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Red's Army

Give Rondo’s jumper time

RedsArmyAdmin October 12, 2009 Uncategorized 10 Comments

Rondo drive nets
I'm already starting to see and hear grumblings about Rajon Rondo's jumper.  In 3 preseason games, not only hasn't it fallen with any regularity.  It really hasn't fallen at all. 

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.

Photo courtesy Getty Images

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011571d4119a970b Lex

    Rondo was a high school great pitcher, a great high school quarterback, and now an NBA all-start point guard. I was a bum who played all three of those sports. My jump shot was either in the form of a knuckle ball or a side spinner.
    Then I watched MJ cradle the ball in his finger tips. Wa lah! My shot has been an asset ever since.
    All I’m wondering is why one of the world’s best athletes can’t transform his shot if a bum like me could?

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Im not too worried about rondos jumper, Im starting to see a pattern of him just being a slow starter, and he snap out of it, have a great year with an improved jumpshot

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    Maybe because your shot was so off, a minor correction made a big difference. (that’s not a slam… please don’t take it as such).
    If you were shooting with no spin, or the wrong spin… then something was very very wrong. You can mix a major flaw and get good results quickly.
    Rondo’s played forever. He’s probably played, 5…10…15 times as much hoops already than you’ll play your whole life. Again.. not a slam. it’s his job, and it’s been his job for a while. This is years and years and years of muscle memory that we’re trying to correct. He’s gotten what… a couple of months of training to change it? That’s hard to do. You can’t just flick a switch.
    Basketball is a reaction sport. If you think, you’re beat. Rondo’s going to be “thinking” about his jumper for a while. he’s going to be thinking “elbow in” for a while. His instinct has been to shoot a certain way for so long.. it’s going to take a while before the thinking stops and the reacting starts.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011571d4119a970b Lex

    No offense taken. A few more thoughts, though.
    I wonder what the new Mark Price jumper looks like in practice? Is he hitting some huge percentage? If you go back and watch game 6 of the nba finals, van gundy notes that rondo’s jumper looks a whole lot different up 35 than it does down 5. This goes to how much Rondo has allowed this one flaw to become a head thing. Yet he is supremely confident otherwise.
    Just is a mystery to me.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    I do know Doc said in Newport that the shot looked real good.
    The Van Gundy quote makes sense to me because a loose, relaxed person can just let everything happen without worries. Down 5, you’re moving a little fast, you rely on your instincts a lot more… hence the crappy jumper.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011571d4119a970b Lex

    Yeah, the guy is off the charts athletic ability, and also is supremely confident…otherwise. I just don’t get how he can’t lick this.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p011571d4119a970b Lex

    One more thought:
    Rondo had a passable jumper before. He hit two huge jumpers in game 5 of the clev series, and since then he hits 15 footers with decent enough regularity for me. So hopefully if the Mark Price jumper experiment fails, he can recover his old jumper.

  • Lakersforlifekb24

    “raon rondo cos he got no “J”! HAHAHA!
    rondo= OVERRATED!!!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f6a54c2970c ToTheRuins

    Overrated by who?
    He’s actually done things of substance in his career, he didnt average a triple double in the playoffs by mistake, contribute to a championship team and make 2nd team all defense by mistake
    Youre a fraud

  • Jason

    I agree he needs game time to develop the J. He’s playing 20-25 minutes like the rest of the starters. Doc should leave him out there another 10-15 minutes as the 2. Let Hester/Daniels assume point duties and give Rondo a few more chances to shoot. It’s not like House needs to assimilate to the offense or work on his stroke. It’s not like an extra 60 minutes of (less active, no less) play over the preseason is going to wear Rondo down.