Rajon Rondo's Absence Hurts Boston Celtics In Loss To Phoenix Suns

BOSTON - It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that not having a player Rajon Rondo will usually have a negative impact on your team. Such was the case for the Boston Celtics, who fell to the Phoenix Suns on Friday without Rondo.

Rondo, who is recovering from a sore right wrist suffered on Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors, was replaced in the starting lineup by second-year guard Avery Bradley, who finished with 10 points and one assist in 33 minutes.

"I felt comfortable starting the game," said Bradley, who made his first career start Friday night. "I thought I would be nervous but I wasn't, because of my teammates. I thought we executed but sometimes we didn't. We'll fix it."

Bradley started the game on a shaky note, missing two wide open jumpers and missing a feed from Paul Pierce while heading to the basket. Bradley got his act together, though, and finished 5-of-9 from the floor and also had four boards.

"He did a good job," Suns guard Steve Nash (11 points, nine assists) said about Bradley. "He hustled defensively and made a few shots so he's learning and he's a young player so it's great experience for him."

Even though Bradley did recover, there's no beating around the bush: Rondo was missed. Pierce noted that the pace of the game was a lot slower, which in turn led to less shot creation for the Celtics.

"Definitely the pace was a lot slower," said Pierce. "He creates so much for our offense. He's our floor general. A lot of things we do go through him. So we just tried to change up some things, you know we had Avery Bradley out there, but it was valuable experience for him out there tonight to be able to go out there and play the minutes he played tonight."

Pierce wasn't the only one who noticed a difference. Nash certainly took notice as well.

"With him out of the line up its going to change the team," Nash said. "I think Rondo makes the court open up, puts pressure on the defense and tonight we could close down the court and take away their space."

Celtics head coach Doc Rivers didn't offer any new information on Rondo's condition prior to the game, saying that the decision for Rondo not to play came on Thursday night. Boston next plays the Wizards on Sunday.

For more Celtics and Suns coverage, visit both CelticsBlog and Bright Side Of The Sun.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Boston

You must be a member of SB Nation Boston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Boston. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Boston

You must be a member of SB Nation Boston to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Boston. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.