After missing 17 games due to hand surgery, Rajon Rondo returned for the Los Angeles Lakers against his former team, the New Orleans Pelicans.
While Rondo only spent one season with the Pelicans, head coach Alvin Gentry and former teammates have nothing but high praise for him. Throughout Rondo’s 13-year career, one major trend has been his performances during the regular season compared to the playoffs.
During the 2017-18 season, Rondo averaged 8.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 8.2 assists. However, his numbers significantly increased to 10.3 points, 7.6 rebounds and 12.2 assists during the playoffs.
While statistics suggest there’s an uptick in performance and production, Gentry disagreed with the idea of Rondo becoming a second person of sorts.
“I disagree with that totally. I think if you look over the course of 82 games, obviously people are going to have struggles and there’s going to be ups and downs. When he’s on the floor, he plays. It doesn’t matter if it’s the playoffs or 73rd game of the season,” Gentry said.
“Me personally, I don’t like ‘Playoff Rondo,’ ‘Regular season Rondo.’ I think he’s just a really good, solid player.”
While most teams play fast in today’s NBA, the games generally slow down during the playoffs. As each possession matters, Rondo thrives in these types of situations and the Lakers will be looking to him if they are able to end their five-year playoff drought.
At 19-13 and fifth in the Western Conference, the Lakers have exceeded expectations so far. With Rondo and Brandon Ingram back from their injuries, the goal is to find a rhythm again to start the new year and be playing their best basketball come April.
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