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Lakers’ Rajon Rondo cleared to return to full contact practice

Rajon Rondo, Lakers

Great news came Friday for Los Angeles Lakers fans, as Rajon Rondo has been cleared for a return to full contact practice, per ClutchPoints’ Ryan Ward:

The news comes after an impressive overtime victory against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night. After experiencing their share of struggles as LeBron James remains out with a groin injury, their road win against the third-seeded Thunder is the most meaningful win for the Lakers’ young core.

The Lakers, who are eighth in the West with a 25-21 record, have been doing their best to stay afloat while James and Rondo miss time. They have gone 5-5 in their last 10 games, but losses to teams like the Knicks and Cavaliers have the team and fans anxious for the return of their veteran players.

Rondo is averaging 8.4 assists, 6.7 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and a steal in 24.4 minutes per game this season, but his impact goes beyond the regular box score. When he is on the court, the Lakers’ net rating is 3.4 points better, per NBA.com, with both their offensive and defensive ratings seeing improvement. They also shoot more efficiently and tend to turn the ball over less when Rondo is on the floor. Los Angeles brought him in to help with the development of young point guard Lonzo Ball, whose game mirrors Rondo’s in many ways.

With Rondo set to practice fully and LeBron returning to practice next week, the Lakers are getting healthy at just the right time as they try to make their way back up the standings.