Rondo is dealing with a thumb fracture and torn ligaments in his wrist, injuries that have forced him to miss three games of the Bulls' first-round series against Boston. Isaiah Canaan will get the start in his place but is a significant downgrade from Rondo, who was playing excellent basketball before getting injured, averaging 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10 assists through the first two games of the playoffs. Rondo will reportedly attempt to get a workout in Thursday night, but the chances of him participating in Game 6, and Game 7 if necessary, are slim.
Canaan logged 36 minutes and scored 13 points (6-11 FG, 1-5 3PT), but did not record an assist and had four turnovers after starting in Wednesday's Game 5. With Rajon Rondo (thumb) likely out again for Friday's game, the Bulls will need Canaan to step up in a big way in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. His 34 and 36 minutes played over his last two games indicate that head coach Fred Hoiberg significantly favors him at the one spot relative to guards Michael Carter-Williams and Jerian Grant.
Allen remains doubtful for the remainder of the first round, so if the Grizzlies do extend the series to a Game 7, he still likely won't be cleared for a return to the court. James Ennis has started the last two games and has averaged 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 assist across 31.5 minutes. He remains the favorite to start in Allen's place.
Smart's tough defense and passing skills have earned him essentially starter's minutes during the series with Chicago. He's averaging 5.4 assists per game this post season, highlighted by Wednesday's eight dimes. And he is bringing Memphis-style grindhouse grit to a Boston squad with limited playoff experience. His battles with Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade are reminiscent of Tony Allen's early days with the Celtics. Boston can tolerate his poor shooting as long as his rugged defense and strong passing continue.
Coach Fred Hoiberg essentially had Wade play point guard for the evening despite starting Isaiah Canaan in place of Rajon Rondo (thumb). The game flowed fairly smoothly through Wade for most of the game, until things fell apart in the fourth quarter. Wade let his frustration with the team's collapse boil over and a few choice words to a referee resulted in a technical foul. Despite the negative outcome, Wade recorded a double-double and flirted with a triple-double. Wade's playoff experience is invaluable to the team, and though one should expect strong games like this from the 11 -year vet, his stat line will reduce a bit if Rondo returns in Game 6.
Bradley was absolutely clutch for the Celtics in Game 5, making plays all over the floor and although Isaiah Thomas also scored 24 points, Bradley was the star of the show on Wednesday. He shot 57.8 percent from the floor and was turnover-free on the evening. Since returning from injury he has gradually stolen more minutes from Marcus Smart, although coach Brad Stevens will play the hottest hand. It's for this reason that Bradley is at best the third-most reliable DFS option for the Celtics despite Wednesday's performance. He'll look to have another strong game in Chicago for Game 6.
Thomas struggled mightily to find a rhythm with his shot in the first half but it never arrived. His primary contribution came on the defensive side, helping his team dominate the fourth quarter with a couple of key rebounds as well as a torrent of free throws. While Al Horford actually led the team in assists, Thomas is the unquestioned floor general in Boston and will continue to show up with big stat lines as long as the Celtics are alive.
Schroder scorched the Wizards from long range connecting on a series-high five three on 83.3 percent from deep. It resulted in his highest point total of the series and of all scorers in the game, but it wasn't enough to sneak by Washington in Game 5. The German point guard has really stepped it up in the playoffs, scoring at least 20 points in four of his five games for an average of 24.4 points per game-- more than six points higher than his regular season average.
Beal was dreadful from deep in Game 5 as he has been for much of the series-- he's shooting just 24 percent from three in the playoffs-- but that didn't stop him from pacing the Wizards in scoring. The dynamic guard has now scored over 20 points in four of five games in the series. Beal also came up big defensively. His six combined blocks and steals doubled his previous post-season high this year.
Wall was key to lifting the Wizards to a win in Wednesday's pivotal Game 5 matchup tying his series-high 14 assists and recording at least 20 points for the fifth straight game in the playoffs. Wall has been steady all series and has recorded a double-double in three of the series' five games.