John Stockton is one of the most revered point guards in NBA history. He made 11 all-nba teams and is the NBA’s leader in career assists and steals. In a 2006 ESPN vote of 13 analysts, he was ranked the fourth-greatest point guard in basketball history. And yet, Stockton is hardly ever criticized for failing to win a title or for coming up short in big moments, while his teammate, Karl Malone, often is.
Is that narrative accurate?
First, it’s instructional to track the success of the Jazz as a team throughout Stockton’s tenure. Point guards without gaudy scoring stats have a history of quarterbacking the greatest offenses in NBA history, offenses that usually fall apart without their decision-making and constant pressure. Below are the Jazz Offensive Rating (points per 100 possessions) and Defensive Rating relative to league average in the Stock-Malone era (bolded numbers indicate league leader)...
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