The LA Lakers ran out to a big Game 1 win over the Denver Nuggets in their Western Conference Finals matchup. While Anthony Davis led the team with a dominant 37-point performance, Rajon Rondo came up big as well, notching an impressive 9 assists in 21 minutes.
Rondo has built a career out of impressive playoff performances. After all, a nickname like Playoff Rondo is earned through consistency. Even after his peak passed in the Boston Celtics, Rondo kept showing up with impressive Playoffs numbers. His 9 assists today meant he crosses Michael Jordan on the all-time playoff assists list.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 19, 2020
MJ had 1022 playoff assists, and Rondo ended tonight at 1025. He is within catching distance of sixth-placed Larry Bird, who has 1062 playoff assists. Rondo’s teammate LeBron James is third on the all-time ranking, with 1787.
Lakers finally open a playoff series with a win
LA won their first game one of this post-season with the dominant win over Denver. However, the selling factor of Denver has been their uncanny ability to make comebacks. In the Playoffs, they not only overcame two 3-1 deficits against Utah and the Clippers, but also overcame three consecutive games with a double digit points deficit at the half.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=579USFTA7Eo]
However, the Lakers’ unique combination of size and wing defense frustrated the Nuggets. Murray and Jokic had decent games, but not nearly the quality they need to produce to beat a team like this Lakers squad. Anthony Davis dominated in the paint. LeBron ran the show with amazing passes, and we saw Dwight Howard re-emerge as a high-level contributor for LA.
Rondo has continued to put up the impressive performances we are accustomed to in the Playoffs. His contribution off the bench could be a title clincher for these Lakers who are rolling with momentum. We can now see how much the Lakers missed him while he was injured.