(CBS) Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo believes his team would’ve swept the top-seeded Celtics in their opening-round playoff series if he hadn’t fractured his thumb in Game 2.
The eighth-seeded Bulls won the first two games of the series, dominating for long stretches, in an effort spearheaded by Rondo, who averaged 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10 assists. He finished the second half of Game 2 after suffering the thumb injury but missed the final four games of the series, each of them Celtics wins that were marked by the Bulls’ younger point guards struggling and the team’s offense stagnating often with Rondo out.
In a guest appearance on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” with former Celtics teammate Kevin Garnett and others Monday night, Rondo responded, “Honestly, yeah” when asked by Charles Barkley if the Bulls would’ve swept the Celtics with him healthy.
“It was very frustrating, especially the way we were clicking at the time,” Rondo said. “We had a good chemistry going and I thought we were some making great adjustments in Games 1 and 2.”
Rondo has a team option for the 2017-’18 season that the Bulls can pick up. There’s a “really good chance” they bring him back, executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said last week.