After his stint with the Mavericks in 2014-15, many thought Rajon Rondo’s career was over. He clashed with coach Rick Carlisle and didn’t seem to be the same player on either side of the court that we saw from his days with Boston.
Rondo then went onto lead the NBA in assists per game in 2015-16, albeit on a toxic Kings team.
The former Celtics’ time with the Bulls in 2016-17 has been rocky. He was a starter, then he wasn’t. He was in the doghouse, and then he wasn’t. He was engaged, and then he wasn’t.
On the season, he averaged just 7.8 points (lowest since 2006-17), 6.7 assists (lowest since 2007-08) and 5.1 rebounds (lowest since 2011-12).
But playoff Rondo is a new Rondo, and ironically, it’s coming against his former team.
Chicago took a surprising 2-0 lead against No. 1 Boston on Tuesday night behind 11 points, 14 assists, nine rebounds and five steals from Rondo. In two games in the series, Rondo is averaging 11.5 points, 10 assists, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals.
It’s been the Rondo we grew to love during his time in Boston (unless you were a Bulls fan).
Fun fact that I admitted last night because I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong (especially four years later): In the 2013 NBA Draft, I really wanted the Wolves to draft Kelly Olynyk out of Gonzaga. Olynyk is a fine player, but the Wolves made a good decision in trading Trey Burke for Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad.
The Bulls take a 2-0 lead with the next game coming on Friday in Chicago.
Lowry The Savior
The Raptors led by six with 5:23 left in the fourth quarter on Tuesday night. Milwaukee stormed back to tie the game at 100 with 2:03 left.
Thanks to DeMar DeRozan, the Raptors led 102-100 in the final 30 seconds. It looked like Milwaukee would have a chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds, until Kyle Lowry hit this shot from Narnia.
It’s fitting DeRozan and Lowry hit the two most important shots of the game considering they’ve carried Toronto this season. The dynamic duo combined for 45 points, shooting a combined 15-for-30 from the field and 13-for-15 from the free-throw line.
A loss here would have put Toronto down 0-2 and for a team that some think can beat the Cavaliers in the next round, that would have been a bit problematic.
The series is tied up at 1-1 with the next game coming Thursday in Milwaukee.
The Jazz lost All-Defensive Player candidate Rudy Gobert on the first play of Game 1 and while they survived that game, Game 2 was a different story. Utah fell 99-91 to the Clippers, allowing center DeAndre Jordan to score 18 points (9-for-11 from the field) and haul in 15 rebounds.
Gobert’s replacement, Derrick Favors, is fine offensively but struggles defensively.
This loss can’t all be pinned on Gobert’s absence as Gordon Hayward, George Hill and Joe Johnson shot a combined 15-for-41 from the field.
The series is tied up at 1-1 with the next game coming Friday in Utah.
Tonight we’ve got the Hawks at Wizards, Thunder at Rockets and Blazers at Warriors.
I’ll take the Wizards, Rockets and Warriors (crazy picks, I know).
Until tomorrow, friends.