Felger: Celtics can be better without Rondo

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Felger: Celtics can be better without Rondo

Rajon Rondo is out for the season, but does that mean the Celtics chances of competing are hovering around zero-percent?

Nope.

In fact, CSNNE's Mike Felger thinks the Celtics can be better without Rondo in the lineup.

A small sample size backs up his claim. The Celtics play better defense with him out of the game, and have won three games without him.

Felger gives his take on Sports Tonight with Lou Merloni.

"Of course there's a chance. Haven't you seen it before? Teams lose one of their best players and they sort of rally together and get controbutions from certain people and become a better team, T-E-A-M, remember that? And so, I've seen it in other sports myself and I think there's a good chance it could happen with this Celtics team.

"I'm not saying they're a world champion, but Lou, they were three games under .500 going into yesterday. They rank 21st in the NBA in offense. Rajon Rondo's defense has been horrible this year. So I guarantee you they're going to be better on defense, but there's no reason to think that they can't be better than three games under .500 and 21st in the league on offense. They'll probably be better in both without Rajon Rondo."

Check out the video for more.

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

Thomas won’t play Friday night vs. Raptors

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Celtics are about to hit one of the toughest stretches of the season and they’ll have to do it for at least one more game without their leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas. 
 
Thomas, who suffered a right groin injury on Monday against the Houston Rockets, did not play on Wednesday against Orlando and said that he will not play in Friday night’s game against the Toronto Raptors. 
 
“It’s day to day. I want to play. I want to be out there but it’s the smart decision to hold out and wait until it’s 100 percent,” Thomas said during a Season of Giving event for children of the Military Friends Foundation held at the Celtics’ practice facility. “If it was a playoff game I would be out there for sure.”
 
However, after consulting with a number of medical personnel, Thomas decided the best thing for him and the Celtics was to sit out Friday’s game which, along with Wednesday in Orlando, will be the first two he has missed since the 2014-2015 season. 
 
Thomas said there’s no specific timetable for his return, but he said he is planning to travel with the team to Oklahoma City for their matchup against the Thunder on Sunday. 
 
“It’s eating me a live to sit, but I have to do what’s best for my body, I have to do what’s best for this team,” Thomas said. “I need to be 100 percent healthy to give this team what I can give them.”
 
The Celtics are hoping for similar success they had Wednesday in Orlando (a 117-87 victory) on Friday against Toronto.
 
“They played a hell of a game last night,” Thomas said. “They’ll be ready tomorrow.”
 
The fact that Thomas intends to travel with the team is a good sign that the groin injury isn’t too serious. 
 
If he doesn’t play at Oklahoma City, that likely means he’ll return to action on Wednesday at San Antonio. 
 
“I’m going to do what I can to get back out there on the court,” Thomas said. “I gotta be smart about this. I don’t want this to linger on this season.”
 
Replacing Smart in the lineup against Toronto will most likely be Marcus Smart. 
 
Smart, who has been a replacement starter at small forward and point guard this season, had 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals against the Magic.