Baron Davis gives friendly Rajon Rondo advice to Lakers after stunning defeat vs. Rockets
B-Diddy was quite critical of Lakers head coach Frank Vogel’s decision to give the returning Rajon Rondo extensive minutes. Rondo, after all, is playing in his first official match since March 10 after injuring his thumb before the beginning of the bubble games in Orlando, Florida.
You have to bring Rondo back into slowly. He should be used as a spark. Spot minutes until he gets a rhythm n get the team rhythm… lebron is best with the ball and so are the lakers. Rondo should spell him. Caruso energy matches what lebron needs. .
— Baron Davis (@BaronDavis) September 5, 2020
Rajon Rondo played 25 minutes against the Rockets on Friday, putting up decent numbers of eight points (3-of-9 FG and 2-of-5 from deep) along with three boards, four assists, two steals and one block. However, it was apparent that the one-time NBA champion still needed to shake off a few cobwebs upon his return.
Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook completely outplayed Rondo, going for 24 points, nine rebounds, six assists and one steal in 32 minutes.
Rondo’s return certainly took a chunk out of Alex Caruso’s playing time, who only played 16 minutes on Friday. The Lakers’ fan-favorite, however, put up a much efficient outing than Rondo with 14 points, two boards, four assists and one steal.
Vogel, meanwhile, defended his decision to stick by the battle-tested Rondo in Game 1.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel on Rajon Rondo after Game 1 loss to Rockets: “It’s a challenge working in a new player at this stage of the playoffs but Rajon is one of the smartest players in the league and our guys’ IQ raises when he’s on the court. He’s going to help us this series.” pic.twitter.com/nhfesSy62T
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) September 5, 2020
It truly is puzzling why Vogel elected to keep Rondo on the floor despite the Lakers having more success with Caruso in Game 1. Perhaps he was hoping to get the fabled “Playoff Rondo” against the Rockets. However, it’s a bit of an ask for a 34-year-old point guard coming off an extremely long lay-off.
The Lakers, meanwhile, will look to bounce back in Game 2 on Sunday. Their curious case at the point guard position will certainly play a big factor in the outcome of this series.