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Ball Don't Lie

Rajon Rondo feels like the Celtics have already beaten the Hawks

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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Rajon Rondo dribbles past Jeff Teague (Scott Cunningham/ Getty).

Last Sunday, Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo caused a ruckus when he bumped official Marc Davis, got ejected, and was suspended for Game 2 of his team's series against the Atlanta Hawks. After a Game 1 loss, the Celtics looked in danger of going into a 2-0 hole. Luckily for them, the Hawks failed to beat the Celtics despite facing a team without their starting backcourt, thereby giving the Celtics home-court advantage as the series shifts to Boston on Friday night. All things considered, they're doing pretty well.

However, the series is obviously not over — the Hawks have lots of talent and are certainly capable of beating a Ray Allen-less team once in Boston to change the complexion of this tussle once again. Apparently Rondo thinks differently, though, because in his mind the Celtics have already moved on to the second round. From Steve Bulpett for the Boston Herald (via SLAM):

"The end result is all that matters," Rondo said. "If there had been a different result, it would have been very difficult. But since we won, it felt like we won the series already."

(Yeah, like that last sentence isn't going to be cut out and enlarged and placed in front of every Hawk's face.)

Rondo was asked about the appreciation he showed to his teammates — he ran down the tunnel at Philips Arena and hugged Kevin Garnett — and whether he felt he let his teammates down by missing the game.

"I didn't feel like I needed to say thank you for getting this win," Rondo replied. "We're trying to get as many wins as possible. You know, they've won without me before, so it's not the first game I've missed. I've missed (for) injuries and suspensions. It's just a big win because this is the playoffs. You know, every win counts."

Rondo's comments are a little imprecise, and it's possible that he really just meant he was incredibly relieved that his absence didn't put the Celtics in a tight spot. However, it came out as pretty much the definition of billboard material for the Hawks, and it makes Rondo look like he's underestimating the threat in this series.

That doesn't mean Rondo is a bad guy, but it does cast him as a little reckless in his comments. And while a different kind of recklessness also got him in trouble in Game 1, it'd behoove him to think more before he acts. Confidence is one thing, but acting irresponsibly can get a team in trouble in a short series, whether it provides a tangible edge or a mental one.

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