Comparing Rajon Rondo, CP3 and Today's Top NBA Point Guards to All-Time Best
It’s now official: The NBA is currently in its best era of talent at the point guard position that the league has ever seen. We have of future Hall of Famers still producing (Steve Nash, Jason Kidd), several others who appear to be on their way (Tony Parker, Derrick Rose, Chris Paul), and an impressive list of younger superstars ready to lead the NBA into the next generation (Kyrie Irving, Ricky Rubio, Russell Westbrook).
And we haven’t even mentioned Rajon Rondo and John Wall until just now.
How do today’s floor generals compare to those of years’ past? I’ve chosen five of today’s top point guards and discovered some pretty good replicas among the most prolific ones from recent memory, including career per game averages.
Rajon Rondo = Mark Jackson
These two players have a lot of traits in common: Same size (6’1”, 180”), same trademark toughness on defense, excellent ball handlers and passers, same suspect jumper.
In fact, just about the only difference I can think of is that Mark Jackson didn’t wear a headband.
Jackson: 9.6 PTS, 8.0 ASS, 3.8 REB, .332 3PT%, .770 FT%
Rondo: 10.9 PTS, 7.7 ASS, 4.4 REB, .242 3PT%, .618 FT%
Steve Nash = John Stockton
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Stockton and Nash are a very rare breed of point guard. There aren’t many other players in NBA history who share the uncanny court vision, ball handling skills and a knockdown jumpshot that these two possess. One other similarity, though: no titles in a total of 36 combined season in the NBA.
Stockton: 13.1 PPG, 10.5 ASS, 2.7 REB, .515 FG%, .826 FT%
Nash: 14.5 PPG, 8.6 ASS, 3.0 REB, .491 FG%, .903 FT%
Chris Paul = Isiah Thomas
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“Intense” is the one word that first comes to mind when looking at these two names next to each other. Thomas and Paul are the type of point guards I would want on my side—both are menacing defenders, give 100 percent effort every play and are the undisputed leaders on the floor. Oh and how about 19 points and 10 assists a night? Zeke and CP3 would be my first choices at PG spanning the last 30 years.
Thomas: 19.2 PPG, 9.3 ASS, 3.6 REB, 1.9 SPG, .452 FG%
Paul: 18.8 PPG, 9.8 ASS, 4.5 REB, 2.4 SPG, .473 FG%
Deron Williams = Kevin Johnson
Deron Williams and Kevin Johnson are often lost in the shuffle when discussing the best point guards of today and yesteryear (could be because of that “no titles” thing again), but a quick glance at their numbers tells you they surely belong.
Okay, so they’re not elite defenders. Big deal. No one’s perfect. KC and D-Will both know what to do with the rock when they get it, whether it’s set up a teammate or put it in the basket themselves. Check out how even their career numbers are.
Johnson: 17.9 PTS, 9.1 ASS, 3.3 REB, .493 FG%, .841 FT%
Williams: 17.6 PTS, 9.1 ASS, 3.3 REB, .458 FG%. .853 FT%
Derrick Rose = Allen Iverson
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It was a challenge to find a historically great point guard similar to Derrick Rose. Although it's not a perfect match, I chose Allen Iverson because of how both players are at their best when attacking the basket. Iverson and Rose are relentless on the court; always willing to put their bodies at risk to draw a foul, make a defensive play or save a possession.
There are a couple differences between the two MVP's: Iverson was a more prolific scorer than Rose, but only because AI took a lot more shots from the field. Also, D-Rose has more of a quiet, humble greatness to him while The Answer was more flashy and outspoken.
Iverson: 26.7 PPG, 6.7 APG, 3.2 RPG, .425 FG%, .313 3PT%
Rose: 21.1 PPG, 6.8 APG, 3.1 RPG, .466 FG%, .310 3PT%