With the Los Angeles Lakers already dealing with absences from Anthony Davis (gluteus maximus contusion), LeBron James (illness) and Danny Green (sore right hip), the team couldn’t really afford to pick up any more bumps and bruises against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, it appears that’s exactly what happened, as Rajon Rondo reportedly suffered a strained right ring finger during the game, according to Kyle Goon of the O.C. Register:
Rondo joked on this: "That's probably why I missed my last 15 shots."— Kyle Goon (@kylegoon) January 12, 2020
Rondo had 21 points, 8 assists and 12 rebounds while starting in James’ place against the Thunder, and was a hug part of the Lakers’ 125-110 win on Saturday night.
“He set the tone right away,” Lakers guard Quinn Cook told reporters on Spectrum SportsNet of Rondo’s play after the win. “He set the tone offensively, and we all followed. We want him to shoot as much as possible because he’s a great shooter, and I think guys expect him to distribute the ball and run the offense, but he’s a great scorer as well.”
If Rondo is forced to miss time, the Lakers will likely need more minutes from Alex Caruso, Cook and/or Troy Daniels in his place. Still, day-to-day doesn’t mean Rondo will definitely miss a game, so this isn’t something to overreact to yet. If anything, it just makes Rondo’s performance more impressive in retrospect.
The Lakers play their next game on Monday, and the team will likely give an update on Rondo and James before then. If both actually do miss time, the Lakers will be in a tough spot in the playmaking department, although if they managed to win without their two stars on the second night of a back-to-back in Oklahoma City, they can’t really be counted out of any games anymore this year.