Rondo Out with Torn ACL, Anthony Shoots Nine 3s and Bulls Get Ready for Bobcats

By Debbie B.

On Sunday, the Boston Celtics (21-23) had a late Rajon Rondo scratch for the Miami Heat (28-13) game. By the afternoon, the team learned the veteran play has a torn ACL and is out for the season. His team persevered without him and defeated the Heat 100-98 in double overtime to end their six-game losing steak.

The Eastern conference’s No. 2 team, the New York Knicks (27-15), defeated the Atlanta Hawks (25-19), 106-104 on Sunday and after their 86-73 loss against the Washington Wizards on Saturday, the Chicago Bulls (26-17) will look for a Monday night win against the Charlotte Bobcats (11-32).

Rondo Out Indefinitely

Guard Rajon Rondo

On Sunday afternoon, Rondo underwent an MRI and the team confirmed his torn ACL by the game’s second half. This came after he had hyperextended his knee on Friday and was unable to rally before Sunday’s game.

He will undergo surgery and could see his recovery take eight to 12 months; he will seek a second opinion.

This season in 38 games, Rondo had been averaging 13.7 points, 11.1 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game. He had recently been named as an All-Star starter for his fourth time and has been considered the team’s top player and a leader.

After Sunday’s game, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said, “You can write the obituary. I’m not.”

Looking ahead to the remainder of the season, the Celtics are under .500 and struggling. Trade rumors are likely to increase with Rondo’s absence while the players’ Sunday mantra was that everyone will need to step up and play harder.

New York defeats Atlanta 106-104

Forward Carmelo Anthony

Sunday’s game was all about Carmelo Anthony’s three-pointers The player had nine of them, tying a team record and hitting his final one of the game at 12.5 seconds remaining to lift his team to a 106-104 win.

For the night, Anthony had 42 points and is now tied with Richie Guerin’s team record with his 29th consecutive 20-point game.

Other Knicks’ players had good games with Amar’e Stoudemire and J.R. Smith each contributing 18 points. For the game, the Knicks went 16 for 27 (59 percent) for 3-pointers. In his second game after missing 10 of them, Raymond Felton scored 12 points with 10 assists.

Sunday’s game was a fast, back and forth one. The Knicks took a 36-25 lead in the second quarter but the Hawks came back and the two entered halftime tied at 52. Anthony surged in the third quarter with 3s to take his team ahead 82-74 but the Hawks weren’t giving up easily.

Can Anthony power his team all the way to the Championship? The bettors give the team +1200 to win the Championship.

Chicago vs. Charlotte

Bulls forward Luol Deng

On Monday, the Bulls will look to end their struggles against teams with losing records (see Saturday’s Wizards game) and defeat the Bobcats who beat them 91-81 in their Dec. 31 meeting. This snapped an 18-game losing streak for them.

Chicago is now one-half game ahead of the Indiana Pacers to lead the Central Division after winning seven of its last nine games. They are +1400 to win the Championship in June.

Fingers are crossed for the return of Luol Deng. He’ll be a game-time decision after missing the last five due to a hamstring injury.

In his last three games vs. the Bobcats, Deng averaged 22.0 points from 50.0 percent shooting with 8.0 rebounds.

In his absence, sophomore player Jimmy Butler has stepped up nicely, averaging 14.2 points and 45 minutes per game-plus of playing time.

Prior to their Dec. 31 game against the Bobcats, the Bulls had five consecutive wins over them and averaged 99.4 points from 47.7 percent shooting.

In the Bobcats December win, guards Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson combined for 34 points, while Ramon Sessions and former Bull Ben Gordon came off the bench and scored for a combined 30 points.

But Charlotte continues struggling, as it has a league-worst record with only three wins over 12 games. It is looking for a second straight win on Monday.