Derrick Rose and Why the NBA New Breed of Point Guards May Never Win
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Rose averaged 25 points and eight assists rounded off on the way to his first MVP, while Westbrook averaged 22 points and eight assists and enjoyed his first All-Star game.
Both are a part of the new breed of point guards that consist of big, strong and fast point guards who can out-leap, outrun and out-power their opponents.
While these two are magnificent players, the problem arises with them not playing the role of traditional point guard when needed most. No point guard has ever won a championship being the alpha dog since Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas each respectively won two straight with their teams from 1987-1990. Magic averaged 24 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and (52 percent from the field) and 20 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists (49 percent from the field) in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons. Even in the playoffs, Magic's stats were nearly identical in those two years (22 PTS 12 REB 8 AST 54% FG in 1987 and 20 PTS 13 REB 5 AST 51% FG in 1988). Magic played the role of point guard first, and then scored when he could and when they needed him.
Westbrook and Rose both shot under 45 percent field goal percentage during the regular season and a paltry sub-40 percent during the playoffs. A few games during the playoffs saw Derrick Rose taking 25-plus shots while making only eight of them. Westbrook was criticized for taking too many shots, and trying to steal the shine away from Kevin Durant. Both fell short in the conference finals.
Not to blame these shortcomings entirely on Westbrook and Rose not being a point guard first, but if some shots weren't taken in order to instead distribute to teammates, then the outcomes could have been different.
Not even to mention that Rose jacked five more shots than his season average in the playoffs, and Westbrook's shot attempts went up by three and his assists dipped from 8.2 to 6.4 in the same postseason.
The NFL learned that a scrambling quarterback such as Michael Vick wouldn’t change the position. In 2010 Vick learned that he had to be a quarterback FIRST, and soon the NBA will learn with the point guard position. Point guards must run the offense and set up teammates first and foremost. Also they must be able to score when needed and have a nice all-around game.
The problem sets in with this new breed of point guards in that while they can make great lay-ups, finishes, and dunks, their all-around game is lacking especially with the jump shot. Fellow new breed guards Tyreke Evans and John Wall both shot under 41 percent from the field this past season as they need fast improvement from the perimeter. Although Rajon Rondo and Tony Parker aren’t known for their jump shots, they still shot 48 percent and 52 percent from the field, respectively.
Yes, Russell, Rose, Evans, and Wall are young. They will continue to be successful in the NBA. But for them to start performing a lot better, and possibly win championships, they must learn that they are point guards first, athletic talents second.
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