Rajon Rondo has a knack for performing in the playoffs

From FOX Sports - April 16, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)Rajon Rondo is healthy and hes locked in.

Thats good news for the New Orleans Pelicans, not so much for the Portland Trail Blazers. When Rondo is locked in during the postseason, the 6-foot-4 guard who won an NBA title with the Boston Celtics has shown he can be a tough out.

Over the course of his career, Rondo has averaged 10.5 points, 8.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds. Comparatively in the playoffs, he has averaged 14.3 points, 9.2 assists and six rebounds per game.

Not that he is buying into the Playoff Rondo hype, however.

Theres a lot of factors into that. I dont think you can break it down as simple as one or two things, Rondo said after practice Monday. The interview would probably be too long for me to break it down completely. Its a matter of me being healthy, minutes, my teammates trusting me, my coaching staff trusting me.

I think we, as a team, were playing pretty good under pressure.

They are indeed.

Rondo dished out 17 assists in Game 1 of the series, helping the Pelicans take a 1-0 series lead.

You know, hes one of the smartest players in the league, Portland coach Terry Stotts said. He can really orchestrate an offense. He makes his teammates better because he can find them. Defensively, hes really smart: He can sniff things out on the defensive end.

This was the Rondo that New Orleans hoped it would see in the postseason when the Pelicans signed him to a one-year deal.

Rondo has a reputation as a mercurial playerat times locked in and controlling games, at others seemingly disinterested. A big reason for his success in New Orleans is hes healthy. After missing the first 13 games with a core muscle injury, Rondo played in 65 regular-season games, starting 63.

And he thrives under the playoff lights.

New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry mused about Rondos playoff aptitude before Game 1.

I think that anyone, if you go back to last year and you watched the Chicago team, what he meant to that team, they went in there and won two games in Boston when Boston was really good, Gentry said. And I think there is a sense of confidence that he has, especially this time of the year.


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