Rajon Rondo visited a hand specialist Monday morning before missing his third straight game with a sprained right wrist.
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg called the injury “very significant.” But a team spokesperson later clarified that Hoiberg meant the loss of Rondo, not the severity of injury.
Along those lines, Rondo hasn’t been officially ruled out of Wednesday’s regular-season finale. Rondo on Friday said, “The Bulls will still be playing basketball when I come back.”
Whatever the case, Rondo still has swelling in the wrist, although he did some light shooting Sunday and worked out pregame by doing defensive close-outs on teammates and dribbling with his left hand. Rondo wears a brace while not exercising and only tape when doing on-court work.
“If there’s any way for Rajon to be out there, he would,” Hoiberg said. “He wants to be out there as bad as anybody, especially the way he was playing. He’s as responsible as anybody for the recent success that we’ve had.
“When he was on the floor based on our style of play, he was excellent at getting us into an offense and getting the ball down the floor with pace. We were sharing the ball. That all started with him. We’ll miss him.”
Take it easy: After an overtime loss Sunday to the Hawks that featured LeBron James logging 47 minutes and Kyrie Irving playing 45, the Cavaliers rested both Monday against the Heat despite being in a race for the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed.
That had implications for the Bulls, who are in a race with the Heat and Pacers for the final two East playoff spots.
Despite Commissioner Adam Silver calling the act of resting players “a significant issue for our league” at last week’s Board of Governors meetings, Hoiberg took the high road.
“Those guys are getting ready for a playoff push,” Hoiberg said. “A lot of teams do that at this time of year, especially teams that have established position. It is what it is.”
Point, counterpoint: Jerian Grant has played well in Rondo’s absence. He posted 15 points and five assists in each of the first two games he started and had seven and four in the first quarter Monday before finishing with 17 points and a career-high 11 assists.
“My confidence is still high,” Grant said, referencing his surprising omission from the rotation before Rondo’s injury. “I tried to stay in rhythm by doing extra work.”