The Los Angeles Lakers are the first team in the Western Conference Finals after getting rid of the Houston Rockets in five games. The purple and gold are doing a terrific job this postseason, easily taking down two big rivals in the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets. Everybody knows LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the biggest figures of the team but they needed a third-string to take their game to the next level.

When all their fans thought that place was reserved for Kyle Kuzma, Rajon Rondo returned from an injury and has been balling ever since. The veteran point guard brought his best game to the bubble and the Lakers can’t be happier about. Playoff Rondo has shown up, becoming the third force on the Lakers roster. ESPN’s analyst Max Kellerman recently addressed this topic, putting the league on notice about the Lakers and their new Big 3.

“He [Rondo] always elevates in the playoffs. It is amazing,” Kellerman said on Friday’s edition of First Take. “In the regular season, he’s not good, he’s not, not in recent years; he’s getting older, he doesn’t shoot it very well. In the playoffs, throughout his entire career, he’s been a stone-cold All-Star. The Lakers now have their Big 3.”

If the team wants to take that final step and make it to the Finals, they will need Rondo in their best shape. The Lakers are a well-oiled machine now and seeing all the rest they’re getting in these playoffs, the picture looks incredibly good for them.