Because of the lockout, NBA news is rather slow in the past few months.
Since that is the case, most hoop writers and bloggers around the web have made different lists of NBA player rankings to feed the appetite of basketball fanatics.
Curiously, Parker never made it to the Top 5 and were always ranked behind players like Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Deron Williams, Steve Nash and Rajon Rondo.
Zach Lowe of the Point Forward has been counting down the Top 100 NBA players during the last several days and revealed his listings between 30th and 21st with Parker ranked at 26th and Tim Duncan 23rd among the NBA’s top players. (Hat tip to Spurs Nation)
In his list, Lowe made an interesting point of discussion, between Parker and Boston Celtics’ Rondo. He ranked Rondo in 27th placed just behind Parker.
Here’s what he have to say:
“The Rondo/Tony Parker debate raged in my brain for a long, long time before I finally settled on Parker, by the slimmest of margins. But for the next three years? Rondo, in a walk. To win a title next season? That’s a different conversation, and it’s where Parker’s all-around offensive game lifts him to a point where it’s a coin flip.
Rondo is a better defender, and he has the gaudy assist numbers that Parker has never compiled. But Rondo doesn’t have a Manu Ginobili type with whom to split his team’s assists, and Parker is a much better finisher. In short, you can’t ignore Parker the way teams ignore Rondo. Parker can’t shoot three-pointers; Rondo can’t shoot outside of 15 feet, and he struggles even from there, having shot a totally unacceptable 57 percent from the line last season. That low percentage was one reason Rondo got to the line just 1.9 times per game last season, a hard thing to manage for an aggressive point guard playing 37 minutes per game.
The Celtics’ offense would be dead without Rondo. But it is often comatose with him, because of his lack of range. You can tell me he shot 41 percent on long twos last season, and you’d be right. The league average is around 40 percent, but the league isn’t begging average players to shoot from a distance that could barely be called “the outside.” Spacing is a precious thing, and the Celtics have to work extra hard to get it, in part because of Rondo.
Parker isn’t exactly Dale Ellis from the perimeter, but you at least have to guard him. In addition, Rondo wasn’t even in Parker’s league in terms of fast-break efficiency; Parker is the best little-guy, one-man fast break in the league. Rondo wasn’t close to Parker in PER (17.11 compared to Parker’s 20.44), either, but that stat will always underrate Rondo’s defense.
And before you start chirping about rebounding, know that Parker and Rondo averaged the same number of defensive rebounds per game — rebounds Parker was more adept at turning into transition scores.
It’s very, very close, and Rondo’s highs are higher and more exhilarating than Parker’s. Rondo is perhaps the best point guard defender in the league, but point guards can only tilt the game with their defense on the right nights; Parker’s stability wins.”
Lowe’s remaining list (Top 20 NBA players) is expected to be published sometime next week, where Manu Ginobili should be included.
Agree with the rankings? What can you say about the Parker/Rondo debate? Share us your thoughts.