Playoff Rondo is Rising

Lakers fans have had a stressful time with Rajon Rondo. During any given Rondo minutes this past season, there was a 100% chance you could find a tweet from a fan wanting Rondo out of the game. In fact, fans often wanted Alex Caruso to get more minutes instead because he was improving and impacted the game at a higher level than Rondo.

We hadn’t witnessed Rondo in a playoff series yet (in purple and gold, at least) so we didn’t realize Playoff Rondo was coming. Now, he’s here, and it’s been a beautiful sight for Lakers fans. He’s become an important piece for the Lakers on this championship run.

When Rondo returned from his injuries, Coach Frank Vogel decided to let him play, but didn’t hesitate to take him out when he struggled. It was odd, considering he had just returned from injuries, but it ended up paying off. Playoff Rondo was awakening.

Since he joined the team in the playoffs, he’s slightly increased his numbers from the regular season:

2019–2020 regular season averages: 7.1 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists

2019–2020 postseason averages: 9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 7.6 APG

In the Lakers’ first two games against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals, Rondo was +13 and +6. In order for the team to continue their success, they’ll need Playoff Rondo to continue to show. He can space the floor when needed and make some winning plays.

In Game 3, of the Western Conference Finals, Rondo wasn’t playing as well. He then went right back into Playoff mode and nearly helped the Lakers pull off a late comeback with suffocating defense that made the Nuggets cough up some turnovers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough since the Lakers weren’t shooting the ball well, and Jamal Murray came through in the clutch to seal the win for the Nuggets.

One of Rondo’s specialties is making passes that look ridiculously great. Here’s a video showing some assists from Game 1 against the Nuggets:

He is also being left open to shoot a lot, which has contributed to his 3-point percentage from the regular season 32.8% rise to 41.7% in the postseason.

Oh yeah, and there’s this wild shot, which was completely ridiculous, that wowed us all:

As a Lakers fan, when I see players start improving at the right time, it makes my heart flutter. This Lakers team has gelled together really well after a shaky showing in the seeding games. Nearly all of their players, including Rondo, have improved. Although, they still have some games where they completely stink up the joint, they know how to bounce back, and usually do so with a vengeance. 

Stats from: Statmuse

BONUS! Check out The Playgrounder’s latest podcast where USA Today’s Mark Medina discusses why he voted for LeBron James for MVP.

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