Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton announced Rajon Rondo suffered a broken hand in the 126-117 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
According to Walton, Rondo’s injury occurred when he hit his hand on the floor as he stripped the basketball from Jusuf Nurkic in the fourth quarter.
The Lakers have since announced Rondo broke the third metacarpal in his right (shooting) hand.
After playing a major role in helping Los Angeles end their losing streak in Portland, Rondo finished with zero points, two rebounds, and three assists in 16 minutes.
For Walton, the Lakers will miss Rondo’s playmaking and leadership.
“To me, he’s done an incredible job of kind of getting that second group playing at a really nice rhythm for us. The way he orchestrates a unit, getting guys shots, recognizing when players haven’t had a shot in a while,” Walton explained.
“I think that whole group really counts on his playmaking and his leadership, so that’s where he’ll be missed the most.”
With Rondo expected to be out at least two weeks, Lonzo Ball will receive an opportunity to play major minutes for the second time during the 2018-19 NBA season.
When Rondo was suspended three games for his altercation with Chris Paul against the Houston Rockets, Ball played extremely well during his absence.
However, the 21-year-old’s minutes have been inconsistent lately as Walton has opted for the 32-year-old’s experience, especially in fourth quarters.
As the Lakers have prided themselves on having numerous playmakers, LeBron James and Brandon Ingram are expected to fill Rondo’s role. In addition, Lance Stephenson and Mykhailiuk have also received opportunities to initiate the offense for Los Angeles.
In 10 games including two starts, Rondo is averaging 9.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists in 26.2 minutes.