During his 12-year stint in the NBA, Rajon Rondo has proven that he is one of the league’s elite point guards. His basketball IQ and incredible playmaking skills are the main reasons why the Los Angeles Lakers decided to sign him in the recent free agency. But, there is still one thing that makes the veteran point guard special. Rondo has consistently improved his performance during the postseason which gave him the nickname of “Playoff Rondo.”
In a recent interview with Mike Trudell of NBA.com, Rajon Rondo said that he’s aware of his nickname “Playoff Rondo,” explaining that it is not a myth. The 32-year-old point guard said that “Playoff Rondo” shows up whenever he is given more opportunity to play inside the court.
“If given an opportunity, knowing I’ll play 36 minutes a night, I can perform at a high level. Spotty or inconsistent minutes, which have been the case in the past, then the numbers fluctuate. The people that came up with this “Playoff Rondo” name or title or whatever they may call it, obviously (it’s because) I’ve been on TV during the playoffs. In the regular season last year, I had some good games. It got a little bit of publicity, but I think I’ve had six (regular season) TV games over the last two years between Chicago and New Orleans.”
With Lonzo Ball and Rajon Rondo, the Lakers have two point guards who combined for more than 15 assists per game last year.https://t.co/KCnhWMWZPu
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 19, 2018
What Rajon Rondo is saying is true. During the 2017-18 regular season with the New Orleans Pelicans where he played 26.2 minutes per game, Rondo averaged 8.3 points, 8.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.1 steals on 46.8 percent shooting from the field and 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Those numbers improved to 10.3 points, 12.2 assists, 7.6 rebounds, and 1.4 steals on 41.3 percent shooting from the field and 42.1 percent from beyond the arc when he averaged 33.6 minutes per game in the postseason.
As of now, Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton has yet to announce who will be joining LeBron James in the starting lineup next season. However, there is a strong possibility that Rajon Rondo could earn the role as the starting point guard. Incoming sophomore Lonzo Ball, who served as the Lakers starting point guard last season, is set to miss the opening of training camp as he recovers from left knee surgery.
With the presence of James on the team, the Lakers are expected to prioritize winning games over the development of their young players. If Rajon Rondo shows a good chemistry with LeBron, it will not be a surprise if Walton permanently uses him as their starting point guard next season.