The Dallas Mavericks fell into a daunting 2-0 series hole against the Houston Rockets following a 111-99 loss Tuesday night, and to add to their stress level, there’s now a whole new round of drama with point guard Rajon Rondo.
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle glued the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent to the pine for all but 34 seconds of the second half, and the moody floor general left the arena without speaking to reporters.
With Rondo on the floor for a total of 37 minutes during the series, Houston has outscored Dallas by 36 points during that span.
Per the Dallas Morning News and ESPN:
After the game, he walked briskly to the bus, leaving behind a trail of reporters and declining comment. […] Earlier in the game, after being substituted for five minutes into the first quarter, Rondo sat away from the team huddle during a timeout, as teammate Richard Jefferson kneeled in front of him and spoke to him.
Coach Rick Carlisle was asked about Rondo’s effort in Game 2. […] “You can ask him that question,” Carlisle said. “All I know, right now, is that we need everybody at their competitive best. This isn’t about one guy who did or didn’t play. This is about everybody pulling in the same direction for the organization.”
Rondo certainly didn’t come close to his competitive best during the nine minutes, 55 seconds that he wasn’t on the bench during Game 2. […] A little more than four minutes into the game, Rondo nonchalantly walked the ball up the floor, getting whistled for an absolutely ridiculous eight-second backcourt violation with the Rockets not even applying pressure. He was pulled for J.J. Barea 40 seconds later — after Rondo wandered aimlessly on defense to let Jason Terry hit a wide-open 3 — and Carlisle didn’t call for Rondo again until 5:30 remained in the second quarter.