Los Angeles Lakers: 3 takeaways from Christmas win over Warriors

(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

2. Rajon Rondo proves his importance

When LeBron James left the game 7:51 in the third quarter, the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t feel like favorites to closeout the Warriors, despite having a 14-point lead. Thankfully, the calm presence of Rajon Rondo proved more than enough to lead the Lakers offense and build upon their lead to score a great win.

Rondo finished with 15 points, 10 assists and five rebounds, including some timely finishes around the basket. Rondo was doing all of his trademark moves from the right-handed slither finish on the left side of the basket to running hook shots with his right hand to tear drops over the rim protectors.

He showed last season in the playoffs with the New Orleans Pelicans that he has some Playoff Rondo magic left in the tank. The Christmas Day game was another example of this and why he was signed by the Lakers this offseason. LeBron needed experienced, high-IQ players around him, and nobody fits that bill in the NBA with his contract than Rajon Rondo.


The Lakers are still blending together and have young players dominating their rotation. Having Rondo to control the court when LeBron rests is ideal, and his passing, communication and tempo controlling were on display again on Dec. 25. We know Rondo’s minutes will not be too high, but come playoff time, having Rondo on your side is better than going against him.