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Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?

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Is Rondo the Best PG in the NBA?

Yes
3
11%
No
19
68%
Best Passer, But Not The Best Overall PG
6
21%
 
Total votes : 28

Post#61 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:38 pm by MisterWestside

MacGill wrote:LOL, you beat me too it. Man he missed some good opportunities today, especially with Demar/JV.

I would say Jose is a step below Rondo from a court vision perspective but I would put them in almost the same tier in how they acquire their assists.


Well at least Jose can actually shoot the ball as well. Unlike Rondo, if you leave him open he can knock down the shot from midrange and 3.

And that's what keeps Rondo from truly joining the game's elite PGs (like Paul, Nash, etc.); a lack of offense outside the assist. You can spam assists all you want, but as I mentioned before it's not a proxy for shot-creation. Sporting a lower ortg than every other PG since '08 except Westbrook, Davis, Felton, Sessions, and Watson (and all but Watson are doing more for their team's offense) doesn't say "elite".
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Post#62 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:49 pm by MacGill

Well at least Jose can actually shoot the ball as well. Unlike Rondo, if you leave him open he can knock down the shot from midrange and 3.


100% agree with that.

And that's what keeps Rondo from truly joining the game's elite PGs (like Paul, Nash, etc.); a lack of offense outside the assist. You can spam assists all you want, but as I mentioned before it's not a proxy for shot-creation. Sporting a lower ortg than every other PG since '08 except Westbrook, Davis, Felton, Sessions, and Watson (and all but Watson are doing more for their team's offense) doesn't say "elite".


To note though, Jose is terrible at shot creation himself and scores most from being a spot up shooter off the pass. Rondo excels in comparison to taking the ball to the rim as well as while driving being able to make a creative pass resulting in a team score.

I do not have Rondo in the elite category but would certainly prefe him on my team compared to Jose. Unlike Rondo, Jose loves to push the ball up the court then slow down to a half court set so that defences have a chance to set?? We do have some run and gun athletes on our team who will see greater success once Lowry comes back from injury.
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Post#63 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:57 pm by tsherkin

G35 wrote:Preface that with on offense....because Nash couldn't come close on defense......No Nash team has ever come close to being as good on defense as SEVERAL Rondo teams.....


Offense is considerably more important than defense to a PG, because of the differing levels of impact possible. Rondo is a better defender, sure, but the offensive gap is large enough that this isn't that significant. Rondo isn't even close to a defensive anchor type player, and he's been able to play some pretty aggressive perimeter defense because of the team he's had. Superior defensive coaching, superior defensive personnel, it makes a difference. This isn't a relevant comment. Nash has shown himself capable of doing the exact things Rondo cannot consistently manage, even come the playoffs, in terms of asserting himself as a scoring threat in an effective and efficient manner... and he does more for his team's offense during the regular season. This is far more important than the difference between their respective abilities to play perimeter defense.

Rapcity_11 wrote:How do Rondo guys feel about Jose Calderon and his offensive impact? How does he compare to Rondo offensively? He's another guy with a very high assist rate due to his playing style.


This... goes a little too far. Rondo is more dynamic than Calderon. Jose had to learn how to not be a bitch and to actually push the ball in transition, something Rondo has always done very well, and of course Rondo is more explosive, so he can take advantage of smaller seams in the defense... whereas Calderon will just back off. Rondo doesn't pull the shot often enough, but Jose has a superhuman ability to not shoot when it is appropriate to shoot.

Yes, they both inflate their assist numbers with set offense and spam plays, and they both shoot very little, but that doesn't really make him an effective comparison here because we know Rondo can and does do more on a game-to-game basis. Rondo is still one of the best point guards in the league, whereas Jose is not worth playing a lot more than 25 mpg.
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Post#64 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:20 pm by MisterWestside

MacGill wrote:To note though, Jose is terrible at shot creation himself and scores most from being a spot up shooter off the pass. Rondo excels in comparison to taking the ball to the rim as well as while driving being able to make a creative pass resulting in a team score.

