Despite being sidelined with a fractured thumb for Game 3 of Chicago’s first round matchup with the Celtics, Bulls point guard Rajon Rondo still tried to make his presence felt from the bench. Rondo looked as though he attempted to trip Celtics forward Jae Crowder after a made bucket late in the first quarter, sticking his leg out as Crowder strode past the Boston sideline.
The NBA fined Rondo $25,000 for attempting to trip Crowder.
Rondo denied the attempted trip in a postgame press conference, telling the media, “when you tear an ACL, your leg gets stiff every once and awhile. I stretch my leg out throughout the game... I guess he got so deep into our bench it looked like whatever may have happened.”
Regardless of the intentionality of Rondo’s leg motion, it seems increasingly likely that his attempts to stop Crowder and the Celtics will have to come solely from the bench. Rondo is currently sporting a cast on that fractured right thumb, and coach Fred Hoiberg said the point guard will be re-evaluated in 7-10 days. Chicago will host the Celtics in Game 4 of the series on Sunday, looking to take a 3-1 series edge before heading back to Boston.