So people are already starting up with the Rajon Rondo still can't shoot types of comments. Maybe some of that is our (as in the family of Celtics blogs) fault. We're the ones that told you Rondo was working with Mark Price… which undoubtedly set the bar pretty high. I get that.
And now it's time to bring that bar back down to earth a little.
You don't change a mechanical flaw in a jump shot and have it come out perfectly in the first 3 games of the preseason. I don't care how many jumpers you shoot in an empty gym or in intra-squad scrimmages. Nothing simulates actual game speed against other teams. When you're in the heat of battle… and you don't have coaches starting and stopping the games… and you're playing against first-team players rather than your own bench… you tend to revert to some old habits. Rondo has spent a lifetime with that shooting elbow flaring out. A month with Mark Price isn't going to magically fix that right away.
You need time against opponents at full speed to really make a difference. Rondo played 17 minutes against Houston , 21 minutes against the Knicks, and 26 minutes yesterday. And keep in mind that in those minutes he's got to make sure Pierce, Ray and KG get their touches. He's got to feed Perk to continue Perk's development. He's got to learn new guys like Sheed and Marquis. He's got to work on things defensively so he's not burned by cheating as much.
It's a lot. And it's early.
Glen Davis spent about 80% of last season shooting jumpers that almost everyone wanted him to stop shooting. But in that last 20% of the season, the shots started falling. Now, his jumper is considered one of his strengths.
Will Rondo's development take the same track? Who knows? It could take less time. It could take more. And maybe that jumper will never really develop. If we still see him shooting it flat and off to the right or left later in the season… then maybe we can wonder about it.
But if we see him shooting with some more arc… or if he's missing short or long with it… then we know he's honing in. Give it time, and it will come. He seems to be shooting with more confidence, which is a good first step. We'll see if he takes the next one.
The point is, we don't know. And we won't know now. It's impossible after 3 games to make that call. Rondo needs to be patient with it, and so do we.
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