Derrick Rose, Rajon Rondo and Russell Westbrook are all young playmakers. Which of these players in your opinion is going to have the greatest success in the upcoming years? – Kuba, Poland
Of these three, Rondo is the “purest” point guard, primarily because he can’t shoot and must therefore concentrate on passing and other aspects of his game. That said, every player who’s good enough to make the NBA can always become a better shooter. The only variables are the expertise of the instructor and the player’s commitment to put in the necessary time and effort. Should Rondo ever improve his jumpers — as well as become more coachable — his speed and his defense will put him at the top of this particular list in the foreseeable future.
Derrick Rose has the most physical strength of this group, and because of the Bulls' personnel has more responsibility to score. Hence his 20.3 points and 17.7 shots per game. Rose has a terrific left-to-right crossover, and is a consistent finisher when taking his right hand to the rim. But his left hand needs to be developed, as does his long-distance shooting — 24.0% on only 25 treys attempted thus far this season. He is indeed an unselfish player with most of his assists coming on drives-and-kicks. But he often over-penetrates and ends up making poor decisions in the paint. Rose’s defense leaves much to be desired.
At this stage of his career, Rose is more of a slasher and a pull-up scorer who’s still learning the nuances of point-guard play. Should he be surrounded with more reliable shooters/scorers than he currently is, Rose’s development could be much more rapid. But he’ll never evolve into being the quintessential point guard that Rondo might easily become.
Russell Westbrook is having an easier time transitioning from a scoring guard to a point guard. However, one reason why his assist totals are so high — 7.9 — is that out-passes to the sharp-shooting Kevin Durant are usually transformed into scores. These are relatively “easy” assists.
Also because of Durant, Westbrook isn’t required to either shoot or score as much as Rose — 14.5 shots and 16.6 points. Although they’re roughly the same size — 6-3 and approximately 190 pounds — Westbrook has more difficulty than Rose finishing in heavy traffic. Like Rose, Westbrook’s defense and 3-point shooting — 25.0% — are way under par. Look for Westbrook to develop into more of a classic point guard than Rose.