Rajon Rondo or Derrick Rose: Who's the Better Player?
What made the series so entertaining? The rise of the baby Bulls? The chance of a possible upset? Or are there just too many Celtic haters now?
It was a mix of those reasons, but the biggest factor that made this series thrilling was the fantastic play of the two young point guards: Rajon Rondo and Derrick Rose.
Looking to the future, which of these floor generals will be better?
Rajon Rondo is a prototypical pass first point guard. He attempts to make the players around him better and more involved in the game before he takes a shot.
Sure, he gets help from three future hall of famers, but he's made players like Glen Davis, Kendrick Perkins, and Eddie House all better with his penetration.
Rondo does well using picks to his advantage and is always in control when he has the rock in his hands. He went 89 minutes in the final few games of the series with no turnovers at all. With the pace these games have been played at, it is impressive.
What's more astonishing is that Rondo had 19 assists in the triple overtime game, and six where he had no turnovers. His passing is smooth and he knows where to put the ball. He nearly averaged a triple double in the first round series.
Rondo has long arms and is a versatile defender who gambles for steals, putting him at the top of the league in that category.
Despite being only 6'0" and 170 pounds, he is a great rebounder. His hustle and hard work earn him rebounds in a game which makes him one of the better rebounding guards in the league.
Rajon's main weakness is his lack of shooting. He shoots 50 percent from the field, but don't let that number fool you. The majority of his shots are points in the paint or fastbreak points. He shoots 64 percent from the free throw line.
Without much of a perimeter game, teams are able to double team Paul Pierce and Ray Allen on the wing. That is a weakness affecting the whole team. It puts more pressure on Pierce and Allen to potentially force up bad shots or make costly turnovers. Teams give Rondo open jump shots numerous times throughout games.
Rondo has learned well from former point guard and coach Doc Rivers. If he develops an outside shot, he can be one of the harder players to defend in the league.
Unlike Rondo, you can build your team around Derrick Rose. He is a franchise player and has phenomenal talent. Rose doesn't have the court vision Rondo has yet, but he could get to his level soon.
Rose is arguably the most athletic point guard in the league and one of the most athletic players there is. He uses this to his advantage by driving to the rack fearlessly. He does well finishing around the basket too.
Like Rondo, Rose doesn't have a great outside shooting game. He only shot 22 percent from beyond the arc in the season. However, his mid-range game is nice and so is his free throw shooting.
Rose needs to work on his defense, especially his pick and roll defense which he has struggled to defend. Turnovers are a concern too. There were plenty of times in the series where he forced passes and was careless.
Even with his rookie faults, Derrick is looking like he will be the best player in his draft class and could go down as one of the greats to play the point guard position.
Under Vinny Del Negro and Derrick Rose, the Bulls look like they will be one of the better teams in the Eastern Conference in the future.
Rose didn't have the talent and experience around him that Rondo did during the series, and was still able to lead the Bulls to a game seven against the defending world champions.
Rondo will play an impact role for a championship team many times in his career, but Rose will be the one leading championship teams.
Rajon Rondo narrowly got the better of the rookie Derrick Rose in the playoffs. But while Rondo may be the better player right now, at the start of the 2009-2010 season Rose will come out as the better player and will continue to be the better of the two well into the future.
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