Last night, a few people on Twitter (myself included) were commenting that Rajon Rondo's jump shot looked a little smoother. That the release looked a little more fluid.
So we compiled the jumper Rondo took last night into a little video. The shot does look pretty fluid. He's taking the shots confidently and there doesn't seem to be a hitch anywhere in the release. How does that compare to past jumpers?
This is Rondo last year against New Orleans. I can't say the jumper looks all that different. In some, there is a slight hitch right at the top of his release. But if you look at the first jumper from last night and the first jumper in the N.O. video… they look very similar.
Then, you may say, the second and third jumpers from last night look a lot smoother, look at this one from the Knicks game last year:
That looked pretty smooth too.
So it looks like the notion that Rondo's jumper looks smoother is a bit of myth. In speaking with Jay (MrTrpleDouble10, our video guru) about the videos, the one thing he says he noticed last night as compared to the past was less hesitation when taking the jumper.
Last night, Rondo stepped into shots and was taking them with more confidence. And when you've got confidence in your shot, it does flow more smoothly. When you don't, and you start thinking about it, your form can develop hiccups.
Rondo's form seems pretty similar to what it's been in the past. But if his confidence in taking the shot is there and he is comfortable taking the shots, it may go a long way towards making the shot at least a threat for him. And that's all Rondo needs, really. He doesn't need to be automatic from 18 feet. He just needs to make enough for teams to stop sagging off him so much.
We'll see if the early success with the jumper feeds that confidence, or if he'll revert to the old form.