One of the on-court duos that propelled the Los Angeles Lakers to a championship in 2020 was Rajon Rondo and Anthony Davis. The Lakers superstar big man was on the receiving end of plenty of lobs during that run with he and Rondo always finding a way to connect for highlight plays.
Those lobs were missing from the 2020-21 team, however. Dennis Schroder and Davis famously had troubles connecting on lobs, so L.A. did not have a point guard other than LeBron James that could get Davis the ball in an easy way.
Now that Rondo is back with the Lakers, there have already been a handful of highlight plays between the veteran point guard and Davis this season.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel has taken notice the trend already and isn’t surprised by it. “Yeah, I don’t know if it’s about motivation as much as you know, he just has an ability to set up AD and they have a two-man chemistry like very few two-man combos that I’ve ever witnessed, you know?
“They just have a special chemistry with one another. I don’t know if it’s necessarily about motivating them. They just have great timing and familiarity.”
The 2021 version of Rondo absolutely has flaws as a player. However, his basketball IQ and ability to put his teammates in a position to score have not faded. Davis and Rondo absolutely have good chemistry on and off the floor, making him a trustworthy player to have on the court in limited minutes.
Rondo’s role with the Lakers will still mainly be as a locker room contributor, but his ability to set up Davis is a crucial skill. Between, Rondo, James and Russell Westbrook, Davis should have no shortages of easy baskets this season.
Rondo impressed with Austin Reaves
Switching to Rondo’s other role with the Lakers, he has already taken a liking to undrafted rookie Austin Reaves. Reaves has impressed on the floor with a surprisingly tenacious defensive mindset as well as some NBA-level shooting acumen.
He’s also impressed Rondo off the floor. “Yeah, even today at shootaround, he’s talking about a situation where a guy’s coming off a pindown and you’re a top lock and I was telling him that we don’t do that here,” Rondo said after shootaround before the preseason game against the Warriors.
“But it was a great question, obviously, coming from a great background as far as knowing the game. Because that’s what you’d normally do against shooters is top lock, but our team, our personnel, what coach Frank wants of us is not what he did.”
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