On Rondo, Russell, and Rubio
Even though we love to blast Rajon Rondo because "he can’t shoot," there are a few point guards more deserving of that rep, prominent floor generals who actually fail to create points at above-average rates, from both the inside and the outside. Rondo, believe it or not, can actually makes shots at rates above league averages. In fact, in the last few seasons, he has made his elbow jumper at elite rates, partly because he’s left open and partly because he is an improving shooter.
Back in the 2002-03 season, a young Tony Parker attempted 243 3-point shots; a decade later, during the 2012-13 season, Parker only shot 68 3s. Parker and the Spurs recognized that not only were these shots not very effective (31.3 percent for his career), they also introduced a huge opportunity cost. Every time Parker shot a 3, it meant he wasn’t attacking or playmaking. The new and improved Tony Parker doesn’t take those 3s himself, he helps create them for guys like Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Matt Bonner.
Saying that Rubio has trouble finishing at the rim is kind of like saying that Toonces the cat has trouble driving on mountain roads. But Rubio’s troubles extend outward from the hoop. As it turns out, not all Spanish point guards are freakishly good shooters. When it comes to shooting efficiency, Rubio is no Calderon. Rubio's pretty lousy in those exact same elbow areas where Calderon thrives, and Rondo has greatly improved. So, to the people that continue to make those “Rondo can’t shoot” proclamations, I propose you take your sneers elsewhere, perhaps to Oklahoma, North Carolina, or Minnesota.