#Celtics HC Brad Stevens say Bayless (toe) out tonight vs #Heat. Expected to miss 7-10 days.— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) January 21, 2014
#Celtics HC Brad Stevens said Rondo will play 20-25 minutes tonight vs #Heat.— A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) January 21, 2014
If you think about it, this was the way it was supposed to be all along: Rondo developing chemistry with the starting unit after coming back from rehab and a young point guard working off the bench as his protege. Over the next week and a half, we could be watching the future PG's of the Celtics for the foreseeable future. While there is wild speculation that Rondo is on the block (including a unsubstantiated rumor about a deal with the Rockets), what we know for sure is that RR is seamlessly fitting in with the team and has even motivated once enemy Kris Humphries to potentially come back with the C's next season:
"I want to be a part of this whole, building this team and doing all that stuff with the new coach and all that, I want to be here," he said. "You never know if they want you or they don't want you or what their plans are, but I like Boston, my teammates. I'm just getting a chance to play with Rondo a little bit now."
The two have become friends, and Humphries admits his opinion on Rondo has changed dramatically.
"Yeah, I'm not going to lie, I never liked him until I got here," Humphries said. "And then it took me a minute to like him once I got here. He's a competitor, even if he's not scoring points, he's getting assists, he can really rebound for a point guard, and defensively I was surprised what he was doing in the first quarter [Sunday].
"The more he plays, the more we're going to grow as a team. Someone new comes back, he's gotta figure out how to do the most he can in 20 minutes, it's kind of tricky, and I think you can expect better from him and better from us as we keep going here."
The season has been brutal as of late, but Rondo's return has definitely been a bright spot. As Ainge works his magic behind the scenes, Rondo (and Stevens) will start molding this team into a winner. He's getting more playing time and that will lead to better conditioning and rhythm, but already, he's proven so far that as the new captain, Rondo is becoming a capable leader.