Will Rajon Rondo run away with the NBA assist title this year?

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

Rajon Rondo, the 21st pick of the Phoenix Suns

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Through games of December 21, Boston’s Rajon Rondo has averaged 12.2 assists per game over 23 games. His closest competitor for the assist lead is the Clippers’ Chris Paul who is averaging 9.4 assists. If the 2012-13 NBA season ended today, the 2.8 assist margin between these two players would be the eighth biggest for the assist title in NBA history.

The last player to win an NBA assist title by more than 2.0 assists per game was Steve Nash in 2006-07. Nash had 11.6 assists per game to win the title that season, outdistancing runner-up Deron Williams, who had 9.3 assists per games, a margin of 2.3 assists.

The largest margin was in 1964-65 when Oscar Robertson won the assist crown by averaging 11.5 assists per game. Second that year was Guy Rodgers, who averaged 7.2 assists per game, a margin of 4.3 assists per contest.

Here’s a look at the players who won the league assist title by a margin of 2.5 assists or more.

NBA season, NBA assist leader (assists per game)/Assist runner-up (assist per game), margin

1964-65: Oscar Robertson (11.5)/Guy Rodgers (7.2)… 4.3 margin
1978-79: Kevin Porter (13.4)/John Lucas (9.3)… 4.1 margin
1963-64: Oscar Robertson (11.0)/Guy Rodgers (7.0)… 4.0 margin
1961-62: Oscar Robertson (11.4)/Guy Rodgers (8.0)… 3.4 margin
1989-90: John Stockton (14.5)/Magic Johnson (11.5)… 3.0 margin
1991-92: John Stockton (13.7)/Kevin Johnson (10.7)… 3.0 margin
1994-95: John Stockton (12.3)/Kenny Anderson (9.4)… 2.9 margin
1955-56: Bob Cousy (8.9)/Jack George (6.3)… 2.6 margin
1972-73: Tiny Archibald (11.4)/Jerry West (8.8)… 2.6 margin
2004-05: Steve Nash (11.5)/Brevin Knight (9.0)… 2.5 margin
1993-94: John Stockton (12.6)/Muggsy Bogues (10.1)… 2.5 margin

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