As the Los Angeles Lakers begin gearing up for a 2020 NBA playoff push, the question of the team’s rotation continues to be closely analyzed in each game.
Arguably the most polarizing figure among the team’s regular rotation players is Rajon Rondo.
What Rondo brings to the table is well known as he remains one of the best playmakers and smartest players in the league today. He has had games where he has been outstanding, but other times has made very little impact. Many have called for Alex Caruso to get more of the minutes allocated to Rondo, but that has yet to materialize on a regular basis.
However, Rondo’s inconsistency this season hasn’t dampened the belief that his teammates have in him. Jared Dudley appeared on Inside the Green Room with Danny Green and discussed what Rondo brings to the team and why he’s so important to the Lakers:
“The thing about [Rajon] Rondo is that he’s so smart, so intelligent, can do his own thing and be such a high success. What he has to realize — and he has realized because he does it in spots — is the game has changed, we need you to score more to open up for others […] He’s our second-best playmaker with the ball so we want him to get into it, but if he shoots the ball more, it opens up more of a natural playmaking.”
Dudley also spoke on Rondo’s impact on the other side of the court as well before flat out stating the Lakers will need him if they plan on accomplishing his their ultimate goal:
“The thing about Rondo is his defense is so good when he’s locked in that it opens up us getting out in transition more, which when we’re out in transition we’re almost unguardable. So we need Rondo to win a championship. We need him to play at a high level. We need Dwight Howard to play at a high level. We already know what LeBron and AD are gonna do, it’s our role players and certain things and I always say, ‘Don’t do more, do exactly what you’re supposed to.'”
When Rondo has been good this season, he’s been very good and that player is the one who can push the Lakers toward a championship. But with the Lakers being so deep, his struggles will be amplified even more, especially with someone like Caruso playing so well regularly.
But Dudley is absolutely right when discussing the importance of role players. The likes of Derek Fisher, Robert Horry, and Michael Cooper have played massive parts in past championships and this team will need a couple players to step up in the playoffs with Rondo being a prime candidate.