Don’t Believe the Hype: Why Rondo is not a Top-Tier PG

I remember watching Charles, Kenny and Ernie talk about Rondo as if he was the second coming of Jason Kidd and thinking:

“Wow, these guys are way off base. Rondo isn’t even a top 10 point guard in the NBA! His only great stat is assists which must be pretty easy to pile up with 3 future hall of famers on the team.”

I’ve never seen such universal respect for a player who can’t hit open 15 footers and shoots under 70% from the charity stripe. We’re not talking about a power forward here, either, Rondo plays the point guard while averaging those stats. Still, there are those who will say that the numbers back up their argument that Rondo is a top-tier player. I usually don’t look too much into numbers but let’s see if they do indeed back up that notion.

Top Point Guards in the NBA:

To start things off I wanted to compare Rondo to the best the NBA had to offer in point guards. I chose Deron Williams of the Jazz, Steve Nash of the Suns and Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets (for now). To try to prevent the data from being skewed I chose the 09-10 season for everyone but CP3, who had an injury plagued year. For him, I chose the 08-09 season. Let’s look at the numbers:

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=UuHaE

Off: Rondo averaged the fewest point of this group while barely out shooting them percentage wise. This despite the fact that the other three score from everywhere on the floor while Rondo gets the majority of his points in the paint. Rondo averaged the fewest assists despite that being the only great offensive stat he has. He was also in line with the others as far as turnovers go. He grabbed the most offensive rebounds of this group but shot a porous 62.5% from the free throw line.

Def: Rondo failed to lead any categories again as CP3 led this group in steals and defensive rebounds.

Conclusion: Anything Rondo can do can be done better by a player on this list. He is clearly out of his league here, even when only looking at numbers and not basketball knowledge. Next?

 Second Tier Players

In this group I took a group of players who are great but not looked at as the best at the position. These players were: Chauncey Billups of the Denver Nuggets, Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. This time Parker got the Chris Paul treatment.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=EUDfv

Off: Rondo still had the fewest points of this group but led in assists this time. He turned the ball over more than anyone else here and shot a lower 3P% and FT% despite the weaker shooters in this group.

Def: He got more steals and rebounds than anyone else (but not by much in the rebounding dept.) but only beat this group by 7 points in defensive ratings.

Conclusion: This group of players aren’t as gifted as the top but are better defenders. Parker and Rose finish better than Rondo while shooting better from the free throw line and Billups is a better scorer period. I think Rondo is overmatched here as well.

Random Players

Since he wasn’t fit to be in the top tiers, I just thought of a few players off the top of my head. They were Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks, Aaron Brooks of the Houston Rockets and the rookie of the year Tyreke Evans. Let’s compare:  

http://www.basketball-reference.com/play-index/tiny.cgi?id=ISGBf

Off: Rondo finally outscored someone, Jason Kidd. He led the group in assists with Kidd a close second. Again, he shot the worst free throw percentage and turned the ball over more.

Def: Rondo had the most steals but again Kidd wasn’t too far off. Kidd led with Defensive rebounds and rebounds overall.

Conclusion: Kidd is a more consistent triple double threat. Evans can do what Rondo does and much, much more and Brooks is an explosive scorer who could average 8+ assists if Yao returns to form next year. In other words, I’d take anyone in this group over Rondo too.

I have no idea where Rondo ranks in the NBA point guard landscape but what I DO know is that he is being severely over rated by homers from Boston and NBA “experts”. His assists are not head and shoulders over everyone else in the league as some would have you believe and he is still the worst shooter of any starting point guard in the league. Hell, I can’t even name a point guard who is a worse shooter or free throw shooter than him but what do I know? All I do is watch the NBA.

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~ by Prodigy on July 24, 2010.

4 Responses to “Don’t Believe the Hype: Why Rondo is not a Top-Tier PG”

  1. DUMB. Rondo top 5.

    • Just to be clear, are you calling me or the numbers dumb? I barely gave any opinion in this piece so you must be calling statistics dumb.

  2. Dumb. You did not consider how Rondo performed in the playoffs. He led a old worn out celtic team to the verge of an NBA Championship. Yes, he does play with three future hall of famers, but they are past their prime. He stepped up during the most important part of the season, unlike the other PG’s you consider better

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