An abundance of multi-talented point guards have filled the spotlight in the NBA as of late.
Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo are among the elite league of do-it-all guards that have made their mark as scorers, passers, rebounders and defenders.
Who is currently the best guard running the point in the NBA? Basketball die-hards have debated this question across the nation. Yet, Rondo transcends that debate and clearly has placed himself at the top of the long list of successful point guards in the league.
In Rose’s last full season in 2010-11, he led his team deep into the playoffs and won the coveted MVP award (the youngest ever to do so) while putting up mind-blowing statistics (25 PPG, 7.7 APG, 4.1 RPG). But, injuries have limited Rose's playing time since then, making it difficult to judge him until he returns to the court.
Westbrook is a statistic hog. The OKC guard has consistently scored a high number of points during the last few seasons, averaging 22.5 point per game this season. On top of that, his assists, rebounds and steals have jumped.
However, numbers are not everything.
Despite making some deep playoff runs, Westbrook is notorious for ill-advised shots and out of control play in some big games. His stats also benefit from having the three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant on his side.
As for Paul, his numbers are up there with the best. The L.A. Clipper leads the NBA in steals (2.54 a game) while assisting (9.4 APG) and scoring buckets (16.5 PPG) at a high rate. Surprisingly, his stats are down from prior seasons, but this does not mean he has lost his edge.
Paul also makes fewer mistakes when he has the ball in his hands. Compare his 2.2 turnovers per game to Westbrook’s 3.5 and Rondo’s 3.9.
Rondo had been an elite point guard for the last few years and was having a phenomenal season with the Boston Celtics until partially tearing his ACL a couple weeks ago. The superstar is a dime-dishing mastermind, leading the league in assists with 11.1 per game. Not to mention the 6-foot-1 guard is pulling down 5.6 boards a game, leading all guards in the NBA.
Sure, Rondo’s efficiency rating is not as high as Paul and Westbrook. Sure, he turns the ball over slightly more than them, and sure, he does not drop as many points a night.
Numbers are not everything, but one statistic holds more prestige than any other: the coveted NBA title.
Rajon Rondo has one. Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook? Zero.
However, with Rondo likely out for the season, the other two have the opportunity to reach the same heights as Rondo did in 2008.
Until the other guards hoist the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy and slip that sought-after ring on their finger, all hail king Rondo.