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Can midseason signings Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins propel the LA Clippers to postseason success?  

Rajon Rondo with his new LA Clippers teammate Kawhi Leonard
Rajon Rondo with his new LA Clippers teammate Kawhi Leonard
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Modified 01 May 2021
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Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins were the LA Clippers' two midseason acquisitions this year and both could play vital roles in the franchise's pursuit of a first championship ring.

Sitting comfortably in third spot, the LA Clippers have boasted a top-two offense for the majority of the season and have a well-balanced roster. That being said, new additions to a team can always bring more flexibility and experience into the locker room.

Furthermore, all of the LA Clippers' signings this year have proved to be shrewd moves, therefore the front office certainly knows where the value lies around the NBA.

Ahead of a crucial battle against the team above them in the West, the Phoenix Suns, we will be taking a look at how both Rondo and Cousins can help the Clippers in the playoffs.

How Rajon Rondo's championship experience can help lead the LA Clippers' second-unit

Rajon Rondo has led the LA Clippers second unit recently
Rajon Rondo has led the LA Clippers second unit recently

Rajon Rondo needs little introduction. The 35-year-old point guard is a three-time assist champion, two-time NBA champion and four-time All-Star.

He has played with some of the greatest players the league has ever seen and is prolific on both ends of the floor, and has also been a four-time All-Defensive team member.

After averaging just seven points and five assists on 20.5 minutes a night last season for the LA Lakers during the regular season, Rajon Rondo upped his game in the playoffs. He was vital in their Finals victory over the Miami Heat.

Such was coach Frank Vogel and LeBron James' trust in Rondo, the point guard's minutes increased to 25.8 per night. During the six-game series, he averaged 8.7 points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

Bearing that in mind, it is exciting for LA Clippers fans to see that in fewer minutes in his opening ten games with the franchise, Rondo is proving more efficient on offense than last year. In fact, he has so far recorded his highest offensive efficiency at 119.

Rajon Rondo is extremely effective at what he does and could prove to be the LA Clippers' best pick-up this season. He has one of the most impressive offensive IQs in the game and will be Ty Lue's go-to guy for their second unit in the playoffs.

He could even be their starting point guard, such is his experience. Depending on the opponent, putting him in the starting lineup also gives Lue a different option to set up more offensively minded, with Rondo over Beverley.

Rondo will also be the LA Clippers' leader in the locker room. He will be an extension of Lue since the two have an excellent rapport after spending four years together in Boston.

If any player knows what it takes to win crucial games, it's Rajon Rondo.

DeMarcus Cousins brings depth and presence in the paint for the LA Clippers

DeMarcus Cousins played briefly for the Houston Rockets this season
DeMarcus Cousins played briefly for the Houston Rockets this season

DeMarcus Cousins made light of the way the New Orleans Pelicans defended him in the post on Tuesday night in the LA Clippers' blowout loss. At times, Cousins was double-teamed, despite being the franchise's third-choice center and, at the time, on a 10-day contract.

Since then, it has been confirmed that the LA Clippers have signed DeMarcus Cousins until the end of the season. Should he, and the team do well, it could be his way back into being a franchise's dominant, starting big man.

Cousins hasn't had the best of luck on the court in recent years. Multiple injuries have made him look like a shadow of the All-Star center who rampaged through opponents when in Sacramento and New Orleans. For five seasons, the 30-year-old averaged over 20 points and almost 12 rebounds a night.

Even during his brief tenure with the Houston Rockets at the start of the season, DeMarcus Cousins was efficient with his minutes. He was averaging 9.6 points and 7.6 boards before the Rockets let him go at the end of February.

In nine games so far with the LA Clippers and on 13 minutes a night, Cousins has averaged 7.3 points and 5.2 rebounds.

Although his defense leaves a lot to be desired, DeMarcus Cousins could be an offensive spark off the bench for the LA Clippers. He too has NBA Finals experience and played with Rajon Rondo in New Orleans. Clippers fans will certainly hope the two can play a crucial role in their quest for a championship.

Published 29 Apr 2021
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