Rondo hit with two-game suspension

Rondo hit with two-game suspension
February 20, 2012, 3:37 am
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DALLAS The bad news just keeps pouring on to the Boston Celtics.

Point guard Rajon Rondo has been suspended for two games by the NBA for throwing a ball at an official and striking him in the chest.

The incident occurred in the third quarter of Boston's 96-81 loss at Detroit on Sunday.

Prior to the incident, Rondo drove into the lane and missed a shot. After the release, Pistons center Greg Monroe landed on Rondo.

The play eventually ended with a 24-second call on Boston, one of their season-high 24 turnovers.

After the play, Rondo had words for official Sean Wright.

With the ball in his hands, Rondo threw it forcefully towards Wright's midsection.

That is when Wright whistled Rondo for two technical fouls, which is an automatic ejection.

Rondo, who had never been ejected prior to Sunday night, will serve his two-game suspension - without pay - tonight against Dallas and on Wednesday at Oklahoma City.

Although the league did not make the announcement until Monday afternoon, Celtics coach Doc Rivers said the team was informed earlier in the day to plan on not having Rondo play tonight.

At that point, Rivers accurately assumed they were deliberating over how many games to suspend him.

"You're always disappointed when this happens," Rivers said. "You should never put yourself in front of the team. But the game is an emotional game."

As far as the play that set Rondo off, Rivers said, "we can all agree that it was a foul, a bad foul that wasn't called."

And with the C's getting beaten soundly at the time, Rondo's emotions clearly got the best of him.

"I can guarantee you, 30 seconds, 5 seconds after it happened, Rondo wishes he could take it back. That happens."

It serves as yet another reminder that despite the strides Rondo has made, he still has room - lots of room - to grow.

"We all do messed up things in our lives," Rivers said. "Unfortunately for Rondo, he does it in front of a lot of people ... and we don't."

While there's never a good time to be without your top assists man, losing Rondo now could not have come at a worst point in the schedule.

If you had to single out the toughest back-to-back matchups for the Celtics this season, these next two games would be it.

With Dallas, you have the reigning NBA champions. And with the Thunder, you have the best team, record-wise, in the Western Conference this season.

Making matters worse, Brandon Bass (left knee) is not with the team and isn't expected back until after the all-star break. And Kevin Garnett is questionable for tonight's game after missing the Detroit loss on Sunday, to attend to a personal matter.

Without Rondo, the Celtics gave Avery Bradley his ninth start of the season. The Celtics came in with a 6-2 record with Bradley starting.

Bradley, who grew up in nearby Arlington, Texas, had eight points in the first half.