The Los Angeles Lakers find themselves down early in the first round of the playoffs after dropping Game 1 to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Lakers’ defense was solid, holding the Blazers to only 100 points, but their offense was dreadful as they shot 5-of-32 from the three-point line and only 20-of-31 from the charity stripe.
It was an especially disappointing result as Portland’s defense was the Achilles’ heel and Los Angeles was unable to exploit it. However, the team received good news this weeke as Rajon Rondo entered the bubble and was cleared to return for the postseason.
Rondo would help bolster a bench unit that’s lacking a playmaker and allow LeBron James to play more off the ball. Ahead of Game 2, Frank Vogel told media that Rondo has an outside shot of making his Lakers playoff debut.
“Rondo is working really hard to get back,” Vogel said. “We’ll have him back when he’s ready, not before. We’re going to list him as questionable, which by definition means 50-50. We’ll see how he responds to [Tuesday’s] work.”
Vogel also acknowledged that having Rondo back on the floor should help grease the wheels for an offense that is clearly struggling to hit shots.
“Anytime you have somebody that has the ability to create like Rondo does, that helps your offense,” Vogel said. “Obviously LeBron is pretty good too. We’re getting some good looks, but certainly Rondo would help everything we do.”
Rondo is currently ahead of his original six-to-eight week timetable, which is positive considering the Lakers look like they could use his presence on the floor. They have been cold shooting from the outside since arriving in Orlando, but hopefully having Rondo back can help unlock their outside potential.
Vogel still optimistic about Lakers shooting
Scoring has been a struggle for the Lakers as their shooters have been cold while James and Anthony Davis are experiencing clogged painted areas that prevent them from dominating inside.
Los Angeles played stellar defense for most of the night, but left way too many points off the board as they simply could not buy a bucket no matter how good the look.
Despite the concerning shooting percentages, Vogel still faith in his team to right the ship. “We definitely had some looks we normally knock down, that we feel good about,” Vogel said.
“A ton of possessions where we really feel good about the shot we generated. Just didn’t finish at the rim or knock down the backside three, but definitely some things we can do better offensively as well.”
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