5 key things to look out for in Clippers’ 2015 season opener

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On a new team, how will Rajon Rondo fare against Chris Paul?

Mar 13, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Rajon Rondo (9) defend against Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul (3) during the second half at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Clippers 129-99. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Looking away from the Clippers’ roster for a moment, let’s consider how a new member of the Kings can compete against the two-way tenacity of Chris Paul.

Rajon Rondo’s stint with the Dallas Mavericks couldn’t have gone much worse. After becoming a four-time All-Star, two-time assists leader and NBA champion during his time with the Boston Celtics, Rondo emerged as one of the most versatile playmakers in the game. As not only was he one of the most creative and prolific passers in the league, he was also a constant triple double threat, despite being just 6’1″.

During the 2011-12 season, Rondo averaged 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and a league leading 11.7 assists per game. And in the playoffs, he took his game to a whole new level. Playing 42.6 minutes a night, with averages of 17.3 points on 46.8 percent shooting, 11.9 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game, Rondo was at his best.

Yet, with the Mavericks, the experiment of using him alongside the likes of Monta Ellis and Dallas legend Dirk Nowitzki completely and utterly failed. Without Rondo, the Mavs led opponents by an average of 5.2 points per 100 possessions. With Rondo on the floor, though, their offensive rating fell by 8.8 points and they trailed opponents by 1.3 points per 100 possessions. On top of that, he was even benched in the playoffs after just two games.

As the numbers show, he never fit in.

Come October 28, Rondo can begin a new season with a new franchise, in an attempt to restore his reputation. And if he’s able to gel with his Kings’ teammates over the offseason and put on a good performance against the Clippers, we can enjoy a top point guard battle as he faces Chris Paul.