Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo had his overall NBA 2K13 player rating revealed recently in a tweet from 2K Sports. This may seem like a big jump from his 85 rating in NBA 2K12. Was Rondo really that much better in 2012 than he was in 2011?
The answer is no.
Nevertheless, Rondo completely deserves his improved rating of 90. He is not overrated now. He was underrated last year.
In fact, Rondo has been underrated for most of his career and still is by many people. He is given praise mostly for his defensive game even though he is and has been one of the most efficient offensive players in the NBA.
Since 2009, Rondo has been one of the deadliest and most effective players in the league on both sides of the ball. Here is how he has ranked in recent years:
Steals per Game Ranking (League-wide): fifth in 2009, first in 2010, second in 2011, fifth in 2012
Shooting Percentage (among NBA PGs): second in 2009, first in 2010, fifth in 2011, 12th in 2012
Clearly Rondo is one of the best defensive players and best passers in the league. However, he rarely gets enough credit for being one of most efficient scorers. His ability to get to the basket and his decision-making on shots make the difference.
Praise has always been slow to come to Rondo. The criticisms from his rookie year about his poor jump shooting have followed him for about three years too long. The point when his greatness became obvious to unbiased watchers was in the 2010 playoffs, when he led the Celtics to game seven of the NBA finals.
Minutes per game: 40.6
Points per game: 15.8
Assists per game: 9.3
Rebounds per game: 5.6
Steals per game: 1.9
Shooting percentage: 46.3
The production is obvious. However, his ability to play more than 40 minutes per game at high energy on both sides of the ball is unique to him (excepting small forward LeBron James).
Rondo earned his ranking in 2011-12, just as he did in 2010-11 and before that in the 2010 playoffs. Some heads may have turned last year when Rondo came eighth in the NBA MVP voting, garnering two fourth place votes.
Don't be surprised if the voters recognize him even more this year.