Point guard Rajon Rondo, who was suspended for Game 2 of the Boston Celtics’ playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, individually thanked each of his teammates as they boarded the team bus after winning that game without him.
"I was really happy, going onto the bus, Rondo was standing outside the bus door waiting for every teammate to shake their hand and said, 'thank you,'" Rivers told Boston sports radio station WEEI on Thursday morning. "It was really cool to see him do that. I mean, he waited there for each guy and just shook their hand and said, 'thank you.' You could tell he was really emotional about it. It was really nice."
Rondo was suspended for Game 2 after bumping up against referee Marc Davis in the closing minute of Game 1 after being called for a technical foul. Playing without both Rondo and shooting guard Ray Allen (bone spurs in his ankles), the Celtics rallied to beat the Hawks, 87-80.
"This team, I don't know how good we are or what we're going to do, but we do dumb things at times and it gets us in trouble, and then we tend to play well when that happens," Rivers said. "It's just an interesting group of guys."
Rivers said he expects Rondo to come back strong for Friday’s Game 3 at TD Garden, but didn’t want him to “try to do too much and try to force himself on the game.”
As for the status of Allen for Game 3, Rivers didn’t sound optimistic.
"Wanting to play is one thing," Rivers said. "Being able to play is another. We'll see."