I do not have Rondo in the elite category but would certainly prefe him on my team compared to Jose. Unlike Rondo, Jose loves to push the ball up the court then slow down to a half court set so that defences have a chance to set?? We do have some run and gun athletes on our team who will see greater success once Lowry comes back from injury.


Oh definitely agreed there; Jose isn't a shot-creator himself. But at least he can give opponents something to think about with his ability to shoot the ball at a solid clip; when Jose gets to the rim he finishes (close to 60% efg in 2011) and he can stretch the floor with the midrange shot and 3-ball (46% efg on jumpers in '11). Doesn't get to the line much at sub-20% free-throw rate, but he'll make them better when he gets there (despite taking ~30 less fts than Rondo in '11, Jose still converted 13 more free throws!) Rondo is clearly superior at getting to the rim, but his horrid jumper and ft shooting form suppresses some of that value: in 2011 he took nearly 60% jumpers and shot a beautiful 39% efg on them while going 57% from the line. Yeah, it's nice to get to the line and gets defenders in foul trouble, but you still gotta your fts. If not, can you at least hit an open shot when defenses give them to you? It's why good defensive teams can just sag off of Rondo (especially in the playoffs) with success.

I think if you were to swap him and Rondo for the Cs (leaving defense out of the picture here), you wouldn't miss much. Pierce can still get his own shot, KG can do the same in the post, and Jose is still a good enough passerto get others involved while being a superior shooter.
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Post#65 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:24 pm by tsherkin

Nah, Jose would be bad for Boston. He's ACTUALLY as bad on defense as G35 tries to say Nash is. And of course he is a far less effective transition threat.

Jose is too limited to be worth more than 25ish mpg, and he'd make Boston appreciably worse.
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Post#66 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:24 pm by MacGill

MisterWestside wrote:
MacGill wrote:To note though, Jose is terrible at shot creation himself and scores most from being a spot up shooter off the pass. Rondo excels in comparison to taking the ball to the rim as well as while driving being able to make a creative pass resulting in a team score.

I do not have Rondo in the elite category but would certainly prefe him on my team compared to Jose. Unlike Rondo, Jose loves to push the ball up the court then slow down to a half court set so that defences have a chance to set?? We do have some run and gun athletes on our team who will see greater success once Lowry comes back from injury.


Oh definitely agreed there; Jose isn't a shot-creator himself. But at least he can give opponents something to think about with his ability to shoot the ball at a solid clip; when Jose gets to the rim he finishes (close to 60% efg in 2011) and he can stretch the floor with the midrange shot and 3-ball (46% efg on jumpers). Doesn't get to the line much at sub-20% free-throw rate, but he'll make them better when he gets there (despite taking ~30 less fts than Rondo in '11, Jose still converted 13 more free throws!) Rondo is clearly superior at getting to the rim, but his horrid jumper and ft shooting form suppresses some of that value: in 2011 he took nearly 60% jumpers and shot a beautiful 39% efg on them while going 57% from the line. I think if you were to swap him and Rondo for the Cs (leaving defense out of the picture here), you wouldn't miss much. Pierce can still get his own shot, KG can do the same in the post, and Jose is still a good enough passer to get others ivolved while being a superior shooter.


Agreed. Underlined though is why I would luv to make the swap in this hypothectical ;)
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Post#67 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:29 pm by MisterWestside

tsherkin wrote:Nah, Jose would be bad for Boston. He's ACTUALLY as bad on defense as G35 tries to say Nash is. And of course he is a far less effective transition threat.

Jose is too limited to be worth more than 25ish mpg, and he'd make Boston appreciably worse.


That's why I said leaving defense out of it :) Yeah, Jose isn't a defender. Pace shouldn't be an issue though; the Celtics and Raptors aren't all that different pace-wise.
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Post#68 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:35 pm by tsherkin

MisterWestside wrote:That's why I said leaving defense out of it :) Yeah, Jose isn't a defender. Pace shouldn't be an issue though; the Celtics and Raptors aren't all that different pace-wise.


