I would think that the player getting a free pass in this case would be Marcus Smart. Smart hasn't even outplayed Evan Turner for the back up PG position and Rondo has a ring and 4 All Star games and 4 All-Defensive team awards and averaged more than 11 assist per game three times to prove he deserves the starting position over both those players.
If Rondo isn't ready to go all-out ... then, I hope Stevens keeps him on the bench.
Let Smart start and let Rondo build up his game-fitness from backup PG slot.
No player should be given a free pass. And a great player should not want a free pass
Your statement makes little sense.
And when Rondo is healthy and ready to play at full capacity, he will regain his starting spot.
Just until then - play the guys who are healthy enough to give best effort.
This isn't like last season when Ainge traded away all the backcourt depth and Boston had no quality alternatives to playing Rondo while he was at 60-70% for 30mpg.
This year's team has great depth. It can has good alternatives on it's roster to a partially-healthy Rondo. When Rondo is ready, the starting PG is his. It is not under threat. He is far and away the best player on the team.
But if he isn't ready to play at a high level from Day One, then bring him off the bench and let him play himself into shape. Let the other guys do the heavy lifting for now.
Guys, he broke his hand, not a leg. He can still run and function, even when recovering with his hand wrapped up. He'll be in fine condition. And Rondo never even uses his left hand on layups anyway.