Author Topic: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?  (Read 4539 times)

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Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2013, 07:15:17 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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I think the real point is that while Rondo can improve in areas of his defense, it doesn't make him a worse defending PG relative to his competition. Just because he is the best or one of the best defending PGs doesn't mean he is a perfect defender. Sometimes he is lazy, sometimes he doesn't close out, and sometimes he doesn't fight through the pick, but advanced stats and even my personal "eye test" have him ranked at the top.

I'm honestly shocked at the amount of people who complain that Rondo doesn't stop dribble penetration. We all remember that Rondo is point guard and defends other point guards? Their job is to be able to penetrate any defense. The main job of a point guard on defense is to wreak havoc at the top with help defense and make sure he doesn't funnel an offensive player to his strong side or the weak side of our defense. There is barely such a thing as stopping a point guard's dribble penetration in the NBA without proper help and rotations, which Rondo is smarter than almost anyone at doing.




If the fact that Rondo is a flawed and seemingly inconsistent defender makes it difficult to accept that he's the "best defender" at his position, I think it says more about the role that point guards have defensively at this point in time.

The league so heavily favors quick, athletic ballhandlers, that the best a defender at that position can do is try to gamble and get steals by jumping out in passing lanes and playing as risky as they can without being an outright sieve as far as allowing dribble penetration is concerned.

When I watch Rondo it's not often that I think, wow, he's dominating on defense, the same way I might feel that a great center such as Gasol, Howard, Asik, Noah, or Hibbert dominate on that end.  But I can't say that any other point guards come to mind that have a more noticeable impact on defense, unless you want to count Avery Bradley as a point guard.
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Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2013, 07:19:43 PM »

Offline DarkAzcura

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I think the real point is that while Rondo can improve in areas of his defense, it doesn't make him a worse defending PG relative to his competition. Just because he is the best or one of the best defending PGs doesn't mean he is a perfect defender. Sometimes he is lazy, sometimes he doesn't close out, and sometimes he doesn't fight through the pick, but advanced stats and even my personal "eye test" have him ranked at the top.

I'm honestly shocked at the amount of people who complain that Rondo doesn't stop dribble penetration. We all remember that Rondo is point guard and defends other point guards? Their job is to be able to penetrate any defense. The main job of a point guard on defense is to wreak havoc at the top with help defense and make sure he doesn't funnel an offensive player to his strong side or the weak side of our defense. There is barely such a thing as stopping a point guard's dribble penetration in the NBA without proper help and rotations, which Rondo is smarter than almost anyone at doing.




If the fact that Rondo is a flawed and seemingly inconsistent defender makes it difficult to accept that he's the "best defender" at his position, I think it says more about the role that point guards have defensively at this point in time.

The league so heavily favors quick, athletic ballhandlers, that the best a defender at that position can do is try to gamble and get steals by jumping out in passing lanes and playing as risky as they can without being an outright sieve as far as allowing dribble penetration is concerned.

When I watch Rondo it's not often that I think, wow, he's dominating on defense, the same way I might feel that a great center such as Gasol, Howard, Asik, Noah, or Hibbert dominate on that end.  But I can't say that any other point guards come to mind that have a more noticeable impact on defense, unless you want to count Avery Bradley as a point guard.

En, yeah, like I said in my previous post, point guards are just guarded differently than other positions. It's not as important to guard a point guard straight up like other positions, IMO, for two reasons. One being that I don't think it's really possible based on the rules and the insane handling skills of some point guards and the second reason being that it is far more important for a point guard to disrupt the play as it starts than to stop something as simple as a step back jumper or other scoring moves. It's hard to notice the little things that guards do all around the league to stop a point guard from stopping his play. That's why sometimes it is a good thing to let a player fly by you if you know he is heading into the teeth of your defense. I'm not saying its something Rondo does or should do every play, but it's definitely something that happens by design now and then. Sometimes it feels like that is the only way to properly defend a guard these days with the rules favoring less physical defense.

I wouldn't say it's as important as good interior defense either, though

Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2013, 07:47:42 PM »

Offline Yogi

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Avery Bradley.  But of the other top 5-10 point guards, Rondo, Conley and Paul in that order.
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Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2013, 07:51:00 PM »

Online BballTim

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  We see Rondo himself absolutely slice up guys like Paul, Williams, and Parker on the dribble. No one can stop Rondo's dribble penetration, and I rarely see detractors of Rondo's defense ever notice or point that out.

  That's deemed to be acceptable defense here. Any time I point out that Rondo gets around the other point guard easier than they get around him they claim that he should be able to because of his speed. Every time someone gets past him it's either gambling or laziness. Every time he gets by someone it's not their fault. It's little wonder he's seen as a poor defender.

Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2013, 07:56:57 PM »

Offline Celtics18

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I think the real point is that while Rondo can improve in areas of his defense, it doesn't make him a worse defending PG relative to his competition. Just because he is the best or one of the best defending PGs doesn't mean he is a perfect defender. Sometimes he is lazy, sometimes he doesn't close out, and sometimes he doesn't fight through the pick, but advanced stats and even my personal "eye test" have him ranked at the top.

I'm honestly shocked at the amount of people who complain that Rondo doesn't stop dribble penetration. We all remember that Rondo is point guard and defends other point guards? Their job is to be able to penetrate any defense. The main job of a point guard on defense is to wreak havoc at the top with help defense and make sure he doesn't funnel an offensive player to his strong side or the weak side of our defense. There is barely such a thing as stopping a point guard's dribble penetration in the NBA without proper help and rotations, which Rondo is smarter than almost anyone at doing.




If the fact that Rondo is a flawed and seemingly inconsistent defender makes it difficult to accept that he's the "best defender" at his position, I think it says more about the role that point guards have defensively at this point in time.

The league so heavily favors quick, athletic ballhandlers, that the best a defender at that position can do is try to gamble and get steals by jumping out in passing lanes and playing as risky as they can without being an outright sieve as far as allowing dribble penetration is concerned.

When I watch Rondo it's not often that I think, wow, he's dominating on defense, the same way I might feel that a great center such as Gasol, Howard, Asik, Noah, or Hibbert dominate on that end.  But I can't say that any other point guards come to mind that have a more noticeable impact on defense, unless you want to count Avery Bradley as a point guard.

I don't think you'd get much argument against the theory that good defensive bigs have a bigger defensive impact on a game than good defensive guards. 

That doesn't make having good defensive guards irrelevant, though. 
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Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2013, 08:01:34 PM »

Online BballTim

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Avery Bradley.  But of the other top 5-10 point guards, Rondo, Conley and Paul in that order.

  If you look at Bradley's synergy numbers, though, they got considerably worse as the season progressed because he had to play more minutes and had more responsibilities on offense. He's a great defender, but it's easier to do what he does when you're playing 20 minutes a game.


Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2013, 08:15:35 PM »

Offline EJPLAYA

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I think Paul is better, but they are close enough together you could reasonably argue either.

  Paul and Rondo play differently on defense. Paul's more of a "stick with your guy" defender while Rondo creates more havoc for opposing offenses by doing more than just defending his guy.


Is this your way of saying nicely that Rondo chooses to gamble and lose sight of his man much of the time?! Drifts away from his player trying to steal the ball in passing lanes while his guy moves to an open 3 or other spot and ends up with an uncontested shot?!

Rondo's 1-2 passes that he steals this way never result in enough positives to outweigh the 5-6 extra wide open shots his man gets (or the players man who had to rotate to try and cover his behind). He has the physical tools to be the best in the league at it, just not the patience or effort anymore.

Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2013, 08:32:51 PM »

Offline Celtics18

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I think Paul is better, but they are close enough together you could reasonably argue either.

  Paul and Rondo play differently on defense. Paul's more of a "stick with your guy" defender while Rondo creates more havoc for opposing offenses by doing more than just defending his guy.


Is this your way of saying nicely that Rondo chooses to gamble and lose sight of his man much of the time?! Drifts away from his player trying to steal the ball in passing lanes while his guy moves to an open 3 or other spot and ends up with an uncontested shot?!

Rondo's 1-2 passes that he steals this way never result in enough positives to outweigh the 5-6 extra wide open shots his man gets (or the players man who had to rotate to try and cover his behind). He has the physical tools to be the best in the league at it, just not the patience or effort anymore.

You need to understand that when Rondo helps off his man on the weak side, frequently the contributions that he makes are much bigger than just the 1.9 steals he gets per game.  He is able to disrupt the flow of the offense, cut off passing lanes, and make it more difficult for the opposing offense to run their plays. 

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Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #38 on: August 20, 2013, 09:37:26 PM »

Online BballTim

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I think Paul is better, but they are close enough together you could reasonably argue either.

  Paul and Rondo play differently on defense. Paul's more of a "stick with your guy" defender while Rondo creates more havoc for opposing offenses by doing more than just defending his guy.


Is this your way of saying nicely that Rondo chooses to gamble and lose sight of his man much of the time?! Drifts away from his player trying to steal the ball in passing lanes while his guy moves to an open 3 or other spot and ends up with an uncontested shot?!

  Maybe it's my way of saying nicely that there are other things involved in defense other than simply how close you stay to your man. People here see defenders stray from Rondo and realize it's a defensive strategy. People see Rondo stray from his man when he doesn't have the ball and it never enters their brain that it could also be a defensive strategy. Many of them have read enough posts about that that they actually think that Rondo's the only player in the league that teams defend like that, and many of them (apparently) assume that the Celts have never attempted to defend in the same manner that every other team in the league does.

