Rajon Rondo will not be allowed to go the full 40-plus minutes he prefers to play in such games, but he will get a bit more leeway Tuesday when the Celtics take on the Miami Heat.
Rondo will be available for 20-25 minutes in Miami, the Celtics have announced. That’s a far cry from some of the bigger minutes totals he has logged against the Heat over the years, but Celtics coach Brad Stevens is staying cautious despite two encouraging performances from his All-Star point guard in his return from a long layoff following knee surgery.
Rondo has played 40 or more minutes nine times against Miami in his career, with a high of 53 in Game 2 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. He played 44 minutes as recently as Halloween Eve 2012, when he came within three rebounds of a triple-double in a 120-107 loss.
Rondo was restricted to 18-20 minutes in his first two games, beginning with 19:25 in his debut against the Los Angeles Lakers. He went slightly over with 21:20 in Sunday’s game against the Orlando Magic. He played the final 6:48 and was on the floor at the end of that two-point loss.