Yeah, but I didn't just lament his defense, his offensive value is lesser than Rondo's, jumper or not.
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Post#69 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:46 pm by MisterWestside

tsherkin wrote:Yeah, but I didn't just lament his defense, his offensive value is lesser than Rondo's, jumper or not.


Enh, Calderon does sport superior usg/ortg splits and year-by-year non-playoff oRAPM numbers than Rondo since '08. Don't think I can agree with you here.
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Post#70 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:52 pm by tsherkin

MisterWestside wrote:Enh, Calderon does sport superior usg/ortg splits and year-by-year oRAPM numbers than Rondo since '08. Don't think I can agree with you here.


Mmm... his efficiency is superior, but he's less capable of doing the dynamic things that Rondo does. This is a situation where I think that Jose's generally lower minutes are creating noise around his stats to some extent. Calderon does one thing very well, and that's play 1-4 PnR sets with a good-shooting PF/C, that's about it. He's a very good reserve, sometimes a 6MOY contender if used that way. He's talented.

You throw him out there for starter's minutes, though, and it's way easier to pick at his clear lack of versatility on offense, nevermind his D. It's also important to consider that Toronto is a TERRIBLE team, and that Jose looks better when he's off because the Craptors have no depth. And it should be mentioned that he hasn't played a 70-game season since 07-08, further disturbing things.
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Post#71 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:25 pm by MisterWestside

tsherkin wrote:Mmm... his efficiency is superior, but he's less capable of doing the dynamic things that Rondo does. This is a situation where I think that Jose's generally lower minutes are creating noise around his stats to some extent. Calderon does one thing very well, and that's play 1-4 PnR sets with a good-shooting PF/C, that's about it. He's a very good reserve, sometimes a 6MOY contender if used that way. He's talented.

You throw him out there for starter's minutes, though, and it's way easier to pick at his clear lack of versatility on offense, nevermind his D. It's also important to consider that Toronto is a TERRIBLE team, and that Jose looks better when he's off because the Craptors have no depth. And it should be mentioned that he hasn't played a 70-game season since 07-08, further disturbing things.


Both Rondo and Calderon are mid-usage players (within the 18-24% range) with Rondo is creating at a +3% clip compared to Calderon. But Calderon is way more efficient on offense. I wouldn't buy that tradeoff there with Rondo. If you go with the adj. +/- numbers Calderon stays in the positive while Rondo registers negative numbers each season on offense (credit DavidStern for providing the non-playoff riRAPM data). Now all of these numbers have their quirks and biases as you allude to in your post, but still...I want to see some data here that would tip the scales in Rondo's favor. Know what I mean?

I will agree with the playing time issue, and perhaps that's where I'd see where you'd go with Rondo over Calderon on offense; Calderon's played less minutes and started less games. Calderon has played starter minutes when he's on the court though, 31 mpg to Rondo's 35 mpg (since '08).
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Post#72 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:37 pm by tsherkin

MisterWestside wrote:Both Rondo and Calderon are mid-usage players (within the 18-24% range) with Rondo is creating at a +3% clip compared to Calderon. But Calderon is way more efficient on offense.


Sure, the 3P% and FT% make a big difference. I'd be interested to see what happens in a starter's role, though. You'll notice he's been much less efficient over the past two seasons than he has in his previous years and that his ORTG has declined considerably for several reasons.

I will agree with the playing time issue, and perhaps that's where I'd see where you'd go with Rondo over Calderon on offense; Calderon's played less minutes and started less games. Calderon has played starter minutes when he's on the court though, 31 mpg to Rondo's 35 mpg (since '08).


4 mpg makes a difference, especially when each possessions counts for more, since there's a considerable pace difference between the two teams and Calderon's poorer at attacking in transition. First of all, there are the durability issues. Second of all, there are the stamina issues Calderon clearly evidences. Third of all, he's a far less versatile player, so I feel like in a more featured, prominent role such as Rondo evidences in Boston, Calderon would decline even more.

