#2: Rajon Rondo
The next player who could be considered the third star for the Lakers is Rajon Rondo. While this was not clear at all during the regular season, and I personally was very critical of Rondo, he has really stepped up in the playoffs.
Everything that fans could have hoped for from Rondo he has delivered on during this playoff run. He is the definition of a floor general and still is one of the best playmakers in the entire league.
This has allowed for the Lakers to rely less on LeBron James and has given him the chance to take some offensive possessions off. Along with this, he has one of the highest IQ’s in basketball.
He possesses an elite ability to pick apart defenses, set up plays, and call for on the fly cuts that have led to multiple easy layups, dunks, and alley-oops. Also on the offensive end, the three ball of Rajon Rondo has greatly improved and is something that I really have been impressed by.
Rondo has been crucial for the Lakers in the series against the Houston Rockets and has continued his amazing play against the Denver Nuggets. He has continued to be one of the best defending point guards in the league being absolutely crucial in the run that the Lakers went on late in the third quarter of game three.
Lastly, even when he is not on the court he is a leader and almost doubles as another coach for Frank Vogel. As previously stated, Rondo has an incredible basketball IQ and if you listen closely you can hear him calling things out while the Lakers are on defense and pointing out weaknesses in the opposing teams defense frequently from the bench.
While it is very unlikely that this level of play for Rondo is unobtainable for an entire season, he has turned up his intensity at the right time and has proven himself as arguably the third best player on the Lakers for the remainder of the playoffs.