Playoff Rondo a steady support for the Los Angeles Lakers

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Rajon Rondo keeps providing the Los Angeles Lakers a reliable presence on the floor in the Western Conference Finals.

We have already said it before, Rajon Rondo has made all the difference for the Los Angeles Lakers in the playoffs. Coming from a six-month stop and two injuries, no one had any expectations on him. Many were also worried he could hurt LA’s run.

Yet, Playoff Rondo has been a stabilizing force for the purple and gold in these playoffs, backing up LeBron James as a floor general and also sharing the floor with him in a very effective three-point guard lineup.

We saw him navigate the Western Conference Semifinals, as he was out for the first round, and it has not been different in the current series. Through four games against the Denver Nuggets, he is averaging 7.5 points, 8.3 assists and 1.5 steals, shooting 42.9 percent from three.

Lakers’ wins and losses in this series have been connected to Rondo’s performances. In their only loss, he committed four turnovers, shot 0-for-3 from the arc and 1-for-3 from free throws, for a total -13 plus/minus. Despite this, he had eight points and nine assists, and completed three key steals in the fourth quarter, when the Lakers turned a 20-point deficit in a three-point game.

In the wins, he has contributed in many different areas, finding every night a way to impact the game and affect the outcome. Seven points, nine assists and two steals in Game 1, nine assists and 1-for-2 from three in Game 2, eleven points, five rebounds and seven assists in Game 4.

Most importantly, he has not only raised his production in the most important part of the season, he also usually gives his best effort in the second half, pushing the Lakers in the most important moment of games.

Rajon has been playing 13.6 minutes in the second half with a +2.1 plus/minus, constantly part of the game-closing lineup. He is putting up career numbers, shooting 44 percent from three, a second-best 2.5 steals per game and 52.4 from the field, for a career-high 57.5 effective field goal percentage.

His leadership has been invaluable for LA, often regrouping with his teammates in game delays to assess the situation and give indications for real-time adjustments. All season long he has been a leader and a vocal presence for the team.

His experience and brilliant basketball mind have provided the Lakers with crucial cues on the game, giving them the best chance to get away with a win.

Next. Lessons from Game 4 win over Nuggets. dark

It is undeniable that Rondo’s wisdom and production have been key factors in LA’s deep playoff run, and as long as his contribution remains so, the Los Angeles Lakers know they can count on a solid presence to stabilize the team in clutch moments.