The Los Angeles Lakers have taken a 2-1 lead against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs and are aiming to take a more commanding 3-1 lead when they take the court again Thursday night. The story of those two wins, thus far, has been the emergence of “Playoff Rondo.”
In those wins, two of just three games that he has appeared in since March, Rajon Rondo has been absolutely phenomenal. Often the black sheep of a great Lakers squad, Rondo has contributed in a major way off the bench both offensively and defensively, effectively reversing everything we thought we knew about him coming into the postseason.
These monstrous performances may have taken fans and media by surprise but if you ask his teammates and coaches, everyone knew Rondo would show up in the playoffs. No one had a better and more detailed explanation of just why Rondo has been enjoying so much success:
Last night, LeBron spoke a lot about the value of having veterans like him and Rondo, and what makes them so effective in the playoffs. pic.twitter.com/qCMXfJNI01
— Playoff Faigen (@hmfaigen) September 9, 2020
The intangibles for Rondo, a respected veteran and one-time champion, were never under question. But the point guard has also been able to produce on the court. You can see those on-the-fly adjustments that LeBron talked about in the film, whether it’s Rondo driving for layups against a Rockets team lacking rim protection or perfectly executing back door alley-oops with Anthony Davis mirroring that duo’s playoffs success with the Pelicans two years ago.
Hey everyone, this is @UnwrittenRul3s with a "Playoff Rondo" breakdown of game 3. He finished with 21 points and 9 assists in 30 minutes and it all started with him getting to the basket early. Houstons size combined with switching keeps very little shot blocking on the floor. pic.twitter.com/JrZ4FLwTKQ
— Lakers Outsiders (@LakersOutsiders) September 10, 2020
Davis, in particular, is no stranger to this Rondo and delivered the perfect one-liner to sum it all up after Tuesday’s win: “Playoff Rondo is real.”