bertrob wrote:First off its pretty hilarious how the usual Rondo-haters come out and throw barbs behind Tsherkin's argument. But since the new rules are pretty strict about the verbal insults I can spew at those guys, I won't go further
For the record, I want my argument to be clear:
I think Rondo is one of the best point guards in the league, a fact I constantly mention and which the people who attack my posts (not bertrob) never mention. I frequently indicate that I respect his ability as a playmaker as among the best in the league, focusing my argument on his limited contributions (comparatively, not absolutely) next to his peers in this discussion. Through the lens of the idea that PGs have more impact offensively than defensively, having a player who is hamstrung thus on the offensive end makes him less valuable than comparable players. Things inevitably degenerate into the usual "44 points, HURRR!!!!" kind of BS that is just too frustrating to bother with, it's so empty and foolish.
Rondo is a VERY good player. He is not a perfect player, and he's not clearly the best PG in the league. He's got some nice performances behind him, but he obviously exerts less impact on an offense than do his peers. This is true from every angle of analysis beyond looking at his APG and raw totals, which is a meaningless form of analysis anyway. Pretty much anyone watching him can see that he knows what he's doing, his coach isn't routinely yelling at him, so he must be doing things right. He's patient, he knows the plays, he runs the offense well and doesn't force the issue a lot. He exploits transition, he's not a shot-hog (could pull the trigger a little more, actually, and this year he's doing that with some success compared to previous seasons)... I mean he's clearly a really good PG. His turnovers, his assist production, etc, those are indicative of a good player even once you get past the superficial level of analysis. And he does play a little differently in the playoffs.
So, TL;DR, I think Rondo's among the best PGs in the league but not clearly separated from several of them (especially over an 8- or 9-game sample), and that he's clearly inferior to at least Chris Paul. That's not really "hating," which is the banner word of fools without actual arguments who just disagree because my opinion isn't the same as theirs.
I see this old tired myth that people keep throwing out there. "Rondo's usage rate is going up and the Celtics offense efficiency is going down THEREFORE RONDO IS DIRECTLY THE MAIN REASON THE OFFENSE SUCKS NOW"
This is true. The fairer way to put it is that Rondo's not able to compensate for the decline in Boston's offensive rebounding and he's not an efficient scorer himself, so he's not raising their level of efficiency by much. Having said that, he cannot shoulder the blame for their offense pitting out entirely. In 08 when they won the title, they were a 26.6% ORB team, 18th in the league. Last year, 19.7% ORB team, dead last in the league. That's not something that Rondo can really impact, he's a little PG. That's on their frontcourt. Kevin Garnett is half the offensive rebounder he was in 08, and he wasn't a stunner to begin with. He's rebounding like a guard on the offensive end these days. He also missed 6 games. Brandon Bass missed 7 games and wasn't that great to begin with. Powe, Glen Davis, Perkins... not on the team anymore, and they would be among the best offensive rebounders on the Celtics these days. They're even worse so far this season. That affects ORTG a fair bit. Right now, in 12-13, the Celtics are 3rd in the league in FT/FGA, partially because Pierce is drawing at .444 FTA/FGA and partially because the team is 5th in the league in FT%. Last year, they were 17th in FT/FGA (although also 5th in FT%). Pierce's draw rate will probably come down nearer to the ~ .390 he averaged last year, but still, Boston's looking pretty solid on O with the additions they've made. Last year, the compressed season affected a lot of things, namely shooting ability and durability. Ray Allen missing 20 games didn't help the team's ORTG, especially when he was shooting over 45% on 5+ 3PA/g, which would have affected eFG%, which plays into team ORTG.
So yeah, there are other factors. Mainly that Boston's O has typically been driven by the play of the Big Three, not Rondo, which is why they were able to win the title with him as a marginally effective player in 09, and why as the team declined due to age, those things affected the team more than Rondo could elevate the team. He's not as good as Rose, Deron, Paul and several others at scoring himself... he lacks consistency and efficiency in that regard. As a playmaker, ignoring other elements, he stands with anyone in the league. I'd call Nash the only clearly superior playmaker in the league in terms of vision, technical passing ability and creative passing, but where Rondo lags behind is his ability to use his own offense as a threat to create for others. He can do it, I mean he uses screens cleverly, he's got speed, his handle is tight... but he doesn't get the same kind of respect because he's not as dangerous or as willing a shooter as some of the others. That makes a difference... and it's a hair's-breadth difference like that which can turn a comparison such as one evaluating who the BEST PG in the league is.
The Celtics offense is DESIGNED to use the worst shot in basketball. Of **** course its gonna be extremely bad because of it. Thats because of entire team personnel instead of just Rondo.The leagueā€™s most efficient offenses normally hit plenty of three-pointers and draw free throws at high rates. The Celtics do neither.
The team's offense is designed to use post-ups for Pierce and Garnett as well as pin-down action for 3s and for those long 2s... but Ray has always spammed volume 3PA/g and that was a big part of the team's offense. Pierce has taken no LESS than 3.7 3PA/g and as many as 4.6 3PA/g from 08 forward (4.6 in 08 and so far this season). They've employed 3s, post-ups, Pierce's typically strong draw rate and what they can get from KG as their primary attacks. The decline in ORTG is far more important than any other element. They are old and don't kill in transition: they've averaged 20th in the league in pace since 08 and haven't been higher than 18th. That's a concession to their personnel, and it means they don't get a ton of those high-efficiency buckets in transition (which tend to have a decent DrawF as well). Rondo plays in transition, of course, running out ahead of the old guys, but obviously it's not the same as, say, Golden State or Denver or whomever.
