Bulls bench Rajon Rondo for entire second half; Rondo says he's not surprised

Rajon Rondo's season with the Chicago Bulls hit a new low Friday.

In the first half of a 111-101 loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Bulls were outscored by 20 points in the 11 minutes he played. In the second half, coach Fred Hoiberg decided not to play Rondo at all, relying instead on Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams.

Rondo's reaction:

Rondo added that this is "not life and death" and he's "going to continue to work hard, stay in the gym, lead these guys when I can, talk to my teammates, be professional," via the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson. That sounds pretty good, but this situation is looking worse and worse.

Rajon Rondo on the bench
Rajon Rondo was benched for the second half against Indiana on Friday. USATSI

Two months into the season, Rondo is averaging 7.5 points, 7.3 assists and 6.7 rebounds, and he is shooting a career-low 37.2 percent. As expected, opposing teams are consistently daring him to shoot from beyond the arc and his inability to make them pay is hurting Chicago's spacing. The Bulls' backcourt defense is a catastrophe. So is the fact that they're dead last in 3-pointers made and attempted by significant margins.

With the loss to the Pacers, Chicago is now 16-17 on the season, just barely hanging onto the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. It has lost seven of its last 10 games, and the rumors about Hoiberg's job security have already started. The Bulls are desperate for wins, and it appears that Hoiberg thinks the best way to get them is sitting Rondo on the bench.

The most troubling part about all this: It's not as if Rondo is not playing so Hoiberg can put a sharpshooter out there. By the numbers, Carter-Williams and Grant are even worse 3-point shooters than Rondo, but they've been better defensively and will defer to Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade on offense.

Chicago plays the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Hoiberg did not commit to keeping Rondo in the starting role, per ESPN's Nick Friedell.

CBS Sports Writer

James Herbert is somewhat fond of basketball, feature writing and understatements. A former season-ticket holder for the expansion Toronto Raptors, Herbert does not think the NBA was better back in the... Full Bio

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