Fox Sports 1’s Skip Bayless made a bold prediction on Twitter late Thursday night that the Los Angeles Clippers and their fans can only hope comes true. “These Lakers ARE NOT beating Rondo’s Clippers,” Bayless Tweeted after the Los Angeles Lakers fell to the Dallas Mavericks, 115-110.
The loss marked the return of Lakers superstar Anthony Davis, who has missed over two months dealing with Achilles tendonosis. Davis is going to ease his way back into action, but considering how hot the Clippers have been of late, Bayless doesn’t seem to think the Lakers have a chance to win the Battle of L.A. this year.
These Lakers ARE NOT beating Rondo’s Clippers.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) April 23, 2021
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The Addition of Rajon Rondo Has Given Clippers a Boost
Bayless was being tongue in cheek by referring to the Clips as “Rondo’s Clippers,” but the team has played with an undeniable jolt since the two-time NBA champ’s arrival in late March via trade with the Atlanta Hawks. While he’s averaging 18.6 minutes a game and scoring just 6.7 points per contest, the Clips are 10-3 since adding Rondo to the roster, and the team is playing its best ball of the season heading into May.
“We’re playing the right way, we’re moving the basketball and we’re making plays for one another,” Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said about his team’s recent play. “It’s fun to play that way, and that’s why our guys are getting so much enjoyment playing the game, because we’re playing the right way. I would say offensively, just understanding who we are and picking our spots, and guys playing the right way and making the right play.”
Rondo’s Teammates Think He is ‘Missing Piece’
The Clippers made it to the Western Conference semifinals last year, going up 3-1 on the Denver Nuggets before dropping the final three games of the series. Rondo, who is known for his clutch play in the postseason, could be just what the Clips need to get over the hump and finally win their first-ever championship. His teammates certainly think so.
“Rondo’s a leader, you know the point guard, he’s a leader,” Paul George said about his teammate a few weeks ago. “We’re going to listen to him. I look at him as a leader, a leader of this group. He’ll hold a lot of weight. He holds a lot of weight in the locker room. As he gets more comfortable within our system, getting games under his feet, he’ll hold us accountable. That’s what you need in the locker room, somebody that’s going to say what needs to be said and get us going.”
“He’s a veteran,” Clippers forward Patrick Patterson added, per Sports Illustrated. “He’s won championships, he’s been on championship-caliber teams. He knows the ins and outs of basketball, he has such a high basketball IQ. He’s that guy that we go to whenever we need to come together. He sees the floor like no one else… So just having him out there, he’s that I feel like big missing piece, a big part of the success that we want, the success that we need. He brings everything you want to a team, and it’s good to have him out here.”
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