If I were to have asked you over the summer “which member of the Los Angeles Lakers do you think will lead the team in 3-point percentage on at least 10-plus total attempts?”, I highly doubt one of your first five guesses would have been Rajon Rondo.
Rondo has shot 52.8% from three on 2.8 attempts per game. Not only that, but he’s gone 12 of 16 (75.0%) from three in his last seven games. Rondo has made teams pay for giving him space. Opposing defenses love to sag off of Rondo to help defend players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and also prefer going under the screen when defending him.
Now, he’s making them have to second guess such defensive schemes:
Perhaps the best description of how good Rondo has been of late came from Alex Caruso on Sunday.
“The last two games, Rondo has been outstanding,” Caruso said. “He might’ve been — it’s hard to say cause you got LeBron and AD — but like our best player the last two games, just running the show, delivering the ball, and playing defense.”
That’s right: Caruso just said that before Rondo went down with an injury, he had been the best player on the team for a few games. A team that features LeBron and Anthony Davis. That’s probably not correct, but that it’s even something being said is a testament to how good Rondo has been.
Heading into the year, a big potential issue that many Lakers fans were worried about was how the Lakers would look when Rondo and LeBron shared the court together. Lately that’s been a misplaced concern, as according to NBA.com, out of any two-man, LeBron-led lineup in Rondo’s last seven games, James’ lineup with Rondo has netted the third-highest net rating (+17.4). Rondo has also assisted James a total of 13 times during that time span, the most Rondo has set up any teammate.
Rondo has still had some issues on the defensive end, but the lineups he’s played in have had a defensive rating of 97.1 these last seven games. He’s giving much more effort than he gave the second half of last season, and if Rondo is playing this well during the regular season, who knows how good playoff Rondo will be.