NBA Playoffs 2017: Thumb injury adds intrigue to Bulls’ Rajon Rondo decision

While Thomas did find a cutting Jae Crowder, Morris rotated over in enough time to block the layup attempt. Wall found Morris for an open jumper as part of a broken play in transition. Pretty? No. But it’s the playoffs. You just have to get the job done.

Give Thomas all the credit in the world for his playoff performance so far. He’s playing inspired basketball following the tragic death of his sister, not to mention two days of dental surgery. But the Wizards also didn’t do much to stop him, particularly in clutch time. If Washington wants to extend this series, Brooks has to go back to the defensive drawing board.

For point guard Rajon Rondo, the question is a familiar one: Now what??

The Bulls announced Friday that Rondo has a fracture in his thumb, suffered during his sterling performance (11 points, nine rebounds, 14 assists, five steals) in Chicago’s Game 2 win over Boston Tuesday night. That puts him out indefinitely and puts a serious dent in the Bulls’ suddenly boisterous postseason hopes.

Rondo’s long-term fate, though, remains a question mark. The Bulls have him signed for next year, at nearly $14 million, but can opt out of that deal by waiving Rondo before June 30. The team would still have to pay Rondo $3 million in that instance. Rondo said after Game 2 he hoped to be back with Chicago next season, even if fellow veteran Dwyane Wade opts out of his deal and goes elsewhere.

Of course, there are two other factors to consider. The first is that the Bulls were not a better team with Rondo on the floor this season: according to Basketball-reference.com, the Bulls were 1.0 points worse with Rondo on the floor offensively, and 3.4 points worse defensively.

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