Chicago Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg revealed on Friday that point guard Rajon Rondo would be unable to play in Game 6 against the Boston Celtics on Friday night and likely won't be able to play if the Bulls force a Game 7 as well, per A. Sherrod Blakely of Comcast SportsNet.
Rondo has been out of action since he fractured his right thumb and tore a ligament in his right wrist during Game 2 of the first-round playoff series.
The Bulls have felt his absence. Since opening the series 2-0 with Rondo in the lineup, they've gone 0-3 with him sidelined and find themselves on the brink of elimination. He had been excellent, averaging 11.5 points, 10.0 assists and 8.5 rebounds in the two wins.
Even Hoiberg acknowledged how differently the team has played without Rondo, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.
"Obviously the dynamic of our team has changed with Rajon out. We played quite a few stretches last night, really the majority of the game without a true point guard on the floor," Hoiberg said.
"But that's just the reality of the situation we're in right now. And it's probably going to be that way for the rest of the series. We're still confident at 3-2. Three series are in the same situation. Teams going home and hopefully holding serve and forcing this to a Game 7 where anything can happen."
Isaiah Canaan, who will get the starting nod on Friday night, played decently in his first start with the Bulls this season in Game 5, scoring 13 points in 36 minutes. But Canaan can't replicate Rondo's overall impact on the game or his playoff experience, leaving the Bulls in a precarious situation as they try to fight their way to the second round.