Remember that we're talking about a guy who's been a 112 and 116 ORTG player these past two seasons at -2.0% and +2.0% TS compared to league average. He's not that much of a stunner on offense. Rondo's rated out much worse than that, I agree, and I find myself in the unenviable position of defending a player I think is a little less of an impact player than most make him out to be, but Calderon?

He would not continue to show his usual efficiency in a more prominent role. You cannot, for example, assume that his 3P% would translate into that situation as effectively. Jose has enjoyed a 77.2%+ assisted percentage on his threes over the last 6 years. That's not going to stay happening in Boston. He's not going to exploit those transition opportunities as effectively. Calderon's even WORSE at drawing fouls, and that's already been a problem for Boston. The difference in FT% wouldn't likely make a huge difference to the team's ability to turn FT/FGA into a strength instead of a weakness. Calderon in Toronto has enjoyed a lower TOV% than Rondo; not by a TON, but still traditionally lower (and one must match that against notably lower AST% as well, especially over the last 2+ seasons). I'd suspect that would change, since there's at least a mild correlation between increased minutes and increased turnovers for Jose. And of course Calderon has a clear decline trend over his career, getting worse as he's featured more. This year, he's riding 51%+ shooting from 3 to a high scoring efficiency that is buoying what is otherwise a fairly tepid, uninspired performance in his highest-usage role since his second season. The Raptors have been notably worse on offense without Lowry, and Jose isn't really helping that a ton.

It's true that many Boston possessions are very simple, simple enough that practically anyone could run them. Boston is still a methodical team that likes a lot of slow-developing plays, and Jose does well with that... but he doesn't have the ability to do MORE than that, which Rondo does. It's tough to compare them directly in a statistical manner because their roles and environments are so different, of course, but I have little faith in Calderon. He's a one-trick pony.
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Post#73 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:13 pm by MisterWestside

tsherkin wrote:4 mpg makes a difference, especially when each possessions counts for more, since there's a considerable pace difference between the two teams and Calderon's poorer at attacking in transition.


I don't want to harp too much on pace here (small correlation between pace and ortg; in the single-digits % wise) but in 2011 Calderon played 68 games/55 starts/31 mpg/2100+ minutes (starts highest since '08; mpg/minutes were the highest since 2009) for a faster paced team than any team Rondo's played on. His offensive metrics that season were also better than any Rondo season since 2010. Like I said, when he's on the court he was effective, even on a faster-paced team.

He would not continue to show his usual efficiency in a more prominent role. You cannot, for example, assume that his 3P% would translate into that situation as effectively. Jose has enjoyed a 77.2%+ assisted percentage on his threes over the last 6 years. That's not going to stay happening in Boston.


Has he also played with the post-Bosh talent that Rondo had in Boston? Bargs/Bayless/DeRozan are capable players, but I wouldn't put them over KG/Pierce/Allen over that time period. I think he'd still get plenty of open looks now even if KG and Pierce are a bit long in the tooth. Maintaining that efficiency? No, but I don't think he'd fall off the map here, either.

He's not going to exploit those transition opportunities as effectively. Calderon's even WORSE at drawing fouls, and that's already been a problem for Boston. The difference in FT% wouldn't likely make a huge difference to the team's ability to turn FT/FGA into a strength instead of a weakness.


I suppose the flip-side of this is that he'd help you in an more important area of offense; namely better shooting.

Calderon in Toronto has enjoyed a lower TOV% than Rondo; not by a TON, but still traditionally lower (and one must match that against notably lower AST% as well, especially over the last 2+ seasons). I'd suspect that would change, since there's at least a mild correlation between increased minutes and increased turnovers for Jose. And of course Calderon has a clear decline trend over his career, getting worse as he's featured more. This year, he's riding 51%+ shooting from 3 to a high scoring efficiency that is buoying what is otherwise a fairly tepid, uninspired performance in his highest-usage role since his second season. The Raptors have been notably worse on offense without Lowry, and Jose isn't really helping that a ton.


