With the NBA restart beggining to catch its stride, the Los Angeles Lakers took another hit. Guard Rajon Rondo broke his right thumb in practice last night and he will be out of action for 6-8 weeks. With Avery Bradley not taking part in the NBA restart, the Lakers were already thin at the guard posistion. The loss of Rajon Rondo may be the factor that knocks the “Laker Championship Train” off its tracks.
Many people would just try to look past this bump in the road, but with a guy like Rondo, that’s hard to just look the other way. Rondo (now 34 years of age), has been playing at a high level for his whole career. He may not be the most electric offensive threat, but he is the embodiment of the term “Floor General”
Other than LeBron, Rondo has proven to be the only other guy on the roster that can pass the ball efficiently. When you lose a selfless guard like Rondo who has averaged above 8 assists for the majority of his career, it’s a big blow. Not to mention Rondo can run the break beautifully and flawlessly.
This injury moves LeBron James back to the point and moves Kentavious Caldwell-Pope into the starting line. But where does this leave their bench? Well, they signed Jr Smith but lost Rondo, Bradley. Alex Caruso and Dion Waiters are day-to-day with minor injuries. Evidently, Quinn Cook will be leading the charge off the bench, which worries me.
The Bright Side
On the bright side, Caruso is going to get more playing time. Though Caruso is currently listed as day-to-day on the latest injury report, there are no major concerns about his health. The back end of the regular season will be crucial for Caruso. With the Lakers depth thinning out what seems like every day, Caruso now has a chance to solidify himself in the Lakers rotation.
Caruso isn’t known for his big role in the NBA, but if he can be the player he was in the G-League then he can play a significant role in this playoff run. Throughout his three years with the Lakers, he’s shown glimpses of being a reliable scorer and distributor. With major losses to the Lakers guard depth, Caruso will need to step up. With Quinn Cook being the lone active PG on the roster, the Lakers may end up calling Caruso’s number more than expected.
Did the Lakers take a hit? Where does this put them in the playoff race ?