The Los Angeles Lakers arrived in Orlando just a few days back and they have already got a major setback. Mike Trudell from Spectrum SportsNet reported that veteran playmaker Rajon Rondo has suffered an injury. He fractured his thumb during the Sunday evening practice and will be forced out for at least 6-8 weeks.
This is a major blow to the Lakers. After Avery Bradley opted out from the NBA return due to personal reasons, the Lakers were only left with two point guards on the roster; Caruso and Rondo. Coach Frank Vogel will now be forced to make changes to his gameplan. In Rondo’s absence, Dion Waiters can get a chance to feature.
After LeBron James, Rondo is the best playmaker on the Lakers team. Although he would have come off the bench, the creativity that he brought to the table was valuable. His potential replacement, Waiters is not a primary point guard. He is a 3&D shooting guard and does not excel in playmaking.
Rondo’s absence could overburden Caruso or LeBron, who will have to play extra minutes at point guard. This could be a problem for coach Vogel however, he has three scrimmage games to test out new rotations. If LeBron plays more at point guard, JR Smith could potentially feature in the lineup.
The Lakers will be hoping that the expected timeline of Rondo returning in 6 to 8 weeks goes according to plan. That means he could return around September 15, which is the starting date for the Conference Finals. If the Lakers can manage without him till then, they will have a major morale boost when he returns.
The scrimmage games for the Lakers begin on July 23rd. Their first game is against the Dallas Mavericks. Then on July 25th, they play the Orlando Magic. Their last scrimmage game is on July 27th where they take on the Washington Wizards. After the scrimmages, the Lakers need to win just three out of their eight games, potentially giving Coach Vogel another five games to experiment with his lineups.