Rajon Rondo missed the seeding games in the Orlando bubble and directly joined the Lakers in the conference semis. There onwards, he didn’t hold back against his opponents, and the 34-year-old veteran played one of his most memorable post-season series.
Even during the outings where Rondo could not accumulate big numbers, his presence on the court impacted the other four players very vividly. This was one reason his +/- in the 16 games remained 2.8. Fans will remember his Game 6 heroics for years to come. What helped him deliver so very well under pressure?
The Lakers’ veteran guard reveals what gives him a mental edge
Rajon Rondo has appeared in nine playoff seasons in his 13-year long career. In all of these seasons, his playmaking has got him the tag of ‘Playoff Rondo’ which he himself has never really acknowledged. But the debate has again picked up heat because of the Lakers’ championship win.
In a recent interview, Rajon reflected upon the same. The exceptionally talented 6’1″ athlete revealed what made him rise to the occasion every single time. He stated, “Me being the student of the game, understanding different angles how to break down different team strategies. It does go in my favor, especially being in the bubble with obviously less distractions, being able to lock in on one team in particular. What I love the most about this team and our coaching staff is how quickly we learned on the fly. We didn’t have a lot of time, obviously preparing to practice, so we had to learn fly and film.”
Rajon gave away the secret sauce. It was nothing but hard work for the man who has one of the top-notch basketball IQs in the game. Rondo further heaped praise on the staff and expressed, “Coach Frank Vogel done a great job with his staff as far as breaking the game down to us, simplifying the game plan, and going out, execute as a team. So it is a big difference back in ‘08 when we did it, we go out on the court, and walk through about 60-70% through the plays and get adjusted of what we needed to do as far as adjustments, but here in the bubble, we’ve pretty much done it in film. So I’m a big fan of film, a big believer in it.”
Rajon Rondo from the Celtics vs what he is now
‘Johnny’ was just a 21-year-old playing in the first post-season of his life when he averaged over 10ppg for the Celtics in 2008. He won his first title, defeating Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. The man then waited for another 12 years to see another championship victory. It would have been pretty incredible had the Lakers met the Boston Celtics in the finals. That way, Rajon would have defeated the same team with which he won his first ring.
The 4-time All-star, Playoff Rondo, had a great NBA Playoffs 2020. He averaged 6.6 assists and 1.4 steals, while also having a three-point accuracy of a decent 40%. It can be hoped that Rajon will stay with the Lakers for the coming seasons, given his admiration for LeBron James and other players. He is most definitely someone who is going to stick around in the league once he retires. Rondo has got a lot to contribute towards the future gen, given his expertise.
Read also – “There is No Way There is a Team Who Beat Us 4 Times”- Lakers’ Rajon Rondo on Playing with LeBron James