Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose Fighting for Eastern Conference Point Guard Supremacy


Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose Fighting for Eastern Conference Point Guard Supremacy On Sunday, Feb. 20, Dwyane Wade will represent the Eastern Conference at shooting guard in the NBA All-Star Game. A point guard, to be determined, will be by his side.

Perhaps on Saturday, we'll get a clearer idea of who that might be.

The race is between two flashy youngsters, each with a compelling case. In one corner it's the Celtics' Rajon Rondo; in the other, it's the Bulls' Derrick Rose. In the most recent voting returns, released this week, Rondo led Rose by less than 15,000 votes — 929,781 to 917,753.

What makes the story even better is that on Saturday night, at the United Center in Chicago, the two will go head to head. Whoever wins this showdown will become the overnight favorite to start in Los Angeles next month.

Who deserves it? Depends what you're looking for in an All-Star point guard.

If you want playmaking, probably Rondo. The Celtics' floor leader is leading the NBA this season with a mind-boggling 14.0 assists per game, as he's thrived with four future Hall of Famers around him in Boston. He'd be likewise dominant as the point guard of an East squad featuring D-Wade and LeBron James.

If you want scoring, that's Rose's territory. Rondo has a significant edge in field goal percentage, 52.8 to 45.5, but that's because Rose takes a variety of different shots and is constantly a focus for opposing defenses. Simply put, he's got more talent when it comes to putting up points.

If you want defense, it's a close call. Rondo is an incredible on-ball defender, contesting shots and disrupting passing lanes with his length, but Rose is such an amazing athlete that his fast-break ability can change the complexion of a game. Both guys have their strengths.

Come February, only one of the two guys can start for the Eastern Conference. But come Saturday night at 8 p.m., we'll have a pretty good idea of who deserves it.

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