It hasn’t been the smoothest season for Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo, as he has struggled to play at the level that has made him a valuable asset in the past, often drawing the ire of fans of the purple and gold.
However, in the Lakers locker room, Rondo draws massive respect as a figure the team needs to win a championship. Lakers forward Jared Dudley broke down what Rondo brings to the table, what the team needs more of and why he’s an indispensable piece while on the “Inside the Green Room” podcast with Danny Green.
“I would say the thing about Rondo is that he’s so smart, so intelligent,” Dudley said. “What he has to realize is hey, the game has changed, we need you to score more to open it up for others. Your threat of shooting. I don’t care if you go 1-4 from three, if you’re open you have to shoot it. That one game he hit four or five threes. And then yes, he’s our second-best playmaker.”
Jared Dudley Wants Rajon Rondo to Take Open Shots
Dudley was referring to a game on Feb. 10 when Rondo went 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and scored a season-high 23 points. It was just the second time Rondo cracked the 20 point mark this season, although at this point in his career he’s gained more of a reputation for his playmaking ability and veteran savvy.
While Dudley was complimentary of his teammate, he still know Rondo can be better.
“If he shoots the ball more, it opens up more of a natural playmaking. We don’t want to be over-dribbling, holding the ball and he’s had that freedom his whole career, it’s just different. How I look at it is let it be through the flow of the offense. … And the thing about Rondo is his defense is so good when he’s locked in that it opens up us getting out in transition, and once we’re out in transition, we’re almost unguardable.”
Role Players Key to Lakers Success
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has praised his squad for different role players stepping up night to night — whether it be Rondo, Alex Caruso or even Dwight Howard.
“That’s been the beautiful thing about this team — we’ve had different guys step up each night,” Vogel told reporters.
The Lakers have made no secret that they were shopping for someone to fill the backup point guard role with Rondo struggling. Darren Collison and Derrick Rose were among the names mentioned to fill the spot, but nothing ultimately manifested. Dudley sees Rondo and the role players as the key ingredients to a championship run.
“We need Rondo to win the championship, we need him to play at a high level.,” Dudley said. “We already know what LeBron and AD are gonna do. It’s our role players and certain things, and I always say ‘don’t do more, do exactly what you’re supposed to do.’”