The Upside and Downside Of Rajon Rondo

Photo Credit: Ty Nowell/

The Upside and Downside Of Rajon Rondo


Sunday’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. A historic Lakers-Celtics rivalry, a key game, a playoff-type atmosphere—we’ve seen Rondo played his best when there was beef on the table. 

Rajon Rondo amassed 4 points, 5 assists, 5 steals with 0 turnovers on 50% shooting and was +15 in the game in 22 minutes. Rondo made the right passes, controlled the pace and played tenacious defense. Rondo was everywhere because he put in the effort and energy. He was fighting through screens, actively moving his feet and he got his head in the game.



This game showed us what Rondo’s upside could be. Rondo’s stats were fascinating with 5 steals and 0 turnovers but his discipline and effort on this game might be more impressive. Eye-popping stats are good, but impact is better. This is the version of Rajon Rondo the Lakers would need.

We remember this version of Rondo in the beginning of the season when the Lakers looked like a well-oiled machine at times he was on the court. He was playing a cohesive offense, putting up more effort on defense and hitting his 3-point shots at a great mark. In November, Rondo averaged 44.8% from three on 3.2 attempts per game and has a plus/minus of +4.3 in 9 games. 

Things declined in December and January where Rondo averaged 34.4% in 2.7 3PT attempts and 21.7% in 2.1 3PT attempts respectively. As per plus/minus, he had +0.8 and -0.5 +/- respectively. This season in general, Rondo has a +/- rating of +1.6 this season which ranks 11th on the roster. Eye-test doesn’t do him justice as well. He hurts the offense by dribbling the ball too much and constantly make bad plays, his effort on the defensive end is also non-existent from time to time. 



When Rondo who’s supposed to take LeBron’s playmaking duties and lead the second unit isn’t getting the job on both ends of the floor, Lakers get a knock at point guard position. This has led to trade talks and critics involving Rondo and rumors surrounding Darren Collison as the ideal player to replace Rondo. Moreover, Caruso, despite not being in the same tier as Rondo in playmaking abilities, is more applauded by the Lakers fanbase as he’s giving the Lakers valuable minutes more than Rondo does.

We’re aware of the upside and downside version of Rondo. At this point of the season, we’ve seen a lot more of his downside more than his upside. He has the raw talent and the abilities, but the problem will always come down to Rondo unlocking his gear and maximizing his full potential every game. The veteran point guard is currently averaging 7.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2 turnovers per game on 43.0% shooting so far this season.


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