Sunday afternoon's contest between the LA Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers wasn't quite what it was billed to be, as the Clippers routed the undermanned Lakers to improve to 33-18 on the season. But while it was hardly a showdown between two Western Conference giants, the matchup proved worthwhile for Clippers fans looking to catch a glimpse of Rajon Rondo.
The four-time All-Star made his long-awaited debut on Sunday, a little more than a week after the Clippers acquired him from the Atlanta Hawks. The 36-year-old recorded two points, one rebound, three assists, two steals and four turnovers in a little less than 13 minutes.
He looked a little rusty, which is to be expected, given it was his first action since March 22. After the game, Rondo spoke about his experience and what he intends to do while playing out the rest of his season in Los Angeles.
"Just go out there and try to lead by example," Rondo said. "I don't like to talk as much without showing on the court for my teammates... Just trying to get our two main guys the ball in a lot easier spots, as far as them having to work so hard to get the ball against a set defense. If we are able to create stops to get on the break, you know my job is to advance pass the ball and let those guys attack one-on-one before the defense is set."
Rondo was on a minutes restriction in his debut, and with Patrick Beverley sidelined, it's unclear what Rondo's role will look like for the rest of the season. That said, it's clear that coach Tyronn Lue thinks highly of him and believes he'll be a great help on the offensive end of the floor.
"You could just tell his pace brings a different something to our team and offensively he's getting the outlet close to half court before the first pass is made, that generates pace for us and we need that," Lue said. "It's going to be good for us in the long run, just good to see him out and try to get acclimated to what we are trying to do."
Rondo's next opportunity to leave his mark will come on Tuesday when the Clippers host the surging Portland Trail Blazers.