Rajon Rondo vs. Derrick Rose: Race for Best Point Guard in the NBA
Just recently has it come to my mind—Who is the best point guard in the NBA?
Is it Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo, or Derrick Rose?
Anyone can make a legitimate argument towards any of these fine leaders, but lets single out the heated comparison between Rondo and Rose.
Derrick Rose, the 6'3", 190 lb point guard out of Memphis, has all the tools in order to be a complete point guard in the NBA today.
Rose is very strong and quick for a man of his stature. Rose's greatest game is taking someone off the dribble and creating a play around the paint or dishing off to his open teammates.
Basically, Rose is the prototypical NBA point guard who has athleticism and a knack for the game.
2009-10 season averages: 20.8 (PPG), 6 (APG), 0.7 (SPG).
As you can see, Rose averaged some impressive numbers considering he lead his Chicago team once again to the NBA Playoffs multiple years in a row.
Rose is a great leader and he definitely has one of the biggest upsides in the NBA today for a guard, and he seems to be improving his one weakness, outside shooting.
Rajon Rondo, the 6'1", 171 lb guard out of Kentucky, has also proven to be a great guard and leader in this league.
Rondo may not have eye-popping stats, but they are more than meets the eye.
What people may overlook about Rondo is the mental aspect he brings every game for the Celtics.
Rondo may not be able to consistently hit open mid/long-range jumpers, but he brings a mentality that can.
For a young point guard in the league, it must be hard to lead a very experienced and well-recognized franchise. Rondo has to be both mentally and physically prepared to lead the "Big Three," who tend to bring their intensity every game.
I mean, imagine trying to calm down Kevin Garnett every game, or taking the lead role over a great player by Paul Pierce. Rondo has proved much more than Rose in that aspect but before we go deeper into that, lets take a look at his 2009-10 averages.
2009-10 season averages: 13.7 (PPG), 9.8 (APG), 2.3 (SPG).
Rondo almost averaged a double-double this season. Under the circumstances, those stats are impressive. Especially his 13.7 (PPG). Sharing the ball with three potential Hall of Famers isn't easy. Rondo may be a pass-first point guard, but he is still a very capable scorer and when other teams shut down Allen, Garnett, or Pierce, Rondo had to take over as a scorer.
What people may forget about Rondo, is his nack for offensive rebounds. Every game I have watched Rondo play, he has had multiple sequences where he boards a rebound and creates a play. Rondo was born to be a play maker and his offensive rebounding mentality tremendously helps.
Rondo has the rare "it" factor and it gives him an edge over many guards around the league today.
Who Is Better?
If you have been catching my comparisons, it should be pretty clear who I believe is the better guard at this point.
Rondo brings more to the table than Rose. Yes, Rose drops 20 points a night and he still dishes out six assists every game, but where does that leave the team?
The Bulls may have been reaching the first round of the NBA Playoffs for the last two or three years, but they haven't reached the Eastern Conference Finals yet, and though they came close against the very Boston team Rondo played for, it just hasn't gone Rose's way.
People can say what they will about Rondo having the better team, and it being easier for him to lead this older Celtics team, but it's the exact opposite.
Like I said earlier, Rondo has to be ready to go every night, there are no breaks for Rondo in the season. The Celtics needed Rondo to run the team day in and day out. It couldn't have been easy to handle all of that pressure, playing for arguably the greatest franchise ever.
Now, Rose is still a great upcoming prospect. Remember, Rose is still 21 and Rondo is 24 so one can say that Rondo's experience is the only edge he has, which may be true, but three years won't change one's mentality.
There aren't many players in the league that have what they call the "it" factor, or killer instinct. Rondo is among the few that contain "it."
In my mind, that is the one aspect of Rondo's game that Rose will never get past, and it is the very thing that will set these two point guards apart.
You never know though, like I said, Rose is still only 21 and Rondo is 24—age could be a factor in this fight. And injury, as in every comparison, can play a major role between these players, but when it is all said and done, these two guards are going to run the show from now on. The only question is, who will remain on top?
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