National Basketball Association

'Playoff Rondo Might Be Real'

September 9

After the Los Angeles Lakers Game 1 loss to the Houston Rockets on Friday of last week, no pundit was more upset with the defeat than Nick Wright, who pointed out the return of Rajon Rondo into the lineup as an impediment to the Lakers' success.

Back in July, Rondo suffered a major setback just before the season was set to resume in the Orlando bubble. 

He missed the Lakers' first round series against the Portland Trail Blazers, and coming into Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals, Rondo hadn't played since a 15-minute outing back on March 10 against Brooklyn.

And naturally, he was a bit rusty.

But what Wright and others didn't realize is that in Game 1, Rajon Rondo showed up.

In Games 2 and 3, we got 'Playoff Rondo.'

In Game 1, Rondo shot 3-for-9 from the field, recording 8 points, 4 assists and 4 turnovers in 24 minutes. But since then, he's arguably been the Lakers' third-most productive player behind LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 

In Game 2, Rondo tallied 10 points, 9 assists and 5 steals in 28 minutes, and on Tuesday night, Rondo put up 21 points and 9 assists in 30 minutes, shooting 8-for-11 from the field and connecting on 3 of his 5 three-point attempts. 

In his 14-year career, Rondo has averages of 10.2 points, 8.3 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals in the regular season. But the playoffs have always been a different story for the former NBA champion. 

In the postseason, he averages 14.0 points, 9.3 assists, 6.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals, which explains how the 'Playoff Rondo' moniker was born. 

And even Wright had to acknowledge it on Wednesday. 

"In the two regular seasons he's played with the Lakers, he has been the worst player on the team ... To me, I had no choice but to believe that is who he was at this point ... [but] something happened in these last two games to where I might have to open my mind up that 'Playoff Rondo' really still is a thing."

'Playoff Rondo' and the Lakers will take the floor for Game 4 against the Houston Rockets on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET. 


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