Lakers news: Colin Cowherd says Rajon Rondo is nail in coffin for title hopes

Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Yanshan Zhang/Getty Images)
Los Angeles Lakers (Photo by Yanshan Zhang/Getty Images) /

Some pundits think LeBron James and the Lakers title hopes are sunk

It’s been a while since we’ve had to break down the pros and cons of NBA and Los Angeles Lakers roster changes. It appears some pundits might have forgotten which players have an actual impact on the hardwood.

Following Rajon Rondo‘s injury in one of the first practices in the Orlando bubble, it was made clear that the Lakers will have to make some adjustments. There’s certainly impact in losing Rondo, despite the fact that he hasn’t been stellar this year. A cluster of players will have more pressure applied to them in Orlando due to the absence of Rondo.

Still, the Lakers are title favorites according to Odds Shark, and they boast one of the best rosters heading into the bubble games.

Let’s take a look at one of the most recent claims from a national radio host.

Colin Cowherd said LeBron and the Lakers won’t win a title

On his show, The Herd with Colin Cowherd, Colin Cowherd said that the Lakers are no longer a title team in light of the losses of Avery Bradley (opted out of the NBA’s bubble in order to spend time with family) and Rajon Rondo, out for 6-to-8 weeks due to a broken bone that he sustained over the weekend in practice.

"“When I see the story that Rondo is hurt, [Lebron is] not winning a title. The Clippers in the same building are healthy, rested, and go 9-to-10 deep. So now Avery Bradley’s not around, he’s a starter, and Rondo’s not around. He’s a real high IQ rotational playoff guy, this is not a championship team. And LeBron deep down knows it.”"

While it’s true that Rondo is a high-IQ basketball player and a historically solid perimeter defender, the Lakers strong defense is predicated on the likes of the starting unit and the rim-protecting big men they have in Anthony Davis, JaVale McGee, and Dwight Howard, not Rajon Rondo.

Furthermore, the numbers show Rondo isn’t exactly an elite defender this year. His defensive box plus/minus registers at 0.0, the fifth-worst on the Lakers roster.

Alex Caruso will now get more run for defensive purposes in the second unit, a far superior defender to Rondo as of late with a 2.4 defensive box plus/minus which ranks him fourth on the Lakers roster.

Caruso’s defensive RPM, per ESPN, is 3.21 greater than Rondo’s.

Ultimately, it’s a weird stance to take. Cowherd spends a good amount of time in this clip talking about how great LeBron James is, only to say that losing Rondo, a rotational player at best (Cowherd himself admits Rondo is a rotational player) is the nail in the coffin for the Lakers.

Yes, the Lakers have taken some hits the last few days, particularly in the backcourt. They still have LeBron James and Anthony Davis, two top-10 players in the league on both ends of the floor. Arguably, James is the best postseason player until proven otherwise. Last time LeBron was in the playoffs, he averaged 34.0 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game.

And you’re telling me Rajon Rondo is the reason that player won’t will his team to a title? Alright…

There’s no need to panic yet, not even close.

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