Monday, July 25, 2011
5-on-5: Dish on point guards
By Chris Forsberg | @ESPNForsberg | Email
In the latest installment of ESPN.com's 5-on-5 series, five writers break down five questions on the NBA's point guard position. Not surprisingly, there's a fair amount of Rajon Rondo chatter involved, including this sampling that ought to raise the blood pressure of some C's supporters:
* Forsberg's thoughts: From a put-the-ball-in-the-basket standpoint, it's undeniable that Rondo had a lackluster 2010-11 season. His scoring dipped more than three full points from the prevoius season to 10.6 points per game, while his field goal percentage plummeted from a career-high .508 in 2009-10 to .475. He attempted fewer shots at the rim and was atrocious from 3-to-15 feet (28.7 percent overall, according to HoopData). According to Synergy Sports, Rondo rated "poor" in overall offense, his .749 points per play ranking in the 14th percentile among all NBA players. What's more his offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) dipped to 104, down 10 points from the 2008-09 season, according to Basketball Reference. And Rondo shot a career worst 56.8 percent at the charity stripe.
All that said, and acknowledging that a rash of injuries certainly didn't aid his cause last season, Rondo still found a way to earn his first All-Star game nod thanks in large part to how much better he makes his teammates on the floor. Rondo assisted on 47.1 percent of Boston's scoring plays when he was on the court, second best in the NBA behind only Steve Nash. Synergy Sports data includes a category that incorporates assists into a player's points per play average and Rondo ranked in the 97th percentile (1.41 points per play) among all NBA hoopsters.
Yes, Rondo has plenty to work on in regards to his offensive game, but calling him a liability undervalues his impact to Boston's overall offensive output.