Boston's worst fears may very well have been realized against the Knicks.
Late in the fourth quarter at Madison Square Garden, Rajon Rondo sprained his left ankle going up for a lay-up, taking a hard roll as he extended toward the basket. Rondo was on all fours and in obvious pain for several minutes, and had to be helped off the court and into the locker room.
Although he would eventually return and play for several more minutes, it was clear that Boston's start young point guard was not himself, appearing far out of kilter and unable to effectively run the Celtics' offense. The Celtics would eventually sneak away with a 118-116 victory on the back of a Paul Pierce go-ahead bucket with 00.4 left on the clock, and an Amar'e Stoudemire three-point game-winner waved off at the buzzer, but the damage had been done.
According to Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge, "Rajon, I think, will be out for a couple of weeks, anyway..." This leaves a HUGE hole in Boston's offense, which is run like only Rajon Rondo can run it. However, this is the NBA, and you need to keep going, even when you're hurting.
The task of starting point guard now falls to Nate Robinson.
After arriving in Boston from New York last February, has made a name for himself as a point guard/shooting guard hybrid, and has become the first player off the bench for Rajon Rondo. With Rondo gone for the next few weeks, Robinson will now be Boston's starting point guard.
Sure, he's now the starter, but how, exactly, will he fare in this position?
There's obviously a lot of skepticism in the Boston fanbase, some of which is justified. No one is Rajon Rondo. But, to spoof Rick Pitino, he's walking through that door. Nate has to take the ball and run the offense. But can he do it?
Yes, he can, and here's why.