BOSTON -- Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo appeared to be hobbling a bit after knocking his knee in the fourth quarter of Wednesday's 121-105 triumph over the Brooklyn Nets, but downplayed any concerns.
"I just bumped my knee," Rondo said, before quickly adding, "The other knee -- it wasn’t my ACL one."
Coach Brad Stevens pulled Rondo from the game with 4:41 to go and did not reinsert him with Boston comfortably ahead. Rondo was flirting with a triple-double -- 13 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds -- and Stevens joked that he probably wasn't thrilled with coming out.
"I didn’t think [the knee bump] was anything too big because he didn’t want to come out," Stevens said. "So I had sent Evan [Turner] to the bench to get him when he was shooting free throws and he told me he was OK, but he was already a little bit past what I wanted him to do. So he kind of gave me that look like, ‘You’re taking me out?’ And so I think his knee’s fine."
Rondo, playing less than five weeks after undergoing surgery on a broken hand, logged 29 minutes, 45 seconds in a starting role. After a long postgame treatment session, he reveled in just being back on the floor.
"It was just fun being back out there. I missed the game," Rondo said. "This is what I’ve been doing my entire life, it’s just great to be back out there playing basketball again."
And his wrapped hand? He avoided any troubles, even joking that old friend Kevin Garnett was gentle with him on screens. The rest of the Nets?
"They were pretty nice to me today," Rondo cracked.
KG BACK IN THE BEAN
Back in Boston for only the second time since the trade the sent him to Brooklyn, Garnett needed an extended set of downward dogs and sun salutations on Wednesday morning to get his mind right.
"It’s always special coming back here into Beantown," Garnett said. "It's very hard to focus, had to go to yoga this morning ... get my meditation right, stay level. There's a lot of energy in the building. It's always good to come back here. I love Beantown. I’m always bleeding green, y'all know what it is."
Garnett discussed being on the wrong side of Gino Time and dished out high praise for his buddy Rondo. But Garnett was particularly complimentary of some of the newer faces that arrived after his departure.
Garnett said of Stevens: "[Boston's] schemes were very clever. They do unorthodox things, like sticking a big in the corner, having the bigs roll, put lot of pressure on the smalls. My hat goes off to Coach Stevens and his schemes."
And on rookie Marcus Smart: "The kid is very impressive. This is my first time seeing him live, playing against him and stuff. He and Rondo and Avery [Bradley], that’s going to be a [good unit]. I can’t wait to watch some of the games. They played great tonight. They seemed to have a nice chemistry together. I hope they can be consistent with that."