Frank Vogel and the Lakers have released a statement regarding Rajon Rondo’s injury and availability for Game 1 vs Rockets.
Rajon Rondo has not played in an NBA game since March 10, a couple days before the NBA got suspended due to Covid-19. Rondo would have played during the NBA restart’s seeding games but suffered a thumb injury shortly after the Los Angeles Lakers arrived in Orlando.
To add to the 34 year old’s physical concerns, Rondo has been stricken with back spasms since late August, ruling him out for the first round matchup against the Portland Trailblazers.
Lakers defeated the Blazers without Rajon Rondo in 5 games.
Is Rajon Rondo playing tonight vs Rockets?
According to the injury report released by the Lakers, Rajon Rondo has been listed as ‘probable’ for tonight’s Game 1 vs Rockets and Frank Vogel is confident of seeing him in rotation.
Rondo was initially due to be back on the court, to facilitate the second unit’s offense, back on August 23rd, in Game 3 against the Blazers. This however did not pan out as the Lakers hoped it would as the point guard started experiencing back spasms on August 24th.
Rajon Rondo has been progressing well as Head Coach of the Lakers, Frank Vogel, said on August 31st that he practiced with the team and expected Rondo to return to action in the second round.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel said Rajon Rondo practiced today and looked good and that the hope is to have the backup guard for second round of playoffs.
— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) August 31, 2020
When Vogel was asked again about the Rondo’s date of return, Vogel responded, “We’re hopeful to have him in uniform and in the rotation on Friday.”
Frank Vogel said Rajon Rondo, who missed the last few games with back spasms, has been looking good in practice: “We’re hopeful to have him in uniform and in the rotation on Friday.”
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) September 2, 2020
Rondo has also been positive about his return saying, “Coach showed believed in me. So I had to believe in myself.”
What does Rondo’s return mean for the Lakers?
With Rondo be back in the rotation, the Lakers are provided with a high IQ facilitator who can run the offense efficiently when LeBron James takes a breather on the bench.
The former Celtic is however, a ball dominant player, and so cannot be on the floor at the same time as LeBron James for heavy minutes, as James is the primary point guard of the team.
Rondo’s return would also mean less minutes for Dion Waiter and JR Smith.