The Los Angeles Clippers X-Factor: Rajon Rondo
The Los Angeles Clippers looked dead in the water a couple of weeks ago. The Dallas Mavericks had them on the ropes, but could not quite deliver the finishing blow in game seven. Thanks to some heroic performances from Kawhi Leonard and other role players stepping up, the Los Angeles Clippers will face the first seeded, Utah Jazz in the second round. With this in mind, who is the x-factor for the Clippers for the rest of the playoffs. The answer may surprise you. It is not Kawhi Leonard. It is not even Paul George. The answer is the former Los Angeles Laker, Rajon Rondo. Here is why Rondo will be instrumental for the Clippers going forward.
The X-Factor for the Los Angeles Clippers: Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo’s Importance to Los Angeles
Rondo is one of the best “quarterbacks,” in the entire league. He was instrumental in the NBA playoffs for the Lakers last season as well. Not only is he a great playmaker, but he has also established himself as a lethal three-point shooter. Something we thought we would never see during his time with the Boston Celtics. When the Clippers traded for Rondo, it was arguably the biggest splash of the NBA trade deadline. Rondo added depth to the Los Angeles bench and provided a high IQ player who could slow down the tempo when needed or even call out opposing team’s plays (as he did during the Dallas Mavericks series). How did Rondo for the Clippers from the numbers perspective?
Playoff Rondo’s Numbers
Rajon Rondo started this season as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. As a matter of fact, he actually played in more games with the Hawks than he did with the Los Angeles Clippers. When he got traded, his scoring average jumped from 3.9 points to 7.6 points per game. He also upped his steals average to 1.0 per game and looked more like the “quarterback,” he is with 5.8 assists per contest. On top of all of this, Rondo also averaged an offensive rating of 118 with the Clippers. A major uptick in this category compared to his 98 offensive rating in 27 games played with the Atlanta Hawks. However, we all know he truly shows out in the playoffs, thus the nickname, Playoff Rondo.
For his playoff career, Rondo has averaged 12.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, 8.7 assists, and a three-point shooting percentage of 32.3 percent. Last year in the Bubble, Rondo tallied 8.9 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game. Not to mention, he also came away with an insane three-point shooting percentage of 40.0 percent. In this year’s playoffs, he is averaging 4.6 points, 4.3 assists, 2.4 rebounds, and a three-point shooting percentage of 35.3 percent. Don’t be fooled by these numbers though. In the first round, Rondo only played 18.5 minutes per game compared to 24.7 minutes last postseason. While the Clippers certainly have the firepower with their star duo in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, pay attention to the impact Rajon Rondo provides throughout this next series.
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