And I can see why; Lowry been phenomenal for the Raptors. He's easily been playing at a higher level than Calderon when he's in the lineup. And right now Rondo has been better than Calderon as well...but even that's a SSS so far and I can only go by past season performances here, in which Calderon has an apparent edge. As for tovs, I'll save that for my next point here:

It's true that many Boston possessions are very simple, simple enough that practically anyone could run them. Boston is still a methodical team that likes a lot of slow-developing plays, and Jose does well with that... but he doesn't have the ability to do MORE than that, which Rondo does. It's tough to compare them directly in a statistical manner because their roles and environments are so different, of course, but I have little faith in Calderon. He's a one-trick pony.


In a simple, methodical offense; how many "tricks" do you need anyway? ;) And is Rondo truly doing THAT much more on offense than Calderon? I think there's plenty to suggest that he's not, fake behind-the-back passes and all. Usage (which incorporates tov%) would probably go up slightly, but relatively speaking he's not headed to a crappy team here that would cause him to scale up usage a ton (a la Harden on the Rockets).

Well, your points about durability/playing time are valid. So advantage Rondo. But when he's on the court I think that Calderon has been at least as effective as Rondo on offense.
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Post#74 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:25 pm by tsherkin

MisterWestside wrote:I don't want to harp too much on pace here (small correlation between pace and ortg; in the single-digits % wise) but in 2011 Calderon played 68 games/55 starts/31 mpg/2100+ minutes (starts highest since '08; mpg/minutes were the highest since 2009) for a faster paced team than any team Rondo's played on. His offensive metrics that season were also better than any Rondo season since 2010. Like I said, when he's on the court he was effective, even on a faster-paced team.


Mmm.... but it was also the lowest scoring efficiency of his entire career, the highest TOV% since his rookie season, and the lowest ORTG since his rookie season. He was much reduced by comparison, and that was on a Toronto team for which he did basically nothing, since they were the 21st-ranked team offense. And again, he was playing his sets, and it looked a little different than Boston's offense. In Toronto, he played a more active role than he would have in Boston. He ran pick-and-roll on over 45% of his possessions in 2011.

Do you think that would happen in Boston? That same season, Rondo was running it 26.6% of the time, because the offense was developing for Ray, Pierce and KG. That kind of puts a crimp on Jose's ability to impact a game. Last year, 31.3% of the time. This year, so far? 38.9%, early. Still a lot less than Calderon, and that's basically the only way he impacts an offense, so they'd be robbing him of his efficacy... and for them, it would make sense, because of the other weapons they'd be employing.

I suppose the flip-side of this is that he'd help you in an more important area of offense; namely better shooting.


IF he was used as a spot-up weapon with any degree of usage, but I doubt he would be, because they have superior weapons for that.

In a simple, methodical offense; how many "tricks" do you need anyway? ;)


Not too many, but as I explained above, he wouldn't likely be using the ball in that play enough of the time for it to matter all that much.
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Post#75 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:40 pm by MacGill

I suppose the flip-side of this is that he'd help you in an more important area of offense; namely better shooting.


This has to be one of the more frustration aspects of him as a Raptor's fan. Well I have no problem stating that he is a better shooter than Rondo, he really lacks the ability to consistently picks his spots where the team needs him to pick up the slack.

A few games back against Indiana 4th quarter, we score a total a 5 points (somehow win) but this is the clear difference of why even though the percentages show him as favorable, he has a habit of just not producing when you wish he would. His shooting percentage is prettier but the execution in the flow of the game isn't close to what I see from Rondo when Boston needs a bucket.

It is this that when you go back and look at the stats you just shake your head because the impact just isn't there.

In a simple, methodical offense; how many "tricks" do you need anyway? ;) And is Rondo truly doing THAT much more on offense than Calderon? I think there's plenty to suggest that he's not, fake behind-the-back passes and all. Usage (which incorporates tov%) would probably go up slightly, but relatively speaking he's not headed to a crappy team here that would cause him to scale up usage a ton (a la Harden on the Rockets).