Remember, though, in 2008, this was a 110.2 ORTG team, good for 10th in the league. That's pretty good as a team rating. The team's offense is just fine as long as they get the appropriate combinations. In deference to Rondo, however, Boston management hasn't done much to ameliorate the roster declining due to age, that is certainly true. And with injuries, it's been a struggle to maintain that same level of offensive efficacy... especially since Rondo's usage has jumped and he's been a bad scoring threat from day one. That, however, is not the root cause, only a contributing factor... and his passing tends to outweigh such things, or at least neutralize them. Again, he's one of the best PGs in the league, regardless of he's a poor scoring threat. The team isn't designed to use him in that capacity a lot anyway.
Its pretty obvious why the Celtics struggle to score when any of its starters sit. (especially Pierce/Garnett/Rondo)
Another fine point, although again, if Rondo were a better scoring threat himself, he could do more of what guys like Nash and Paul do, which is create a bit for themselves and open up better opportunities for others as a result... plus drive the offense with their own success.
The Celtics have had a lot of factors as to why the offense has fallen off of a cliff. Rondo is definitely partial to some of the blame.
This is a fair description of the situation. There are too many things happening in Boston to lay EVERYTHING at Rondo's feet and cry "It's HIS fault!" It doesn't paint a total picture of what's happening, so as long as one recognizes that he's a part of it, it needn't go farther than that. Boston's not exactly the picture of perfect health and roster efficiency. This season, though, with a healthy Terry and the additions of Green (if he keeps hitting his 3s) and Barbosa (likewise), they should be able to exploit the 3 a little more. Pierce is still doing his thing and the offense runs like clockwork, so they're still going to get a lot of good post-ups for KG and Pierce as well as good looks for the shooters.
Should also point out that basically all of 2011-2012 should be looked at with an asterisk, because players all over the league struggled with the compressed schedule.
As for Rondo making the Knicks "instant contenders" not a chance. That team has way too many problems in its way to actually contend to be fixed by Rondo himself. He'd make them better though.
Would he? Raymond Felton is currently the third-leading scorer on that team, 0.6 PPG behind JR Smith. He's managing 16.1 ppg on 50.0% TS, which isn't very good, but he's a better scorer than Rondo, so I shudder to think of what Rondo's scoring efficiency would be at a similar volume. The New York offense isn't marked by the same kind of trademark precision and well-oiled efficacy as is the Boston offense (which has a half-dozen years of practice and star continuity behind it), which changes things as well.
It's possible Rondo would fit in well, but it's not as easy as just plugging him in, right? He's a better shooter (including FT shooter) and the Knicks offense looks different than Boston's.
That said, it's a damned-ass slow offense in New York, and Rondo is a much, much better playmaker than Felton, so it's possible that Rondo might do better... but what bugs me is that Felton is a much better 3pt and FT shooter than Rondo, and that spacing effect is of value. The Knicks run enough guys out there who aren't that awesome at playing at range, right? Melo has range, but prefers to operate in the post. Chandler has little range. Kidd is a useful spacer when his feet are set, Novak is awesome, etc, etc, but their spacing is critical right now. You put a crap 3pt shooter like Rondo out there and now you have to wonder if his shooting inadequacy outweighs the large gap in playmaking between him and Felton, yes? Rondo is CLEARLY the better player compared to Felton, but is he the better fit? The Knicks run a ton of offense through places other than their PG, and they flat out actually run two point guards on the floor in their backcourt, right? It's Ray Felton and Kidd starting right now, so what extra value is there in throwing in a wicked playmaker when you're already splitting the ball-handling duties anyway?
To me, that's an issue of chemistry. If I was New York and I had a crack at Rondo, obviously I take it and then work a trade to sort out my backcourt, but just from a plug'n'play scenario, it doesn't make a ton of sense, know what I mean?
SichtingLives wrote:This is the case with every statistic not called points, which is why advanced stats based on these already deeply flawed statistics are so irrelevant.
Why exclude points? Raw points aren't that illuminating either.
Most people who hate the supposed "eye test" (aka watching basketball) or don't understand that stats are merely a supplement to observation are people who really don't understand the nuances of the game and need something to hang their hat on in forums like this. That's not to say there aren't stat nerds who totally get it, of course there are, but if you understand how the advanced stats work, it's only that much easier to lay them out to sully up an argument that really is all that complicated.
Stats make a statement about something. You need to understand WHAT that statement is and you need to establish context. You cannot effectively analyze a sport without a good mixture of both contextual (aka qualitative) analysis and the statistical (quantitative), it just doesn't work. There are a lot of statistical metrics that don't tell you a lot in basketball... but when you start slapping a bunch of them together and seeing a statistical trend that matches certain eye-based observations, then you have to start questioning old beliefs, right?
If you want to jump through hoops to assert that Rondo is really just some marginally above average role player, I'd have to say you're intentionally using knowledge of certain skewed statistics in a subversive manner to do so.