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Rajon Rondo cleared for full contact, expected to return for Celtics in January

Dec 15, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT

Detroit Pistons v Boston Celtics Getty Images

The Celtics have been exceeding expectations this season under new head coach Brad Stevens, and are currently in line for the four seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture despite the team’s losing record.

Things would appear to be only getting better with the addition of All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the lineup, considering that on paper he’s the face of the franchise and the one player that should be firmly in place for the team to build around for the foreseeable future.

Rondo is back practicing with his teammates, and should make his return to the court beginning next month.

From Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston:

Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo received clearance to resume full-contact practice activities on Friday and coach Brad Stevens said he believes Rondo should return to game action next month.

Rondo traveled Friday with team physician Dr. Brian McKeon to meet with operating surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who examined Rondo’s progress and cleared him to return to practice activities. The Celtics threw Rondo into the fire on Saturday, engaging in a spirited 45-minute session despite coming off game action on Friday night.

“[Rondo] had a good trip [Friday], as far as getting good news, and it looks like he’s on schedule to be closer, but still probably doesn’t look like we’re going to see him on the court any time this month,” said Stevens. “Hopefully as we get into January, he’ll be closer.”

Boston most recently has used a three-guard lineup featuring Avery Bradley, Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford, but none of those players have the grasp of the offense or the court vision that Rondo possesses, and his presence will only improve the Celtics’ chances of holding onto their position in the standings.

  1. homergreenz - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    “Things would appear to be only getting better with the addition of All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to the lineup”

    When Rondo is activated, Jordan Crawford’s minutes are going to be reduced. Or maybe Ainge will have traded Crawford to the Knicks for five future first round picks by that point. Either way, Crawford’s been the second best player on the team (Sullinger).

    I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that Rondo will immediately play at his customary high level. Not only does it take time for the full conditioning and timing, but the team is much different than last season (new coach, new players. It took Westbrook about one month to get back to normal. Dean Oliver tweeted this today: “Looks like ~1 month for Westbrook to get back to normal. O/D Rtgs 107 and 98 since 12/1. 96 and 104 before.”

    The Celtics best lineup by far is: Crawford, Bradley, Green, Bass and Sullinger.

    +18 in 214 minutes over 18 games. OffRtg 103.1 DefRtg 98.6

  2. jcmeyer10 - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:29 PM

    On or before January 26th. Only date that matters.

    • frankaziza - Dec 15, 2013 at 4:58 PM

      It has to be before the 26th. His first game back can’t be the same night PP and KG return.

      • jcmeyer10 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:03 PM

        Fair enough but you know what I mean.

  3. brianscalabrine - Dec 15, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I didn’t even know any pictures existed of Rondo smiling.

  4. lphboston - Dec 15, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Um, Jeff Green is 6-9 and not a guard.

  5. adoombray - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    Jordan Crawford is only on the court because Avery Bradley is playing PG so badly. Bradley is a really nice defender though and excels at shutting down 2 guards with a few nifty passes a game and as a compliment to Rondo. he is overmatched without Rondo. Crawford is the assist leader by default, but he is who he is, a gunner playing out of position at pg.

    The guy having the nice season is 6-9 forward Jeff Green, and 6-9 PF Jared Sullinger. They are getting solid play from Olynyk and the Brazillian center Vitor Faverani (who I haven’t seen play enough in the real world but he is beast mode in NBA 2k for whatever this is worth).

    While the press spent all summer talking about the guys who left the Celtics pleasantly have found some nice pieces on the roster. Ainge did this at the right time and at this rate those draft picks are going to be nice.

  6. doublezero74 - Dec 15, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Yeah, Jeff green isn’t a guard and doesn’t play one on TV either. He is however a slick 3/4 with amazing ability to dominate the floor and then disappear for long stretches

    • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:15 AM

      That is the best description of Jeff Green I’ve yet to see on the internet.

  7. asublimeday - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    This makes rose look baddddd for last year.

  8. dunk1you1very1much - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    So many returns this year, but i don’t think that larry sander’s date of return is so important for the team
    http://wp.me/p49gAF-4M

  9. calden99 - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    What contact is there in basketball?

    • Kurt Helin - Dec 16, 2013 at 8:18 PM

      You ever watched an NBA game?

      • jcmeyer10 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:04 PM

        Haha amen, he’s a clown. It’s not the 80’s but it’s still there.

      • jcmeyer10 - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        Kurt, Celtics in studio broadcaster texted GM’s during second half of solid win vs Timbies and said Bradley would be worth 7-8 million a year based on season he is having.

        Also, you think Bass and a first rounder would get Asik? I like Green too much to give him up.

  10. bounce028 - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Except Stevens has toyed with Green as an over-sized two guard, especially in lineups with Wallace this season.

    It’s been pretty evident that Green doesn’t belong out there manning the two (it’s been a nightmare defensively), but refuting claims about Green not playing guard would be misinformed.

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