The Lakers’ bold plan to make LeBron James their starting point guard?
It lasted only one game.
Point guard Rajon Rondo missed the Lakers’ season-opening loss to the Clippers with a calf injury. LeBron started at point guard with Avery Bradley and Danny Green on the wing. But once Rondo gets healthy, he’ll start with LeBron shifting back to forward and Bradley presumably coming off the bench.
Lakers coach Frank Vogel, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
“I’ve given it a lot of thought and I think he’ll be in the starting lineup a lot,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said of Rondo after practice Thursday. “I definitely envision a lot of games where he’ll be the starting point guard.”
Vogel said there still could be games where Rondo comes off the bench and Bradley starts, depending on matchups.
On one hand, this seems like an overreaction to a single game against a team many – myself included – picked to win the championship. On the other hand, teams shouldn’t stick to a plan just because it’s already in place.
The Lakers could use better ball movement, and Rondo should help. He showed a nice ability to set up Anthony Davis with the Pelicans. However, Davis has since expanded his all-around game, improving his ability to create for himself and others.
Los Angeles also needs better spacing, and Rondo is a liability on the perimeter – a key reason he has fit so poorly with LeBron. That’ll remain an issue for a guard in a post-up offense.
Rondo’s defense is suspect, too. Bradley applies more pressure on the ball.
The Lakers have many distinctive pieces to fit together. I’m unconvinced starting Rondo is the answer, but it’s also difficult to envision an optimized rotation. Vogel should keep experimenting like this.