As the past few days have brought conflicting  reports  about whether Rajon Rondo  has already met with Dr. James Andrews or will do so in New York next week, the only certainty is that his return is on the horizon, and it couldn’t come at a better time for a Celtics  squad that just assumed first place in the Atlantic Division.
And while we can measure Rondo’s statistical impact on these Celtics all we want — as we attempted here  — Avery Bradley  knows the three-time NBA All-Star point guard brings so much more than stats.
“I think that’s going to be big and good for us to have a player like Rondo,” said Bradley, one of only five players on the current roster to play with him. “He’s a very good player, and that’s going to open up everything for everybody. Everybody’s going to get a lot of open looks, because he’s a great player. I can’t wait until he comes back.”
The C’s have shown a remarkable ability to stick with teams through the first three quarters of games, winning the ones when a handful of guys contribute on the same night — like Tuesday’s win over the Bucks, when Bradley’s 15 points, including a ridiculous over-the-backboard bucket , gave the Celtics six players in double figures .
“Everybody on our team I feel like can have a big game any night,” said Bradley. “That’s the good thing about our team. We have a lot of good players that could have breakout games. Jared [Sullinger]’s been playing well, Jordan [Crawford]’s been playing well and Jeff [Green]’s been playing well, and that brings a lot to our team when we have those guys come out every single night and take turns having big games.”
Except the Celtics can’t depend on six guys all coming to play every single night if they hope to cling to the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Just ask Gerald Wallace . They’re lacking star-power, especially when they need to execute in the final minutes of close contests. As Celtics coach Brad Stevens  said, “It’s hard sometimes when things tense up late.” Basically, they need Rondo. Half of their 12 losses have been by six or seven points, and Bradley knows Rondo’s return could mean the difference between competing regularly and winning regularly.
“It could be big for us,” he said. “I know once he comes back, a lot of teams are going to hate to play the Celtics.”