Boston Celtics: Is Rajon Rondo the Best Point Guard in the League?
The article, as expected, produced a great deal of debate as to who everyone thought was the best point guard in the league.
Rondo seems to be the player forgotten in the midst of all the debate, because he is not the same scorer as the other four are.
Paul, Rose, Westbrook and Williams all averaged at least 19.5 points per game this past season and their play has likely changed the way that we will look at point guards in the future.
Westbrook and Rose, quite frankly, are 2 guards, who are learning how to play the point as they continue in the NBA.
With this being said, who is the best point guard in the league?
With all due respect to Westbrook, he does have a long way to go in his development. While he can be an able scorer, the former UCLA shooting guard is exactly that: a shooting guard.
If Maurice Cheeks and Scott Brooks can continue to develop Westbrook, he has the potential to be a top-five player in this league. However, he is not there yet.
Deron Williams' stock has also fallen dramatically over the past few years. For one, he has been exposed as a mediocre distributor while with the Nets.
Williams is still one of the top four point guards in the league, but it seems like his best playing days are behind him.
From here, it comes down to three players: Paul, Rose and Rondo.
It is hard to differentiate between these three players, because each has his positives and negatives. At the end of the day, one player might be better suited than the other in specific situations.
Paul reminds me of Isiah Thomas, because of the crafty ways that he is able to get to the basket. He is also one of the best passers in the league, however he is not on either Rondo's or Rose's level in that regard.
A torn meniscus in the 2009-10 season sidelined him and changed his game in many ways.
That first step that Paul once had is now gone, but he makes up for it as a better three-point shooter.
At the end of the day, Paul before the knee injury is hands-down the best point guard in the league. Now, that status can be argued due to the emergence of two younger Eastern Conference guards.
Derrick Rose is the best scorer of the three because he uses his athleticism to his advantage. He has outstanding body control and to me is like a mini-LeBron James.
He has improved his shooting percentages dramatically over the past few years and vaulted himself into the top 10 players in the league because of the changes he has made to his game.
Like Paul, Rose suffered a knee injury that will likely change the way he plays. The 2010-11 MVP suffered a torn ACL and MCL in the first round of the playoffs.
Rose will need to re-invent his game to ensure that he does not re-tear the ligaments. In all certainty, it will probably take a full year for Rose to be back to full strength.
With that being said, we don't know if Rose will be the same player that he was when healthy.
Rajon Rondo is the quintessential point guard. He looks for his teammates and puts them in the best position to play. What puts Rondo among the elite players in the league is the fact that he routinely shows up to play in big games.
During the season, the former Kentucky point guard had a well-rounded stat line of 11.9 points, 11.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game.
In the postseason, Rondo stepped it up with 17.3 points, 11.9 assists and 6.7 rebounds. At some points, it seemed like he was carrying the Celtics.
His numbers eclipse Paul's in the postseason in terms of assists and rebounds per game, while having basically the same points per game.
However, Rondo is not consistent enough during the regular season to be anointed as the best point guard in the league.
Who is the best point guard in the league?
If he is able to put up similar numbers to his postseason play, there really is no argument as to who is the best. When he needs to score, Rondo can, as evident in his postseason averages.
At the end of the day, I would probably rate Paul as slightly higher than Rondo and Rose at the moment, because he has been consistently performing at a high level.
But if I needed to win a playoff game and I could only choose one point guard?
I would definitely choose Rondo.
If the Celtics want to get Banner No. 18, they will need Rondo to step up, not only in the postseason but in the regular season.
The higher the seed, the less roadblocks that Boston will have to face until they run into a loaded Miami team. If there is anyone who can beat the Heat, it would be Rondo.
If he can perform at the level he did during the playoffs all season, Rondo will make a strong argument as the best point guard in the league.
Not only that, but he will put the Celtics in their best position to win a championship since 2008.
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