Rajon Rondo returned to the Celtics for the first game of the playoffs. Unfortunately, he served as a coach far more than a cheerleader.
As Doc Rivers told the assembled multitudes of media, Rondo knew all the Knick plays and could direct traffic during the shoot-around. Alas, he had to sit in a smart looking suit next to sweaty Kevin Garnett during the game.
The Celtics have no point guard and use a series of defenders to try to make up for the loss of Rondo. Having him on the bench during the playoffs at least gives the most brilliant tactician on the team a chance to strut his stuff.
The bad news, Celtics fans, is that the Celtics without Rondo are sort of like Dallas without Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing. His spirit hangs like a pall over the proceedings as you wish for what could have been.
As a coach, Doc Rivers is like the family patriarch who is overseeing a chaotic Thanksgiving Day dinner. The only son who could cook a dinner for fifteen is unable to put on his apron and chef's bonnet, aka your tuque. And, fans, Rondo is a master chef in addition to his basketball talents.
How frustrating it must be for the Celtics head coach was obvious by his comments before game one. The only player who knew all the defensive schemes and the strategies of the Knicks was not going to play the game.
If the Celtics cannot absorb Rondo's advice and consent during the first series, they may be out in the cold heat of the summer. If they can do what Rondo tells them, they could be facing the Heat of the summer.
Oh, by the way, the Celtics lost the first game to the Knicks.