Now he’s the Celtics’ most indispensable player.
Without him. Pierce almost certainly will handle the ball more.
“It just depends on who’s pressuring,” Rivers said after Sunday’s game. “We had the one lineup with (Barbosa and Terry). Neither one of them really want to handle the ball until the ball gets across half court, so we let Jeff (Green) bring it up, or Paul. It’s what we are.”
Garnett advised Rondo not to rush back before he’s ready.
“That’s the first thing I told him, ‘Do not play Superman,’ “ Garnett said.
Rivers is hoping Rondo will be ready at the start of next season. He could be, if the recovery of Chicago Bulls point guard and former league MVP Derrick Rose can serve as a guide.
Rose tore the ACL in his left knee last April 28 in the final 90 seconds of the opener of a first-round playoff series against the 76ers. He underwent surgery on May 12. He’s been increasing his workload and could be ready to play in the next few weeks. That would be less than 10 months since his injury.
Then there’s Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson. He tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee on Dec. 24, 2011 and had surgery six days later. He was back for the Vikings opener on Sept. 9, less than nine months later, and ran for two touchdowns in that game. He led the NFL in rushing with 2,097 yards, just nine short of Eric Dickerson’s NFL record.
So Rivers is hopeful.
The NBA season usually starts in late October, giving Rondo about nine months to recover.
“We’ve got a guy in the NFL that we can look at in Adrian Peterson,” Rivers said, “and whatever he did, that’s what we want to do. Because that was amazing. And that’s what Rondo will do.”