But Boston’s victory celebration was cut short when the team learned that All-Star PG Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season and beyond due to a torn ACL he sustained during Friday’s double OT loss to the Hawks.
Rondo has averaged a league-leading 11.1 apg this year to go along with 13.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg and 1.8 spg in 37.4 mpg. This loss is devastating for the 21-23 C’s as they fight to regain the form that had them leading in the fourth quarter in Game 7 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals before succumbing to the Heat.
Though Coach Doc Rivers has a few options on his bench, he’ll probably slide fifth-year combo guard Courtney Lee into the Celts’ starting lineup.
In his first season with the storied Celtics, Lee is averaging 7.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 1.4 apg and 1.1 spg in 22.7 mpg. Including Sunday’s W, Lee has started in 11 contests so far, covering for the injured Avery Bradley as well as for Rondo when he’s been out.
Lee has season highs of 18 points, 5 dimes, 9 boards and 3 steals (8X). Whether at the PG or SG position, 27-year-old Lee has the experience and athleticism to help fill the huge void left by Rondo’s injury.
With 14th-year, 6’2” SG Jason Terry suffering through one of his worst years statistically and shooting 38% since December 1st, Rivers will lean heavily on Lee to pick up some of Rondo’s minutes and production.