The Return of Playoff Rondo
So Bill Game One against Houston was Rozan rondos first game nearly six months. Can you break down everything that he went through with injuries? Yeah. It was interesting because this is a guy who has been slowly it feels like kind of breaking down as he's gotten older he had two broken fingers on his right hand last year his first year with the Lakers. This year he had a calf injury. He had an aversion fracture in his right ring finger and this is all before we get to March and the shutdown from the pandemic. So the Lakers are off for four months they go to. ORLANDO. Rajon Rondo is with the team their first practice inside the bubble Lakers guard Rajon Rondo has suffered a broken right thumb in. He's expected to return to full basketball activities in six to eight weeks, he's going to undergo surgery to repair the fact fracture this week. So he leaves the bubble has surgery. He's out for another six weeks or so the Lakers have a first round series against the Blazers Rondo, comes back to the bubble and is actually cleared to play for game three against the Portland Trailblazers, he's on the court getting ready. For that Game Rondo was listed as active tonight for the Lakers but was a late scratch with back spasms that happened. So, by the time, we got to game one of the second round against the rockets. There was kind of this sense of porcelain Rondo forget about it what level, but is he just going to be healthy enough to play and be able to stay healthy to make a contribution to this team? What does he had to say about all of these injuries he basically downplayed the injuries and said that these are the sorts of things that are going to frustrate. Anyone was very frustrating injury and step back I'm my career fourteen years have. Everything happens for a reason. Obsolete man says talks we. Still for the moment but the timing of this latest injury, the broken thumb and the back spasms I think particularly frustrating for him because this is a guy whose entire reputation and career is built on playoff performance on being a guy who really ramps it up in the postseason. Early, in his career uses a second your point guard with the Celtics out of Kentucky playing with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen and Paul. Pierce and he ended up playing an instrumental role. You remember the two thousand, eight finals against the Lakers decisive blowout game. You know he had twenty one points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers twenty one point seven rebounds eight assists six steals to give the Celtics a championship for that story franchises nearly ovation barrage. You've seen it win Lebron was in Miami. If you remember game three of these conference semi finals Rondo dislocated his elbow. Oh. Wow. Left arm hyper-extended boy. Didn't see it on that I replay certainly. Saw It there. When back to the locker room pop back in came back onto the court to help the Celtics with game. Time is pad. Rajon Rondo expired the crowd rare Boston. We've seen it time and time again in his career in these big moments, it's not superhuman. But when you take a player who is seen as a high level, but not superstar player can a hitting that superstar switch when the playoffs come then obviously a legend starts to grow. And for him did have another injury right when the Lakers were expecting to get him at his best was extremely frustrating. But the timing actually ended up working out he made it back for the second round series against the rockets and as we've seen was really no worse for the wear the Lakers got blown out by the rockets in game one. They're all going to be in a good mood tonight as the Houston Rockets when it one twelve to ninety seven. But after that, they rattled off four straight wins how much credit do you think Rondo deserves further taking that series. So easily I think you could make an argument that without Rajon Rondo certainly that the Lakers wouldn't have off the next four wins, but he was instrumental in games two and three and four also, but specifically games two and three with his performance in the fourth quarter game too. He knocked down a late jump shot to kind of hold off the rockets and what was a close game Rondo two. Point jump shot that's Rajon Rondo with a bucket right there ten points nine assists for Rondo and then engaged three. He was actually the guy who is Lebron James on the bench to start the fourth quarter in what was a close game at the start of that period he either scored or assisted on Lakers I eight possessions of that quarter to help kind of turn what had been another tight close game into a rout for the Lakers. Rondo. He'll three and Rondo hits another one largest laker lead tonight Rondo has. Been Spectacular and a nice Lee for Kuzma. This is sort of how his reputation has been built. But this also is kind of out of line with the way he's played for the Lakers over his first two years. He hasn't been the guy who has come up in the big moments or been clutch. You've seen the decline of a player who's in his mid thirties and has been in the League for fourteen years, but there has always been this belief from the Lakers that when the playoffs come that he. Would step up and have those sort of vintage Rondo performances and so what you saw was sort of this return to form that the Lakers have always promised would be there and you saw not only offensively. But also defensively when Houston started to make runs, it was Rajon Rondo who was picking up James Harden full court and pestering him into turnovers they double team Arden and get a steal and another round of bucket. That's a ten old laker run hard was trying to go behind the back Rondo was right there. In both game two in game three second-half possessions where rondos picking up James Harden. The former MVP of the league, hounding him into a turnover, taking his pocket and going the other way for layup that completely shifted momentum and those both are Lakers win. So when you look at what Rondo did in those two games, I, think you could easily say that the Lakers could have been down two. Oh, two one in the series instead of kind of romping to a five game series victory.