LA Clippers: 1 player who needs to pick it up if Clips want to win series

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers guard Rajon Rondo (4). Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) moves the ball against Los Angeles Clippers guard Rajon Rondo (4). Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

Rajon Rondo was linked to the LA Clippers since last offseason.

The Clippers seemed to want championship experience as they geared up for a hopeful 2020-2021 NBA Finals run. He ended up signing with the Atlanta Hawks, but the Clippers still didn’t give up. Rondo was acquired by the LA Clippers via trade from the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for three-time Sixth man of the Year Award winner Lou Williams, two second-round draft picks, and some cash on the side.

It wasn’t clear whether this move would work out, but it was clear what the Clippers were trying to do, which was to acquire that championship experience, along with veteran leadership in general from a two-time NBA Finals Champion in Rondo. The Clippers seemed to have lackluster team chemistry at times in the playoffs last year, and Rondo was supposed to help fix that. Well, the Clippers have certainly improved from where they were last year, but it hasn’t been because of Rondo’s postseason excellence.

Rajon Rondo has been a bit of a postseason liability for the LA Clippers this season.

It’s shocking to read that about Rajon Rondo, as ‘Playoff Rondo’ has such a great postseason reputation in this league. The LA Clippers would have never thought that he would be holding them back at this stage. However, that’s what’s happened at times.

It wasn’t just Rondo’s former teammate, and ESPN commentator Kendrick Perkins who was disappointed in Rondo’s performance in Game 3. It was hard for anyone not to be. Rondo had zero points in his eight minutes, missing his only field goal attempt of the game.

Clips Nation, the Clippers SB Nation website obviously doesn’t even want to see him back out there. Many Clippers fans related, as at the time Rondo left the game, he had turned the ball over more than every single player playing in the contest. Yes, that’s three turnovers in eight minutes.

Meme accounts went crazy with Rondo’s performance, and it was hard not to. Those three turnovers ended up finishing him second on the team in turnovers, and third among players from both teams. Again, he only played eight minutes.

The two that turned the ball over more than him played at least 40. The Clippers could have been leading in the game much earlier, but Rondo was a liability on the court.

Rondo is capable of playing much better basketball. He has shined in the NBA postseason throughout his career. He hasn’t played anywhere near that level recently, however, and Game 3 may have been one of his last shots.

The Clippers obviously won Game 3, so they can win without him. To sustain that success will be tough, however, if they can’t get their role players to contribute and do their jobs.

Next. If the Clips make it to the NBA Finals, who do we want?. dark

The Clippers won Game 3, but are still down 2-1 in the Western Conference Finals. They’ll need Rondo to prove they were correct in trading for him, in order to complete the comeback and win this series.