  To your specific point, though, the average pg takes 3.5 threes per 40 minutes and hits 36% of them. Against Rondo it's 3.1 threes per 40 minutes and they hit 33% of them. So they take fewer threes than average against Rondo and also make fewer of them than average. Either what you're talking about happens less often than you think or it happens to everyone else a lot more than you realize.

Rondo's 1-2 passes that he steals this way never result in enough positives to outweigh the 5-6 extra wide open shots his man gets (or the players man who had to rotate to try and cover his behind). He has the physical tools to be the best in the league at it, just not the patience or effort anymore.

  It's not just the passes that he steals. It's also the passes that aren't made because he hedges towards the intended target. It's the players that don't get into the lane because he cuts off their lane. As I mentioned earlier, those "5-6 extra wide open shots" don't really occur, and I doubt you'll find that opposing players get many assists against him. Point guards generally average fewer assists against him than against almost any other pg in the league.

Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #39 on: August 20, 2013, 09:39:39 PM »

Offline D.o.s.

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Like most people, I have a few eye test Go-To players when it comes to position based skills. Jordan for wing scoring, Shaq for dominant big man play, and so on.

My go-to for "great" PG defense is Gary Payton.

Rondo's not a sieve, but he's no Glove, either.

(obviously, they played under vastly different defensive rule sets, so it's not a perfect system.)
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Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2013, 12:05:06 AM »

Offline tarheelsxxiii

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Feel like numbers re: PGs defensive abilities/rankings are very susceptible to influence by team defense, as a whole... especially by who is protecting the paint. Some of these numbers seem inflated. Tony Parker looks to be a pretty weak defender to me...

Paul is no doubt elite. Westbrook is a beast too - I think I'd prefer him over any one else right now. And seeing Jarrett Jack on that list makes me like him even more than I already did.

Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2013, 02:01:28 PM »

Offline bobbyv

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Feel like numbers re: PGs defensive abilities/rankings are very susceptible to influence by team defense, as a whole... especially by who is protecting the paint. Some of these numbers seem inflated. Tony Parker looks to be a pretty weak defender to me...

Paul is no doubt elite. Westbrook is a beast too - I think I'd prefer him over any one else right now. And seeing Jarrett Jack on that list makes me like him even more than I already did.
Agreed. I was surprised to see Rose that high as well, but I guess he has gotten better at defense in Thib's system.

Re: Is Rondo the best defensive PG?
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2013, 07:51:31 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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I think the real point is that while Rondo can improve in areas of his defense, it doesn't make him a worse defending PG relative to his competition. Just because he is the best or one of the best defending PGs doesn't mean he is a perfect defender. Sometimes he is lazy, sometimes he doesn't close out, and sometimes he doesn't fight through the pick, but advanced stats and even my personal "eye test" have him ranked at the top.

I'm honestly shocked at the amount of people who complain that Rondo doesn't stop dribble penetration. We all remember that Rondo is point guard and defends other point guards? Their job is to be able to penetrate any defense. The main job of a point guard on defense is to wreak havoc at the top with help defense and make sure he doesn't funnel an offensive player to his strong side or the weak side of our defense. There is barely such a thing as stopping a point guard's dribble penetration in the NBA without proper help and rotations, which Rondo is smarter than almost anyone at doing.




If the fact that Rondo is a flawed and seemingly inconsistent defender makes it difficult to accept that he's the "best defender" at his position, I think it says more about the role that point guards have defensively at this point in time.

The league so heavily favors quick, athletic ballhandlers, that the best a defender at that position can do is try to gamble and get steals by jumping out in passing lanes and playing as risky as they can without being an outright sieve as far as allowing dribble penetration is concerned.

When I watch Rondo it's not often that I think, wow, he's dominating on defense, the same way I might feel that a great center such as Gasol, Howard, Asik, Noah, or Hibbert dominate on that end.  But I can't say that any other point guards come to mind that have a more noticeable impact on defense, unless you want to count Avery Bradley as a point guard.

I don't think you'd get much argument against the theory that good defensive bigs have a bigger defensive impact on a game than good defensive guards. 

That doesn't make having good defensive guards irrelevant, though.

Certainly not irrelevant.

But a team with a great defensive backcourt and a terrible defensive frontcourt will still be a pretty mediocre defensive team.

Flip that around, and the team with the great defensive frontcourt is gonna be pretty darn good defensively.


Having guards who are above average at defense is a luxury, in my opinion.  I wouldn't make it a priority if I were building a team. 

On the other hand, having at least one elite defensive big man and at least one versatile, athletic wing defender with size and length would be of the utmost importance.
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