The Indispensable Man

"It couldn’t have come at a worse time" said Rajon Rondo at a press conference following the Chicago's Game 3 loss to Boston

By Sam Smith

“Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego's in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You're the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an unfillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining,
Is a measure of how much you'll be missed.
You can splash all you wish when you enter,
You may stir up the water galore,
But stop, and you'll find that in no time,
It looks quite the same as before.
The moral of this quaint example,
Is to do just the best that you can,
Be proud of yourself but remember,
There's no indispensable man.”

---- The Indispensable Man, Saxon White Kessinger

The Bulls may be reconsidering this poem’s message in the wake of Friday’s dispiriting 104-87 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the first round playoffs. The Bulls lead 2-1 with Game 4 Sunday in the United Center.

“It couldn’t have come at a worse time,” Rondo said after Game 3 about his fractured thumb that likely will keep him out the rest of this series. “Things happen for a reason; it is what it is. I’m not sure how long I’ll be out. I plan on healing pretty quickly, but the doctors tell me a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how it goes week to week.

“Depends on what I can tolerate,” Rondo added. “I’ll check it every two days, see if I can pick up a ball. But right now I can’t even use a fork with my thumb. So it’s going to take a couple days to see how I feel and hopefully things get better. When I tried to pick a ball up it was pretty painful. I knew something was wrong. My finger was blue.”

It was a vast sea change in Game 3 without Rondo, and the Bulls certainly saw change, a stalled offense and stagnant defense that was unable to cope with the Celtics.

“I’m going to go home and watch film and see what we can do better,” Rondo said in his new role as assistant to the assistants. “It was a tough night. We didn’t defend the three as well as we did in Games 1 and 2. I think they got up 37 attempts; we have to get those attempts down. They made 17, but we have to a better job getting them off the line. We did a pretty good job rebounding the basketball, but we have to find a way to get into offense a little quicker and make better decisions with the ball.

Rondo, who met with media after the game for the first time since his injury, said he hurt his thumb in the third quarter of Game 2 swiping at an inbounds pass.

“I knew right then there was something wrong with my thumb,” said Rondo. “I continued to play, I didn’t think nothing of it. It was painful, but it’s the playoffs. I felt it right away, but I was able to push the ball with my left hand up the floor. I still made a couple of passes, but I was locked into the game and played through the pain.

“I do (consider myself a fast healer),” Rondo said. “I’ve had a couple of problems with my right hand the last month of the season. I was able to take a couple of days off and let it heal on its own or it got a little bit better, so I’m hoping it’s the same thing with my thumb; we’ll see.

"I go as my team goes. We were getting stops. I’m able to get out on the break and make plays for my teammates. Guys are running. The energy is different; the vibe is different. Offense flows a little more these last couple of months. I think we started to hit a rhythm at the right time and we all had a little bit to do with it."

Rajon Rondo about becoming so vital to the team recently

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media.

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