By Jessica Camerato
BOSTON -- Rajon Rondo sat at his locker with his pant leg rolled up, soaking his left ankle in a bucket of ice. A box score floated on the melting water. With his head resting on his hand, Rondo blankly stared at the piece of paper.
“I feel like I lost, like I was out there and we lost,” he told CSNNE.com. “We tried, but it’s just frustrating to lose a game like this.”
On Friday afternoon, Rondo missed his seventh straight game with a sprained left ankle. This one, an 83-81 loss to the New Orleans Hornets, was particularly tough for him to watch.
He shared his disappointment, as well as his cautious approach, with CSNNE.com.
“[I’d like to play] Sunday, but it’s not realistic,” he said. As for Monday, “It’s the next day, so I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Game Day Letdown
Rondo arrived at the TD Garden on Friday with the intention of playing. But after hitting the court, he realized he couldn’t be in the lineup.
“This morning I thought I could, but then I played one-on-one,” he said. “It felt alright, but I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do. I’m limited out there, so I don’t think I can play yet. … [I want to be able to] make certain cuts, change directions as quick as possible instead of being conscious of it and thinking about it.”
Can’t Rush for an Opponent
Rondo wanted to take on Chris Paul. At the same time, he knew trying to win one battle wouldn’t help him in the long run. Even though Paul posted 20 points and 11 assists, Rondo knew he made the right decision.
“Yeah, I wanted to play,” he said. “I thought I was able to play, but then again I tried to play one-on-one and I wasn’t able to do what I usually do, so just being smart. I don’t want to try to prove anything or do it just because of opposite guys on the other end of the court. It’s just being smart.
… It’s not that I don’t want to [play], but it’s looking at the big picture.”
Taking the Advice of Others
There’s no question Rondo is a hardheaded player. That’s part of why he is an All-Star point guard. When it comes to his rehab, though, he is heeding the advice of others.
“I’m taking a lot of advice from a lot of different people and they’re pretty much telling me the same thing,” he said. “They played this game - Danny (Ainge), Kevin (Garnett) - and (Celtics trainer) Ed Lacerte has been here for 20 years so he knows what he’s talking about. So I just try to take advice from people who are telling me if you can’t do certain things, you shouldn’t play.
“It still hasn’t clicked with me, but I just listen to people who say I can’t play. It’s just going to be one of those days I just get up and I play. It’s not going to be when I’m back to 100% ready to play. It’s just whenever I feel like I can go and I have no restrictions.”
Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jcameratonba