridge in San Pedro that you can use to get the job done!!!

    • 00maltliquor - May 8, 2011 at 5:28 AM

      Lakers in 7!

  3. liltmac2003 - May 8, 2011 at 4:41 AM

    As a Bulls fan, I cannot stand anyone on the Celtics.

    But I absolutely must give my upmost respect for Rondo. What he did was heroic, courageous, and took a lot of will.

    • 00maltliquor - May 8, 2011 at 5:37 AM

      Can’t stand the C’s probably more than you, my friend…but DAMN…much respect to that young man. All heart. Gotta give props when props are due.

    • gmsingh - May 8, 2011 at 8:23 AM

      On the flip side, Dwyane Wade seemed to have no problem “accidentally” dragging Rondo down with him. Then, when Wade commits another “hard foul” a minute later, the idiot announcers say, “That’s just playoff basketball!” It’s about a 50/50 chance whether he gets fined in my opinion.

      Meanwhile, are there any pundits out there who are really going to argue the Bulls aren’t the best team in the East right now? If Boston can hold the Heat to 81, the Bulls should be able to hold them to 70.

  4. r0llinginthedeep - May 8, 2011 at 4:48 AM

    That is ridiculous. I don’t particularly like Rondo or the Celtics but he’ll have my respect forever after the game last night. I mean, what he did was beyond crazy, to carry on playing through a dislocated elbow is near enough unprecedented. What a hero!

  5. zackd2 - May 8, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    You forgot to mention that Lebron & Bosh didn’t play this game…wait you say they did? Sorry didn’t notice them.

  6. dvic13 - May 8, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    Rando looked like an extra in a Steven Segal movie. That was sick.

  7. j0esixpack - May 8, 2011 at 9:23 AM

    Wouldn’t it be fitting if Wade’s cheap shot move to try to drag Rondo down and injure him winds up backfiring, providing the spark of inspiration to battle back down 0-2 to win the series?

  8. hnirobert3 - May 8, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    A few things I took away from this game as a Heat fan:

    Is Bosh trying at all? Does he have side bets with Boozer and Pau Gasol to see who can contribute less to their teams?

    How many more atrocious first quarters do the Heat have to go through before Spoelstra comes to the realization that Z is offering the team nothing? Start Dampier. He’ll at least give you a few defensive rebounds and 6 points around the rim. He’ll also eat some space in the paint when Shaq is in there. I like Joel but physically he cannot match up with Shaq.

    What happened to Bibby? I think he had a career high in 3pt FG % this season and has done NOTHING in the entire playoffs.

    People are seriously calling Wade a dirty player? If there’s one guy on that court that I’d say isn’t a dirty player it’s Wade. These games have been crazy physical, starting with their last regular season match up, but to call him dirty is a bit of a stretch.

    Obviously my next comment is a major stretch, but in my eyes: game 4 is a must-win for the Heat. If the Celts win game 4 they’re going to win game 5 in Miami. Watch.

    • andyhr17 - May 8, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Wait a minute…the Heat will have to make adjustments because Shaq is in there? From what I’ve read from all comments from people in here Shaq was dead, and even if he did play he would be a complete non-factor.

      • hnirobert3 - May 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

        It’s not so much of making adjustments because of Shaq but because Z does nothing. My logic is that I’d rather start Dampier because of his size and keep Joel as your sixth man.

    • purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      There’s really nothing newsworthy about the Heats performance yesterday. Throughout there careers La Bum James and Chris Bosh have always taken occasional games off and merely phoned it in.

  9. inbounds - May 8, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    You have to give huge credit to the medical staff. I saw that injury and said “He’s done for the playoffs”. Then a few minutes later, Rondo is back on the court.

    The last time I saw guy comeback from an injury like that in a tournament, it involved a guy named “Mr. Miyagi”.

  10. purdueman - May 8, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Good morning, Laker Honks! Have you made your plans for later today as to how you’ll get to a tall bridge afterwards? In the spirit of trying to be helpful, here’s a link that you can use to find the best danged tall bridge in Southern California to Mapquest directions from wherever you’ll be watching todays LA Weepers elimination game:

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