Will Rajon Rondo's torn ACL make Kyrie Irving a Starter in his first All-Star game?

Jared Wickerham

One of the worst injuries in sports occurs when a player tears his ACL, and for the second time in a year one of the NBA's best point guards has suffered it. Rajon Rondo, one of the few bright spots in what has been a tough season for the Boston Celtics, is now out for the year.

Rajon Rondo is a really good basketball player. He has absolutely destroyed the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs of years gone by. He is a gifted passer, rebounds at an elite level, can be tenacious on defense, and has improved his jump shot by leaps and bounds from what it was when he entered the league. Players can return from having their ACL torn, but oftentimes the same quickness and athleticism never returns. We can only hope that Derrick Rose and Rajon Rondo recover quickly and fully so that we are once again treated to watching them at their best. Some people on this site (and I am one of them) may think Rondo is a bit overrated, but that he is fun to watch when he is at his best seems silly to argue.

Rondo's misfortune may be Jrue Holliday or Kyrie Irving's gain. The two Eastern Conference reserve All-Star point guards are both having excellent seasons. Holliday has had a fun career to watch thus far, steadily improving each season to the point that he now is a bona fide star. Still only 22 years old, he is averaging over 19 points and 8 assists per game while playing pretty good defense. His Player Efficiency Rating has jumped from 14.7 last season, to 19.4 in 2012-2013. With Andrew Bynum out, Philadelphia has a serious talent deficit, and Holliday has helped the team weather the post-Iguodala era respectably.

He isn't, however, better than Kyrie Irving. Irving is 6th in the league in scoring, and does it with remarkable efficiency. He is excellent in the fourth quarter, and his Player Efficiency Rating is 22.9 which ties him with Russell Westbrook for 10th in the NBA. He is shooting 41% from three point range, and 85% from the line. Overall, he is shooting 47.5%. There isn't a weakness to his offensive game, and his defense is much improved from his rookie season. Hopefully Irving gets the nod. His strong play this week has certainly gotten noticed by the national media.

Jrue Holliday does have the benefit of being older, and a coach may decide to reward him with the starting spot for that reason alone. If its purely a basketball decision, though, the choice is clear.

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