Rajon Rondo's biggest assist of the year
January 18th, 2011

Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is the current league leader in assists, with a whopping 13.4 per game. He is likely to remain the league’s assist leader for the indefinite future. Two time MVP Steve Nash is second on this season’s list, yet he is a considerable distance behind Rondo, averaging 10.8 assists per game. This gap will not be overcome. To put it into some context, assume for a moment that Nash and Rondo both play every game remaining in their respective regular seasons, and that Nash assumes his 10.8apg pace throughout. If Nash passes for exactly 10.8 apg over Phoenix’s remaining 43 games, Rondo need average only 9.3 assists per game for the remainder of the season to stay ahead of him. That’s still a lot, but not for Rondo. (As an aside, when was the last time had 10 times more assists than fouls? Because that’s where Steve Nash is at right now.) Rondo’s 13.4 apg average, should it sustain, would be the 8th highest total of all time. Only 7 times has it been bettered – 5 of those times by all time assist leader John Stockton – and never by more than 1.1apg. It is perhaps therefore understandable that Rondo, notorious over-passer than he is, is unashamedly going for the record. On a team filled with scorers other than him, and in such proximity to the record, he might as well. He has both the talent and the mindset. However, he still needs huge assists from others. While it is not the intent of this author to debate Rondo’s playmaking nor shot selection skills, it is worth noting quite how much goes into obtaining even one assist. This is particularly the case when you are playing at home. In last night’s game against Orlando, Rondo […]

Posted by at 9:48 AM

15 More Ten Day Contract Candidates (Because Apparently 101 Wasn't Enough After All)
January 10th, 2011

Newest Phoenix Sun, Zabian Dowdell. A mere 48 hours after the Top 101 Ten Day Contract Candidates list was completed, the Phoenix Suns went and signed somebody that wasn’t on it. Clearly, 20 would not have been enough. With the second signed ten day contract of the season – the Clippers used the first to re-sign Jarron Collins – Phoenix called up guard Zabian Dowdell from the Tulsa 66ers of the D-League, re-signing a player they had only recently cut in training camp. Dowdell did not make the initial list, perhaps in part due to an oversight, but because his numbers thus far this season had not been overwhelming. Playing on the incredibly deep 66ers roster, Dowds averaged 14.5 points, 4.6 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.8 turnovers in 29 minutes per game, shooting 41% from the field and 31% from three, with 261 points on 230 shots. The assist to turnover ratio was nice, and the defense as present as ever, yet Dowdell’s individual scoring ability has not been there. Nevertheless, Phoenix now gives a regular season look to this long-coveted player for them, who should fit in nicely with an up-tempo game, and defend better than the Nash/Dragic point guard combo (which, while awesome, only impacts one end). In a bit to avoid another such occurence, here are some more names for the call-up list. Players who can be removed from the original list, however briefly, include Collins, Damien Wilkins (re-signed with Atlanta), Patrick Beverley (signed in Russia with Spartak St Petersburg) and J.R. Giddens (signed in Spain with Valencia). New players again listed in no order but alphabetical. Marqus Blakely – Blakely went to camp with the Clippers, despite interest from Atlanta, and picked up $35,000 for doing so. That’s more than he’s currently getting in the D-League, […]

Posted by at 9:27 AM