…Free Darko’s Bethlehem Shoals wants to get in on the action, and I feel obligated to tell you about it. This piece is actually a few days old, but it’s basically Shoals discussing Wall’s game, impact, and otherworldly potential in his own super-cerebral way. If you haven’t read any of Shoals’ stuff before, be prepared for some existential, highbrow shit. What he says, in layman’s terms:
– John Wall has had a strong season thus far.
– We should expect to see more of the same.
– His raw ability/skill combination has the potential to shatter minds.
– He has already leapfrogged Rondo, Jennings, Evans, and Rose as the Next Great NBA Point Guard.
– His game is most-similar to Rondo’s, only his point-guard skills are much more adept.
With that said, a side note:
My cousin and I were recently talking John Wall, and comparisons between him and Rondo came up, just like they always do everywhere else, except this time, we came to a stunning Rondo-realization. At the moment, the biggest difference between the two is their shot. Wall’s has gotten noticeably better overnight, whereas Rondo’s never seemed to be preoccupied with developing an outside shot. This is funny, because I’m pretty sure if you’d told anyone five years ago that Rondo, five years later, still hadn’t developed an outside shot, we’d have all assumed he’d be out of the league. Instead, the opposite is true: Rondo’s lack of a jump shot, in a weird, seemingly impossible way, has helped him.
Until the day he can no longer do it, it will always boggle my mind how Rondo continues to get to the rim on everybody, when opposing teams know that’s the only thing he’s capable of doing. He has to be the most one-dimensional offensive threat in the league. He’s not going to shoot from outside of 15-feet unless there’s no one within ten feet of him and/or the shot clock is expiring. I know it, you know it, the team trying to defend him knows it, and still, nobody can stay in front of the guy.
The argument for how his lack of a shot helps him goes like this:
1) Rondo can’t shoot. He has either accepted this or just doesn’t care. Doesn’t matter which.
2) Rondo can get to the rim. He does this as well as anyone, and he knows it.
3) Instead of worrying about what he couldn’t do, Rondo got even better at something he already could do exceptionally well.
4) As a result, he’s improved his offensive game while taking fewer bad shots than any other point guard in the league.
I don’t think anyone who watches much NBA or college basketball would disagree that there are many more bad 3-point shots taken than there are bad shots from 15-feet and in. For whatever reason, guards and wings alike have a tendency to fall in love with the pull up and/or preemptive 3-pointer, and it goes in, if they’re lucky, 30% of the time. This seductive black hole was never an option for Rondo, so he never wasted his time getting entranced by it. He just kept finding different ways to get to the rim, and as a result, he’s developed an arsenal of shots in the paint that’s better than most big men’s.
So, to summarize, instead of trying to turn a weakness into a strength, Rondo’s turned a strength into a super-strength.
Is this argument bogus? Feel free to let me hear about it.