FanPost

Who Should Get The Starting Nod At Point Guard?

Doc Rivers had to make a rather quick decision to insert Courtney Lee as the starter in the place of Rajon Rondo, before the Miami Heat game. I'm not sure if he'll continue to have Lee as the starting point guard, and Avery Bradley struggles a lot at that position.

In my opinion, I believe the starting spot should go to Leandro Barbosa. I understand that most fans would rather have a player who will think to pass before scoring, but I believe that the Celtics can still play well with the style of play that Barbosa brings to the court.

Barbosa is an attack the rim kind of player. He finishes around the rim at a very respectable percentage. Barbosa finishes around the basket at a 57.9% clip, compared to Rondo's 62.1%. One important difference is the attempts. Barbosa plays significantly less minutes than Rondo, but if both players played 40 minutes a game, it'll be likely that Barbosa would average more at-rim attempts than Rondo: 5.1 attempts vs. 6.9.

This is important because it's a higher percentage shot. If there's a miss, than there's a better chance of getting an offensive rebound, and if Barbosa gets fouled, he shoots 78.1% from the free throw line on the season, compared to Rondo's 64%.

Barbosa is much more comfortable playing closer to the basket. Barbosa finishes better than Rondo from 3-9 feet (46.7% vs. 39.1%), Rondo has the edge from 10-15 feet (37.5% vs. 33.3%), and Rondo has the edge from 16-23 feet, which isn't a even close. (48% vs. 7%), although in Barbosa's defense, he would probably attempt less than 2 of these shots a game, while Rondo would attempt almost twice as much. Then when it comes to 3-point range there's no contest there either, Barbosa shoots the 3-pointer at 43% compared to Rondo's 24%.

With Barbosa in the starting lineup, it will space out the floor significantly more than Rondo, since the opposing teams have to respect Barbosa's 3-point shooting abilities. This will then open up shots for other wing players such as Pierce, Terry, Lee and Bradley. In addition, the front court players such as Garnett and Sullinger, will have an easier job on offense due to the additional spacing. It will take longer for double teams to hit them since players can't back off of Barbosa like they sometimes do with Rondo when he's on the perimeter.

That being said however, Barbosa should pass the ball a bit more. He doesn't necessarily have to assist, but it's important for him to keep the ball moving, and rattle up the defense a bit.

It's probably too much to ask for any 1 player on this team to help duplicate what Rondo does on the court, but I believe that Barbosa has been under-utilized to this point, and he could help the Celtics with scoring, floor spacing, and 3-point shooting. I'm not trying to knock on Rondo, or pretend that the Celtics will be a better team without him, I just think that Barbosa can bring something needed to the table.

What are your thoughts? Who do you feel should be the starting point guard? Should Ainge try to get someone outside of the team to run point?

Be respectful and keep it clean. Thanks.

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