Friday morning brought some potentially devastating news for fans of the Chicago Bulls. #Rajon Rondo, Chicago's point guard, is out indefinitely according to an April 21st article at NBA.com (no author listed). According to the article:
"The Chicago Bulls have...managed to build a 2-0 lead over the top-seeded #Boston Celtics thanks largely to the play of point guard Rajon Rondo. If the Bulls are to finish the job and eliminate the Celtics from the playoffs, they'll have to do so without him.".
Jerian Grant should get more minutes
The thumb injury to Rondo means that Jerian Grant, an inexperienced player, will likely get a lot more playing time. He is not coming in cold, but Grant barely played in game two, logging all of six minutes. However, he did enjoy 21 minutes of playing time in game one, but only with what has to be called a flat stat sheet (6P, 2R, 4A). However, Grant did enjoy some success down the stretch of the regular season. In late-season games against the Orlando Magic, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Philadelphia 76ers he logged between 28 and 31 minutes per game. In each outing he scored at least 15 points and against Orlando he had a double-double with 11 assists. Chicago certainly aren't dead in the water if Grant is able to play his best.
However, the Magic, the Nets, and the 76ers certainly aren't as good as the Boston Celtics. They may be reeling as they've fallen behind 0-2 in their series, losing both games at home, however Boston is still the top seed in the east. With Rondo going out, the C's might very well take advantage of the opportunity in front of them to make the current series competitive again.
At present, the Celtics are looking at having to win four of the next five to advance. Certainly winning game three on Friday night will be a big part of that as no NBA team has ever won a series after trailing 3-0.
Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade are keys
While Grant will see increased minutes due to the Rondo injury, that doesn't mean that he will be relied on for offense. Both Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade both make Chicago a very dangerous team. They will be the players that the Bulls' contingent will be counting on for big numbers and both of them are certainly capable of delivering.
Game three of the best-of-seven series will come from the United Center in Chicago with a start time of 7pm ET on Friday. The betting odds for the game are interesting as they make the Celtics favorites on the road. Bet365, for instance, have Boston at -129 to win straight-up. #The Bull