What a bummer about Rajon Rondo tearing his ACL. I have done it myself, and the thought of all that rehab just to get back to square one will drive you mad if you let it. Hopefully, Rondo takes Doc Rivers’ advice to call the great Adrian Peterson, who just pulled off the most impressive ACL recovery ever.
Per reports, he’s going to have surgery in a couple weeks after the swelling subsides. To be right by opening night next season, Rondo would have to return in a nine-month timeframe. Ricky Rubio returned from his torn ACL after nine months and Derrick Rose, who is getting close per reports, is nine months removed from ACL surgery last May.
Even if Rondo takes the long road to recovery, he figures to be running the green team again before the calendar hits 2014.
So now the question is, which Celtics are going to realize an increase in fantasy value due to Rondo’s absence?
Paul Pierce – This future Hall of Famer has made a habit of stepping up without Rondo, and he did it again in Sunday’s double overtime win over the Heat, posting a 17-13-10 triple double. In the Celtics previous game without Rondo, a win at New York on Jan. 7, Pierce had 23 points and six assists. Then there was Game 2 against Atlanta last year. With Celtics down 0-1 in the series and Rondo sitting out due to suspension, Pierce had 36 points and 14 rebounds in a series-shifting win. HUGE numbers are in store for The Truth, who already ranks 33rd across eight categories.
Kevin Garnett – When a Big Three gets downsized to a Dynamic Duo, the two men left standing reap the fantasy benefits. Whereas KG is averaging around 15 and 7 right now, I could see his points spiking to 18 with a slight — if any — bump in boards.
Jason Terry – The Jet still hasn’t found his way with his new team, but he showed signs of life with 13 points in 32 minutes against Miami. Terry has always thrived under pressure, taking big shots and making big shots, and the pressure is back on him without Rondo. Of the four guards who will pick up the fantasy slack for Rondo, I like Terry’s upside the best.
Leandro Barbosa / Avery Bradley / Courtney Lee — Rondo’s replacement committee will take turns having decent games, but I doubt any of the three will emerge as a stat-sheet stuffer.
Rick Kamla is an anchor on NBA TV. You can follow him on Twitter at @NBATVRick.