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NBA Injuries

Challenges face the Lakers without Rondo

Hale Thornhill-Wilson

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Just after the Los Angeles Lakers’ nail-biting defeat against the Sacramento Kings last night, further negative, interim news was confirmed that Rajon Rondo will miss at least a month of action with a sprained finger. Rondo suffered the injury during the Warriors game just this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, his finger sprain comes at quite the inopportune time for the veteran, as he had already generated a double-double in the game, prior to the incident. On top of having a myriad of finger issues in the past, the previous, four- time All Star has seen a major decrease in minutes while he plays second fiddle to promising second year point guard, Lonzo Ball.

Ball’s youth, promise, and unique size for a point guard is what keeps Rondo on the bench as the back-up point guard.  However, statistically speaking, Rondo has a standout assist to turnover ratio at 3:1, while Ball’s is a respectable (2.3):1. The skew in ratios is due to Lonzo’s more frenetic, rapid pace which typically correlates to more turnovers, while Rondo is the more methodical, facilitating- first point guard. Though he averages just under 2.0 points a game than Lonzo, Rondo’s percentages from the field are predominately stronger than Ball’s. It’s a prime case of efficiency vs. flashiness here.

Looking forward, this is a great opportunity for Lonzo Ball to showcase his improvement with the extended minutes Rondo has granted him. Look for Lakers to take advantage of Ball’s length and defensive prowess to establish a fast tempo. Ball’s great ability to launch outlet passes ways away and push the ball in the open court will provide a nice pace for the offense. Especially with Lebron out for a bit of time, Laker’s fans will truly see what the second year point guard is able to carry on his shoulders. Ball must keep the turnovers down and wisely chose his attacks to the bucket, so he can create for himself or his teammates.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hale played basketball competitively at renowned Loyola High School all four years. Currently, he's a sophomore at Duke University with future aspirations of working on the sports management side of things or production. Hale is also a diehard Philadelphia Eagles fan who also roots for the Los Angeles Lakers and Duke Blue Devils. In his free time, he also loves to fish.

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