Rondo finding it difficult to sit and watch the playoffs

Rondo finding it difficult to sit and watch the playoffs
April 29, 2013, 12:30 pm
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C E L T I C S  P L A Y O F F  P I C T U R E 
8th
in Eastern Conference


BOSTON — Not being able to play in the postseason is a tough pill for Rajon Rondo to swallow. Throw in the fact that the C's are still in must-win mode even after Sunday's Game 4 win over New York, and Rondo's urge to play becomes even greater.

It's the playoffs and this is Rondo's time to shine.

Instead it has been Rondo's time to sit as he continues to nurse a torn right ACL injury suffered on Jan. 25 in Atlanta.

"That's what it's about; it's about stepping up to the plate," Rondo said of playing this time of year. "When the lights come on, that's when you see what you're made of. I love the spotlight, I love the pressure situations. And what better pressure situation than the playoffs?"

Not having Rondo has hurt the Celtics in ways that go beyond his league-leading assist numbers. Say what you want about the four-time All-Star, but with his presence comes a certain mental toughness that is indeed palpable and quite noticeable even if the numbers don't bear this out in their entirety. Without it, the C's are a shell of the team they are capable of being, something that has become quite apparent in the playoffs.

Although Rondo has been vague when asked about a timetable for his return, he anticipates he'll be up and running within 4-6 months following his Feb. 13 knee surgery. If that goes according to plan, Rondo should be close to full strength by the time camp opens up in the fall.

For now, he's concentrating on doing what he can rehab-wise, which includes some light shooting -- but no jumping -- in addition to cheering on his teammates and offering as much support as he can from the sidelines.

Sitting out for months has afforded Rondo an opportunity to get a feel for how his skills will mesh with his teammates upon his return. That is, assuming most of his teammates are still around after this summer, which may be part of the reason why Rondo isn't forecasting too far into the future.

"It's a long ways, away," Rondo said of next season. "A lot of things can change this summer."

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