BOSTON — It’s official: Rajon Rondo is back.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced Wednesday that Rondo will in fact be in the lineup when Boston opens its regular season against the Brooklyn Nets at TD Garden.
Rondo will start in his usual point guard spot after missing the entire preseason with a broken hand. Had he not been able to go, rookie Marcus Smart would have gotten the nod.
Stevens said Rondo will not be under any minutes restrictions, though he may play “in shorter stints” than usual with shorter rest periods in between.
“It’ll be about how he plays after that,” Stevens said. “It really is his first preseason game, as well.”
Smart will be the first point guard off the bench for the Celtics, and Evan Turner and Phil Pressey could see time at the position, as well. Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk will round out the starting five against the Nets.
“It doesn’t change anything,” Stevens said of Rondo’s return potentially altering his game plan. “This has the plan all along, to play this way with Rondo.”
Stevens said Rondo will wear some sort of pad on his surgically repaired left hand but has no worries about the guard’s conditioning and game-readiness.
“He’s as up to speed as he can be,” the coach said. “… He’s been here every day, and I think he’s ready to roll. And he’s obviously ready to play.”
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