Celtics, Heat react to news of Rondo's ACL tear

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Celtics, Heat react to news of Rondo's ACL tear

BOSTON Within moments of what was their biggest win of the season, the Boston Celtics were in no mood to celebrate.

Shortly after the C's 100-98 double overtime win over Miami, Celtics coach Doc Rivers broke the news to his players that Rajon Rondo had a torn right ACL injury and would be lost for the rest of the season.

Within minutes, the news of Rondo's injury spread to the Heat locker room.

Here's a sampling of how players on both teams reacted to the news that Rondo, the NBA's assists leader, was done for the season.

"He's our leader, and it hurt. It's tough to hear that news, one of our top players go down. We have to be there for him. We just have to continue to build. Everyone collectively has to step up." - Celtics forward Jeff Green

"It's tough; tough on everybody. He's becoming the heart and soul of this team. He's coming into his own. It's a blow man, I'm not gonna front. It's a blow." - Celtics big man Kevin Garnett

"Very tough and sad. I still have faith that he's going to come back as soon as possible. He's a big key for this team; a big difference. We here to get his back, to support him in anything he needs. It's sad. I can't believe that it's like that. Hopefully he'll be OK." - Celtics guard Leandro Barbosa

"We're family, so you feel bad for him. You know I know he wants the best for us, and wants us to continue to go out there and play hard for him every game. And that's what we are going to do." - Celtics guard Avery Bradley

"You have a lot of mixed emotions in here. You want to celebrate the win but yu now you feel for y9our teammate, a leader. Pretty much wherever he goes, we go. It's hard knowing that he's going to be out for the year. It's a tough pill to swallow." - Celtics forward Paul Pierce.

"It's sad news but we've got to fill his shoes the best way we can and that's just going out there and playing hard." - Celtics guardforward Courtney Lee

"One thing about this league is it's a brotherhood. You never want to see anyone go down with any kind of injury, especially a season-ending injury. So it's very unfortunate and it sucks, man. He's a great player and he really is the leader of this team and obviously guys are gonna have to step up for them, but this year they lost the leader of their team, so it's tough for the game to lose a player like Rondo, but especially for Boston." - Miami guard Dwyane Wade

"It sucks. It's terrible. As much as a competitor and as much as I've been a rival with Boston over the years, I never want to see anyone go down and knowing the competitor that he is and knowing how talented he is, I think it's terrible. Not only for their team but for the league." - Miami forward LeBron James

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

Bradley locked in during return to Celtics lineup vs. Hornets

BOSTON – When you look at Avery Bradley’s growth this season, seeing the tremendous strides he has made offensively is clear.

But at the heart of Bradley’s game remains a desire to dominate a matchup as a defender, something that was alive and well on Monday as he made his return to the floor after missing the four previous games with an Achilles strain.

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Bradley’s defense would prove instrumental in Boston’s 108-98 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday.

He was 2-for-9 from the field and played nearly 33 minutes against Hornets which is just a couple minutes under his season average of court time.

Usually he’s responsible for providing a boost at both ends of the floor.

But considering his long lay-off, it was clear early on that he was locked in defensively more so than looking to get back on track shooting the ball.

“You take any type of games off in this league, your rhythm and all that you gotta get it back,” said Boston’s Jae Crowder.

Even though his shots weren’t falling, Bradley was on top of his game defensively while guarding 6-foot-8 Nicolas Batum who is six inches taller but never was a factor on Monday.

Batum finished with eight points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field.

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens liked what he got out of Bradley in his return to action.

“I thought he (Bradley) was great,” Stevens told CSNNE.com. “He did everything we needed him to do. We knew there would be a little bit of rust (shooting the ball), but that’s part of you playing your way back into it.”

As far as Bradley’s stifling defense on Batum, Stevens said, “You have to do that against Batum. I thought Avery did a really good job of that. It’s a hard matchup no matter what way you go. Batum, giving up inches to him. He (Bradley) was there on the catch all night.”

And as Bradley gradually gets back into a flow, he’ll regain the form offensively that made him one of the NBA’s better two-way players this season.