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3 Reasons why Rajon Rondo could be the key in LA Clippers reaching their first-ever Conference Finals | 2020-21 NBA season

Rajon Rondo #7 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers
Rajon Rondo #7 of the Atlanta Hawks drives against Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers
ANALYST
Modified 01 Apr 2021
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Rajon Rondo heading over to the LA Clippers at the 2021 trade deadline could prove to be the difference-making move for a side that has never made it to the conference finals.

The LA Clippers front office recognized the need for a true point guard after the debacle in the 2020 postseason campaign, where they fell to the Denver Nuggets in the second round.

Fast forward to this season and the LA Clippers finally made a move, bringing in a player that can help them when it matters the most โ€” the 2021 playoffs. Rondo, the 16-year veteran, has built a reputation for himself as an elite point guard over the last decade.

He was instrumental in the Boston Celtics' title run in 2008 and is coming off another championship season with the LA Lakers.

3 Reasons why Rajon Rondo could be the key for the LA Clippers reaching the Conference Finals

Rajon Rondo #9 drives to the basket against Jimmy Butler #22 and Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat
Rajon Rondo #9 drives to the basket against Jimmy Butler #22 and Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat

He is averaging career lows this campaign but that has little to do with his abilities and more to do with the team he was on before the trade went through. Rondo's name commands respect around the league as he delivers his best when the lights are the brightest. This is exactly why the LA Clippers brought him over.

The 35-year-old may be in his twilight years in the NBA but has enough left in the tank to make another run for the ultimate prize. On that note, let's look at three reasons why Rajon Rondo will help take the LA Clippers to their first appearance in the Western Conference Finals this season.

#1 - Rondo can elevate others with his playmaking abilities

The LA Clippers will undoubtedly miss Lou Williams' scoring prowess in the regular season but could fare better in the playoffs with a true point guard running the show. Patrick Beverley is a menace on the defensive end but lacks the talent to run the offense. This is where Rondo comes in.

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Rondo can lob pinpoint passes to Ivica Zubac and Serge Ibaka in the paint while also offering easy looks to open shooters on the perimeter like Nicolas Batum.

Rajon Rondo played a similar role for the LA Lakers last season and ended up winning his second championship ring. He has ample playoff experience under his belt and knows how to play with superstars.

He could especially help Paul George find easy looks off the bounce and help him find other ways to score during tough shooting stretches.

He can also take pressure off Kawhi Leonard by running the offense and allowing him to play his natural role on the wing. Rondo has made a living off his incredible passing and court vision over his long career.

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He will now bolster the LA Clippers by adding his offensive talents to their arsenal.

#2 Rondo brings with him a high basketball IQ and veteran leadership

The NBA is a league obsessed with stats, but there are a few intangibles that just can't be quantified. A veteran guiding young guns in the locker room is a fine example of unmeasurable quality.

Rajon Rondo is fresh off his second NBA title run and will know how to address a group with similar aspirations. He will serve as a voice of reason in the locker room as he pumps the LA Clippers squad with his championship-caliber mojo.

Rondo has been one of the best point guards of the past decade. While he is not a prolific scorer by any measure, he offers much more with his overall knowledge of the game.

The two-time NBA champ will not only help the LA Clippers with his playmaking skills but also help them in exploiting opposing teams' weaknesses. This is another high-value attribute that helped the Clippers management make the call to bring in the aging veteran.

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#3 Rondo can help the LA Clippers in closing out games

This may be the most important piece of the puzzle that could change the fortunes of the LA Clippers this campaign. The team has struggled to close out games against top contenders. That represents the biggest threat to their title aspirations.

Rajon Rondo is one of the most lethal players in crunch time and can help the Clippers towards the end of games. He can identify matchups to exploit like he did last year with the LA Lakers last season, which will give the Clippers an advantage.

Rondo excels in high-pressure moments thanks to his poised persona and ample playoff experience. He not only knows how to draw up plays but also how to execute them.If the LA Clippers can follow Rondo's lead in the playoffs, they may be able to take their game to the next level and compete for the title this season.

Published 01 Apr 2021, 03:41 IST
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