Certainly has better overall court vision and a sense to drive the basket. Jose either PnR's or holds the ball pass for a shot creator. Don't get me wrong he's in the nba and has high end moments but he doesn't really draw fouls through penetration and is a relatively low end dd scorer who certainly does allow most opposing pg's to have their way with him.

To me, he's everything you want in a 2nd string guard (minus the 10m ;)) and will complement Kyle coming off the bench a role he just seems to flourish better in, especially from an injury perspective. One thing you can see is that Rondo is putting work in with his shot and once he becomes a little more consistent it will certainly make him a much more potent scoring threat.
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Post#76 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:48 pm by Doctor MJ

G35 wrote:
MacGill wrote:
Well Nash never had a KG on his team ;) now did he.



Rondo never had Joe Johnson, Amare, Marion and D'Antoni as his coach and carte blanche to say "screw defense" I'm saving it all for the offensive end..... 8-)


So, obviously you & I have been through a lot of stuff before here. I'm trying not to be redundant.

Understand though that there's no reason at all to think that offensive & defensive edges between two players are comparable. If what we "Nash" people were seeing was evidence that Rondo's defensive edge was anything like Nash's edge on offense, we'd be talking about them as comparable player.

Obviously you don't have to agree with our assessments, but playing this equivalency game is pointless. We've already considered what you're considering.

I also will say that I think it's odd to here someone talking like this for Rondo's defense given that it's hardly controversial that Garnett is much more important to the defense of Boston than Rondo. If you dispute that, then Nash has very little to do with the discussion. If you agree with that, then all that matters is the offensive discussion.
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Post#77 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:00 pm by MisterWestside

tsherkin wrote:Mmm.... but it was also the lowest scoring efficiency of his entire career, the highest TOV% since his rookie season, and the lowest ORTG since his rookie season. He was much reduced by comparison, and that was on a Toronto team for which he did basically nothing, since they were the 21st-ranked team offense. And again, he was playing his sets, and it looked a little different than Boston's offense.


And yet he was able to post better usg/ortg splits and oRAPM numbers that season than Rondo :wink: That team was a mess as they were figuring out the roster with Bosh defecting to Miami and using a bunch of different players in different roles and different lineups. That's no small feat there.

I picked that season on purpose because while Calderon's efficiency went down in '11, he also wasn't playing in an ideal environment either. I'm sure he'd make use of the better stability, continuity, coaching, and overall talent on the top-end in Boston.

Do you think that would happen in Boston? That same season, Rondo was running it 26.6% of the time, because the offense was developing for Ray, Pierce and KG. That kind of puts a crimp on Jose's ability to impact a game. Last year, 31.3% of the time. This year, so far? 38.9%, early. Still a lot less than Calderon, and that's basically the only way he impacts an offense, so they'd be robbing him of his efficacy... and for them, it would make sense, because of the other weapons they'd be employing.


PnR can't be a hindrance here, as the Celtics avoided running it with Rondo's inability to hit a jumper coming off a screen (that play is not as effective when defenders don't have to respect the open space for the shot that the pick creates). Even now Garnett and Pierce are still high-usage players partly because Rondo can't be relied upon to put the ball in the hoop consistently even while the offense is actually doing the work for him. Calderon isn't a high-usage guy by any means, but being able to shoot would make a difference in what you can run offensively as well as force defenses to think about something other than KG/Pierce. Because we both know that they're not actually overly worried about Rondo's assist spamming in the gameplan :)

IF he was used as a spot-up weapon with any degree of usage, but I doubt he would be, because they have superior weapons for that.


Again, with the focus actually being on KG/Pierce, Calderon would still get plenty of looks with that shot.
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Post#78 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:09 pm by tsherkin

G35 wrote:
MacGill wrote:
Well Nash never had a KG on his team ;) now did he.



