Today on Undisputed FS1, Skip Bayless stressed that the Lakers need Rajon Rondo back in action. This comes in the wake of Rondo’s return to health and their loss in Game 1.
The 14-year veteran point guard suffered a thumb fracture on July 12th, shortly after the team reached the bubble. The expected timeline for Rondo’s return was set at 6-8 weeks initially. He seems to have handily beaten the return timeline, returning to Disney World 6 days ago.
After clearing the 4-day quarantine protocol, Rondo practiced day before yesterday. He was not given the go-ahead to feature in the Lakers’ Game 1 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
How Rondo Can Help The Lakers
In the past, Rajon Rondo has been noted for raising his performance levels from regular season to postseason play. ‘Playoff Rondo’ became a real phenomenon when he improved on his regular season averages nearly every year in the playoffs for the Celtics. He generally becomes more assertive as a scorer, in addition to expending extra effort on defense.
Those were exactly the attributes that the Lakers missed in yesterday’s 100-93 loss, according to Skip Bayless.
The Lakers offense sputtered during all 4 of LeBron’s stints on the bench. In addition, they shot a beggarly 5-of-32 from 3-point territory – Lillard himself outshot the whole team, going 6-of-13 on threes.
“Rajon Rondo has been cleared to play. You need him. He brings this team something it did not have last night: an edge, an attitude, Playoff Rondo experience.”@RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/xlPYun3vzr
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) August 19, 2020
Danny Green and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope were unable to contain Lillard, while being unable to provide the spacing that LeBron-led teams need. Notably, Rajon Rondo was instrumental to the Pelicans’ first-round sweep of the Blazers when he was a teammate with AD.
The Lakers will need to double Damian Lillard and force the ball out of his hands more often. Rondo’s return will help immensely to that end.