Los Angeles Lakers: How Rajon Rondo will kill any NBA Finals chances

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Rajon Rondo has played his way out of numerous franchises. What happens if the Playoff Rondo narrative is taken from him?

Rajon Rondo’s playoff reputation is based on his performances in Boston. At last check, it is now 2020. The last deep playoff run Rondo was back in 2010. Didn’t the Los Angeles Lakers win that year?

The point is, Rondo is far removed from those times to be a major contributor for a Los Angeles Lakers run to the NBA Finals. Most experts pan his performance this year with, “He’ll turn into ‘Playoff Rondo’ in the postseason.” Lake Show Life says he won’t. But let’s assume that the team agrees and makes a move.

Rajon Rondo has always been a calculated risk when putting together a team. Rondo has a shelf life before he lets it be known that there are things that he is not cool with. He did it last year at times with his distractions. Plus, he is known to carry a grudge or two. It has happened at almost every stop in his career.


At the end of his tenure when Brad Stevens was brought in as coach, it was clear that Rondo was not a fit. Stevens tried to implement a motion offense (Umm, the Lakers have that offense right?) and a defensive identity for the team. By the time Rondo was traded, he had a reputation of breaking the offensive sets to get his assists. Defense? Well, that got him a ticket out-of-town to the Dallas Mavericks.


It’s really difficult to alienate an entire franchise in five-months. Yes, the player accomplished it. He was suspended almost immediately for conduct detrimental to the team in February of 2015. Well, this play in the playoffs pretty much sums it up against Houston. An 8-second call and a 3-point shot from Jason Terry ended Rondo’s stint in Dallas.

He was sent home for the playoffs after the game. The word “quit” floated around Rondo as he and head coach Rick Carlisle did not get along and offensive chemistry suffered when he was on the floor. Remember that mysterious back injury he had in the playoffs after he was benched? Did you believe that? Good, two points for you.


Rajon Rondo played his way out of the rotation, got suspended, and called out Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade all in the same year! But somehow things worked out to get in the playoffs. This is when fans were reminded of Playoff Rondo. The Bulls should have swept the Celtics that year. A broken thumb derailed Chicago’s chances. In the offseason, the team released him.

New Orleans:

The Los Angeles Lakers are banking for this player that teamed up with Anthony Davis to shock the NBA world in the playoffs a couple of seasons ago. Only one problem, that was a couple of seasons ago and a few things were overlooked.

A DeMarcus Cousins Achilles injury and a trade at the deadline left the Pelicans in dire straits. Alvin Gentry had to piece together a helter-skelter pacing scheme to compensate. There was a period that Rondo was out of the rotation. But when called on, his collaboration with Jrue Holiday worked. After taking Portland to the shed sweeping them in four games, they took a game in the second round from the Golden State Warriors. Most of the success was because of Rajon.

But if he played so well, why did New Orleans let him walk?

If the Los Angeles Lakers don’t bring in another point guard, that’s okay. Believe it or not, they have enough. However, these things have to happen.

  • Avery Bradley should have his minutes increased. If there is an “unofficial” minute restriction based on leg injuries, cool. But it needs to be lifted soon.
  • Alex Caruso needs more consistent minutes. Period. He deserves it not only for his defense but he needs to be comfortable so his shot is not affected. He lost his shot for about 5 games. No field goals. That won’t fly in the playoffs.
  • Kentavious Caldwell-Pope needs more minutes. To the ones that are paying attention, KCP has been the most consistent outside shooter on the team. He’s notoriously streaky. The Lakers can’t afford him to lose his confidence like he did in the first two weeks of the season.
  • Give Quinn Cook 10-15 minutes to see what he can do. He contributed for the Warriors in the Finals. Did he forget how to play basketball? Troy Daniels is a stretch but at least see what the options are with him as well. 

Again, the Lakers may bring in someone from the buyout market. But if they don’t, if Rajon Rondo still plays 15-20 minutes a game backing up LeBron James, the Los Angeles Lakers will be upset in the first round.

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