Since the three pointer was introduced, 87 Guards have had more Offensive Win Shares than Rondo through their first five seasons. Obviously Rondo wouldn't be high in that category due to his lack of scoring, but out of the 87 guards ahead of him, 53 didn't even reach 10 defensive win shares through their first 5 seasons. These players would be considered by many to be very "defensively challenged". The list includes Stephon Marbury, Jose Calderon, Reggie Miller, Kevin Martin, Michael Redd, Mike Bibby etc...

On the other side of the coin there are only 2 players since the 3 Point Line to post more Defensive Win Shares than Rajon. One is arguably the greatest, most complete guard in the history of the NBA, the other is Manu Ginobili. At Rondo's pace he will easily pass Manu and most likely pass MJ for DWS's through 5 years. Does this mean Rajon is a better defensive guard than Michael Jordan was at this point of his career? Not necessarily...

I can hear the arguments already:

"Rajon's Defensive Win Shares have been jacked up because of KG playing behind him."

"Jordan only played in 18 games his second year and didn't have any Defensive Win Shares."
Both are valid points, but I'm not trying to say that Rondo is a better guard than Michael Jordan. I'm trying to say that there is a very short list of guards who have been able to affect the game in as many ways as Rajon does.

Even if you widen the field to All-Time (1946-2011), you still only find 5 guards with 20+ Defensive Win Shares through 5 seasons. It's Walt Frazier, Norm Van Lier, Maurice Cheeks, Michael Jordan, and Manu Ginobili. I don't think anyone can argue that those guys are all excellent defensive guards, and outside of Van Lier they are great all around guards. Rajon Rondo is in
that same discussion.

Jesse Dampolo 1/30/2011 09:00:00 PM Edit
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12 Responses so far.

  1. good article. Sorry about posting right after, did not realize that was up. Rondo is great but not even close to being the best guard since MJ. Needs a better jumper and shoot a higher free throw percentage.

  2. Alan Ogg says:


  3. Banner 18 says:

    Thats some good company!
    Manu and Jordan!!
    I think Rondo is the best defensive guard to ever play the game.

  4. JR says:

    Karl, I don't think Jesse was saying he was the "best" since. He used the word "complete' based on win shares which is very much used nowadays in statistical analysis. Jesse had showed me the chart of Rondo's stats his first 5 seasons and how they compared and the company he was in was rather impressive. Jesse you should consider adding a screenshot of that chart to your article. Love statistical analysis. Nice post.

  5. I was never good at math,haha. Good post. All I know is I'm glad he's on our team.

  6. Anonymous says:

    No Gary Payton?
    That seems like a weird metric to me...

    Then again, I never understood anything about win shares.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Definitely, I'd say there is no argument that if any point guard in the league were to win Defensive Player of the Year, it'd be Rondo.

    Eat that Payton.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.
  9. I was surprised that Gary Payton didn't show up in there.

    Here's a list of players with more than 18 Defensive Win Shares through their first 5 seasons.

  10. Anonymous says:

    rondo is playing his role which is feed the big men to score.thats the role of a point guard.rondo doesnt have a good jump shot but can weave through ANY defense in the league uncontested and his abiltiy to creaate easy score.he plays the "i chew they swallow"basketball which to me is better.id prefer assist score guard to a jump shooter

  11. Juan says:

    Please, dont let Celtic fanatisism cloud your judgment.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The basketball handbook (pg 14) (2004). Lee H. Rose


    "A point guard has perhaps the most specialized role of any position – essentially, they are expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right players at the right time."

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