Rondo never had Joe Johnson, Amare, Marion and D'Antoni as his coach and carte blanche to say "screw defense" I'm saving it all for the offensive end..... 8-)


This isn't an effective counterpoint. Defense, rebounding and coaching have been strengths for the Celtics and a foundation for the team. They won a title with Rondo playing a role comparable to that of a 6th man. The Nash-era Suns had a cash-starved owner and a coach who didn't maximize the value of what defensive players he DID have. How that translates to a negative in your mind, I do not understand. It wasn't "carte blanche" to not play defense, if was a lack of proper roster and coaching support. Nash didn't fail to give effort on the defensive end, that's an invention on your behalf that doesn't match with reality. Remember that Amare Stoudemire is one of the worst defenders in the league and was a mediocre rebounder for the 5 (where he often played in Phoenix), and that's at basically the most important defensive position. Then consider that Marion was frequently played out of position, and thus constantly surrendering 3-5 inches of height to the guy at his position, and we start to see a problem, yes?

As is your customary MO, you ignore a lot of basic context when you discuss Nash. It's impressive, at times, the mental gymnastics you go through in an effort to diminish what Nash has accomplished.

For the sake of argument, let's recap the Phoenix playoff record and see if Nash's defense actually impacted Phoenix's chance to contend for a title.

05, they lost to the eventual-champion Spurs 4-1 in the WCFs.

Joe Johnson misses two games with a broken face (Phoenix's only win in the series came with him in the game). Barbosa only played 2 games, McCarty 1. Nash put up basically 23/10.5 on 57.5% TS. The Spurs kind of let Amare play in single coverage and focused their D on everyone else.

Nash's primary check was Tony Parker, who had a good series in general, apart from FT shooting. That said, he shot worse in that series than he did during the RS, despite scoring a higher volume. He dropped from 52.8% TS in the RS and 49.0% TS in the playoffs overall to 48.96% TS in that series. So, in essence, brutally inefficient. 49% was 4% below league average.

Parker's piss-poor scoring efficiency, even at ~ +3.5 ppg compared to his seasonal average, really wasn't make or break for the Suns. He shot 13/38 over the last two games of the series (34.2% FG), didn't get to the line, averaged 3.5 apg and 15.5 ppg. He fell apart as the series moved on.

Nash's defense? Not the problem. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili picking the Suns apart? Yeah, that was a problem. San Antonio's team defense? Yeah, still a problem. Shawn Marion totally disappearing on offense? Yeah, that was a problem. Joe Johnson's broken face and 2 missed games? A problem. San Antonio holding a +6 advantage in team RPG? Yeah, that was a problem. Remember that this was title #3 for a 4-time champion, a team that included a player better than Nash in Tim Duncan.

Nash's defense, not an issue in that series. In fact, Parker's play was abominable in the back half of that series, so it's kind of laughable to look at Nash as being any kind of negative, especially rocking 23/10.5 on that kind of efficiency (actually, 23.2 and 10.6).

Then you look at 06, when they were without Amare Stoudemire and running Boris Diaw in his stead. Dallas versus Phoenix... noting that the Suns weathered the lost of a dominant offensive weapon in Amare Stoudemire (notably much more effective with Nash than without, of course) and returned to the WCFs. 6-game series loss to the Dallas Mavericks. Bell missed 2 games, House missed a game. Kurt Thomas played only 1 game (and he was a big part of their defensive efficacy). Phoenix played pretty well on offense (Bell couldn't hit a 3 when he did play, though) but James Jones sucked, which hurt a bit. Nash stank from the field but passed well in game 5. Not his greatest performance. Jason Terry had a solid, but unremarkable game and Devin Harris sucked. Not exactly a world-beating performance from a backcourt that should have been torching him if he was that bad on D. Basically a repeat performance from Terry in Game 6, Nash himself played very well. Harris had a very good game, going 4/5. He hit both of his shots in the 1st quarter, also coughing up the ball to a Steve Nash steal. Made two shots in the second, and then wasn't heard from for the rest of the game. Not exactly a brutal weapon employed to exploit Nash's defense. 28/13/3.5 from Dirk? That hurt. 19/8 from Josh Howard? That hurt. The backcourt production? Not so bad.

