NEW YORK Just when it seemed the Boston Celtics were finding their way, they once again suffer a self-inflicted setback.
Rajon Rondo will be suspended for tonight's game against the New York Knicks for bumping into an official in Boston's 89-81 win over Atlanta on Saturday, and then failing to cooperate with a league investigation into the incident.
Maybe it's something in the Georgia air that brings this out of Rondo, who was suspended after bumping an official during the playoffs last April against the Hawks.
This will be the third time in less than a year that Rondo has been suspended, feeding into the naysayers who believe the talented playmaker isn't quite ready to lead this team due to the unusually high number of suspensions he has had to serve.
There's never a good time for such an incident to happen, but the timing of this could not be any worse.
The C's put together back-to-back wins with a stretches of stifling defense, the kind the Celtics have been known to provide in the past.
Tonight's game against the Knicks was seen as a litmus test of sorts as to how this improved defense with Rondo and Avery Bradley leading the defensive charge in the backcourt would fare against the league's best group of 3-point shooters.
With Rondo out, look for Courtney Lee or Jason Terry to get the start along with Bradley.