Top 5 Point Guards in Boston Celtics Franchise’s History
5. Nate Archibald
Nate Archibald spent a mere five seasons in Boston, but he managed to win a ring in that period and cement himself as one of the game’s first great point guards. Though he is most widely known for being the only player ever to lead the league in scoring and assists during the 1972-73 season, Archibald took on a smaller role with the Celtics, picking his spots better, pushing the ball in transition and looking to set up his teammates rather than score himself.
The lightening-quick Archibald still got his share of points thanks to his solid mid-range game and ability to knife his way into the lane, but he did not have to score 20-plus points every night with the Celts like he did as a Cincinnati Royal. His relatively brief stay in Boston hurts his case, but Archibald is still one of the better point guards to ever pass through Boston Garden and always will be. For his career, he averaged 18.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 7.4 assists while shooting 46.7 percent from the field.
4. Rajon Rondo
Rajon Rondo arrived in Boston in a draft-day trade from the Phoenix Suns in 2006 and instantly showed the potential to become an elite point guard. He started during the C’s 2008 championship run, but he truly came into his own in 2009, when he averaged 16.9 points, 9.7 boards and 9.8 assists in the playoffs. The 6’1” Rondo was among the game’s most unique talents for nearly a half decade. He offset his lack of shooting with a sensational handle, tremendous passing instincts, and the ability to dominate the glass from the perimeter and defend multiple positions. When he was engaged with the C’s, he proved to be a nightly triple-double threat who was as capable of scoring 30-plus points as he is of dishing out 20-plus assists. His overall effectiveness had diminished quite a bit since leaving Boston, but he will always be remembered for his epic time in Green.
3. Dennis Johnson
The 1979 NBA Finals MVP with the Seattle Supersonics, Dennis Johnson had played the best basketball of his career by the time he ended up with Boston in 1983. However, he proved to be indispensable during his seven-year stint, providing the Celtics with airtight perimeter defense, veteran leadership and underrated playmaking. Boston acquired Johnson to defend guards like Andrew Toney, but by adapting his game to be more of a facilitator than a scorer, Johnson was able to contribute on offense as well. Still, he locked down opposing guards in the half court, was a nightmare pressuring the ball, and was able to come up with steals and create transition opportunities with his excellent hands and anticipation. Johnson averaged 14.1 points, 3.9 boards and five assists in his career while connecting on 44.5 percent of his shots from the field.