In 07, they lost to the eventual-champion Spurs in the second round. Parker had another 49% TS series with notable volume, shooting 16/40 (40%) over the last two games (5/13 and 11/27). He was 8/11 FT in 40 minutes in the elimination game (that's 47.1% TS in the elimination game, FWIW).

Again, the Spurs dominated based on Duncan. Basically 27/14 from him (26.8 and 13.7), with 18/7/4 from Manu, both on way better efficiency than Parker's dud series. ~ 40% 3pt shooting from Michael Finley, 48% 3P shooting from Bowen, these things helped. All of them were more important than the backcourt issues.

This is a big, long rant, but it is spawned from fatigue over hearing endlessly how Steve Nash's defense was some major issue holding the Suns back from the title. Their crap, undersized and weak-rebounding frontcourt was a MUCH more serious problem than anything Nash brought to the table as an average to middling defender (which is what he was, not some brutal liability).

So when you start talking about defensive gap, I feel like you continue to massively misrepresent the Phoenix context and Steve Nash's defensive ability.
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Post#79 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:11 pm by tsherkin

MisterWestside wrote:And yet he was able to post better usg/ortg splits and oRAPM numbers that season than Rondo :wink:


Right... but again, this is related to how he was used and with whom he was playing. This would not remain the same in Boston.

PnR can't be a hindrance here, as the Celtics avoided running it with Rondo's inability to hit a jumper coming off a screen (that play is not as effective when defenders don't have to respect the open space for the shot that the pick creates). Even now Garnett and Pierce are still high-usage players partly because Rondo can't be relied upon to put the ball in the hoop consistently even while the offense is actually doing the work for him. Calderon isn't a high-usage guy by any means, but being able to shoot would make a difference in what you can run offensively as well as force defenses to think about something other than KG/Pierce.


This is a lot of nothing. Calderon in place of Rondo wouldn't change the basic usage patterns. When you've got those kind of scoring talents, there's no incentive to push more usage on a guy who's gun-shy and defers by default anyhow. Calderon would immediately defer to those guys.

Again, with the focus actually being on KG/Pierce, Calderon would still get plenty of looks with that shot.


He would get some, but again, the Boston offense is REALLY good at generating 3s and other looks for the 2/3 players and, when they have one, a stretch 4. There wouldn't be a ton of reason to make Jose shoot a lot, and his assist percentage would go down on his 3s, because most of them would be end-of-clock bail-outs when the offense didn't get a look in the right way for others. His percentages would go down as a result.
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Post#80 Re: Is Rondo Finally the best PG in the NBA?
Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:04 am by MisterWestside

tsherkin wrote:Right... but again, this is related to how he was used and with whom he was playing. This would not remain the same in Boston.


The question is how, though. You originally talked about pace, and I gave a season with high team pace and less than ideal roster conditions in which Calderon still outperformed Rondo on offense. I'm arguing that Boston would benefit him when you consider the context.

This is a lot of nothing. Calderon in place of Rondo wouldn't change the basic usage patterns. When you've got those kind of scoring talents, there's no incentive to push more usage on a guy who's gun-shy and defers by default anyhow. Calderon would immediately defer to those guys.


I'm not referring to changing usage here, but floor spacing. Calderon would still defer of course, but unlike Rondo you can't leave him open. Even if he takes shots at the same low rate as he does now that's more points the Celtics get than if Rondo is left alone on the perimeter.

He would get some, but again, the Boston offense is REALLY good at generating 3s and other looks for the 2/3 players and, when they have one, a stretch 4. There wouldn't be a ton of reason to make Jose shoot a lot, and his assist percentage would go down on his 3s, because most of them would be end-of-clock bail-outs when the offense didn't get a look in the right way for others. His percentages would go down as a result.


That's what, a couple shots a game? With a lesser roster around him Calderon's efg% on those shots has been better than Rondo's anyway, and it doesn't outweigh the sheer benefit he would enjoy with his other open shots on the floor next to KG/Pierce.
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