Rajon Rondo has probably become the most polarizing Los Angeles Laker this season. At 34 years old, the guard has lost a lot of the skill that made him a valuable contributor in the past. He doesn’t play a ton of minutes, but Laker fans seem to mostly fed up with him.
Regardless, the team is sticking with him for the foreseeable future. When asked about Rondo’s net rating, head coach Frank Vogel discussed flaws with the stat and dropped some interesting insight.
“I think there are definitely some flaws,” Vogel said, per Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen & Roll. “You can’t overreact to the numbers and stats, and particularly with a guy like Rajon that really impacts the swag and confidence of the group. I think that’s gonna pay big dividends down the stretch here and into the playoffs. So I think there can be a little bit of a misleading aspect to that.”
It sounds like Vogel believes that Rondo impacts the game in a way that can’t necessarily be measured by statistics. It’s an interesting way to look at it, but it’s going to take more than “swag” to convince the fan base that Rondo is an integral piece to the team.
Dwyane Wade Calls Rondo ‘Missing Piece’
The reason many people still believe in Rondo is because of how he blew up in the 2017 playoffs while with the Chicago Bulls. If “playoff Rondo” is indeed a real thing, then perhaps he can be a major asset for the Lakers this year. Dwyane Wade seems to think Los Angeles needs him and called Rondo the team’s “missing piece to the second unit.”
As he gets older, it’s hard to know how much Rondo can still give in the playoffs. Even though he dazzled in the playoffs in 2017, he couldn’t even finish that series against the Boston Celtics due to injury.
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Rondo Explains What It’s Like to Play With Anthony Davis
Though the Lakers haven’t been perfect this year, they are led by an impressive duo. Anthony Davis represents half of the duo that leads the team and he’s having an amazing year. Rondo talked about what it’s like to play with the big man after he put up 37 points against the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Typical AD-show,” Rondo said of Davis, per Ryan Ward of Clutch Points. “He makes it look so effortless. Very easily get the ball in the paint. Score on anyone he plays against, and when he’s hitting the three like he did tonight, the closeouts come easy. He was able to get to the rim.
“Made some nice moves; some point-guard moves. He’s fun to watch and fun to play with.”
Unlike Rondo, Davis hasn’t been known to switch gears in the playoffs just yet. The Lakers are going to need him to if they hope to get to the NBA Finals. Rondo seems to think that Davis is in for a big postseason.
“Absolutely,” Rondo said when asked if Davis will keep up his play in the playoffs. “The energy and the adrenaline that you have going into those type of games, each round, that you pick up as a player. The lock-in, the mindset that you have going into each round deeper to the playoffs closer to the championship, you elevate your game, so I’m excited to see him get as close as possible to the Finals. See what he can do.”