LOS ANGELES — Rajon Rondo suffered a hamstring strain as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, and on Sunday head coach Frank Vogel gave an update on Rondo’s health, saying that he will not play against the Minnesota Timberwolves because his hamstring is still sore.
“He’s got a hamstring strain. We’re going to be cautious with things like that at this point in the season,” Vogel said.
Rondo will be missed, as he’s been good of late both individually and in tandem with LeBron James, and the team has been 11.9 points per 100 possessions better overall with him on the floor than they are when he sits over the last five games, according to NBA.com.
He’s also been shooting the ball quite a bit better this season than his reputation going into the year would have suggested.
Rajon Rondo leads the Lakers in 3-point % (10+ attempts) at 52.8%— Ali B (@ali_behpoornia) December 7, 2019
He’s 10-14 (71.4%) on catch and shoot 3’s and 8-17 (47.1%) on pull up 3’s
In the first half against the Blazers, Rondo put up 6 points, 3 assists and 2 steals (while making both of his threes) in just 15 minutes before telling the medical staff at halftime that he was feeling “tightness” in his hamstring and didn’t want to risk further injury out of caution for his Achilles tendon.
After the Lakers’ win over Portland, head coach Frank Vogel told reporters on Spectrum SportsNet why Rondo has been so valuable for the team over the last few weeks:
“He’s been exceptional. He’s just given us a great boost. The reason I think that we went from playing a lot of close games to really separating ourselves in a lot of these games is because of his play off the bench. Him and LeBron are playing together this year, far better than they did last year. It’s a really positive sign for our team.”
While it will be interesting to see how Vogel doles out the minutes in the backcourt once Rondo is back now that Avery Bradley is also getting closer to a return, we won’t be able to get a look at that until both are fully healthy and return to the lineup. Based on this update, Bradley may be back sooner than Rondo, depending on just how cautious the team plans to be.
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.