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Red's Army

Your Morning Dump… Where Pierce & Rondo have the best signature moves

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) September 3, 2012 Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, The Morning Dump 13 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Rajon Rondo’s standstill pass fake
People associate Rondo with his fake behind-the-back pass, but that one’s been around for a while. What I haven’t seen guards his size do is use pass fakes from a standstill as well as he does. Opponents play off Rondo to better obscure passing angles, especially after he picks up his dribble. To compensate, Rondo, like a quarterback sitting in the pocket, uses violent pass fakes to shift the defense and open avenues to his teammates.

Paul Pierce’s funky pull-up
Pierce isn’t particularly quick, so how is he always able to get space for that jumper? Part of it is that he sometimes uses unorthodox footwork in his pull-up. The natural motion for a right-handed player moving to his right is to stride-stop, plant the (outside) left foot, plant the right (inside) foot and fire. But Pierce uses his outside right foot to stop his momentum, then uses his left foot and left shoulder to nudge his defender and create space. Pierce ends up firing the shot a half-beat earlier than his defender expects and uses a little muscle in the process.

TrueHoop: NBA’s most signature moves

I personally don’t care that someone did this before Rondo, this ball fake is the move that we all most associate with Rondo.  When someone does it, people say “he just did the Rondo!”  A lot of people have done or owned something before someone else came along to make it famous.

Still, there isn’t a quarter that goes by without Rondo trying to fake someone out to set up his pass.  What makes Rondo’s fakes work… just like any fake, really… is that they could be passes that he’s actually going to make.  When you can make passes at such impossible angles, people will fall for the fakes.  And when they stop falling for them, Rondo will just make the pass.  It’s really a no-win situation for the defense.

As for Pierce… well… Pierce owns the right elbow.  That’s his spot.  It always will be his spot.  They might as well carve out a 4-f00t wide chunk of the parquet at the right elbow when Pierce retires and hang that in the rafters with his number on it.  If he takes a step back from there and misses… I get a little surprised.  He’s automatic from there.

It’s a very “Pierce” sweet spot too… unassuming and almost boring.  A step back mid-range shot?  So what?   But that’s the beauty of Pierce’s game.  He’s always been unassuming.  His game hasn’t produced the same level of highlights as others have, but it’s been damn effective for a very long time.  He isn’t faster or stronger than a lot of guys, yet he generally gets most of the shots he wants.

It leads to him being underrated by the general public, but, just like his signature shot, you overlook Paul Pierce at your own peril.  Because what you think is underwhelming to see is overwhelming in the box score.

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  • MissMD88

    Love both moves! Pierce is money from that spot and with his footwork it doesn’t matter what the defender does. He’ll get the shot off. Love it. When he misses, I’m shocked as well. Paul’s been underrated most of his career but he has a bag of tricks that I hope he can teach Jeff Green (at least the footwork).

  • Number33

    Are you kidding me? There was nothing special about anything I saw Rondo do in that clip. Today’s players suck. Those passes could be made by Larry Bird’s fetus.

    • KJandHondo

      It was to free up Bass under the basket.

    • Chris

      Pull your head out of your ass! Without a dribble he fakes, which gets three defenders looking right, Bass gets the step left, and almost without adjustment, Rondo whips it into him. And Rondo does this multiple times a night. If you can’t appreciate that, stick to watching old highlight reels.

      • Number33

        I watch Rondo all the time and the thing that really jumps out at me is the fact that if you took the fattest, shittiest athlete in your entire office and watched him shoot a basketball, it would not look all that worse than a Rondo shot. I’m sorry but when little kids can shoot better than you, no matter what else you bring (like some crappy passes in the aforementioned highlight video) I’m not calling you a good basketball player. What does this guy do at practice? Do you think he works on his shot like his apparent nemesis Ray Allen? If a story came out saying he works real hard at shooting but just still struggles, thank OK I’ll give some credit. For now I’ll continue with my belief that to be a pro (playing basketball is your job) and shoot as bad as Rondo, you have to purposely be trying to be that bad…or ok with it, which is just as bad.

        • Drew

          Youre a fucking idiot. End discussion.

          • Number33

            That may be true, but for reasons other than what you see here. You and Chris are just Rondo ballwashers who refuse to look at his shooting from this perspective: A) He works hard on shooting but just for whatever reason he cant get better. B) He doesnt put in the time to work on his shooting. What other possibilities could exist? So fine, if the answer is A then send me a link proving it and I will commend Rondo and the 3 of us can wash his balls together. If the answer is B I can think of many scenarious as to why and not many of them make me want to root for Rondo. You guys tell me, clearly you are the experts.

        • Andrew

          Comparing a point guard and a shooting guard is a mute point, nonetheless an ignorant one made by an ‘apparent’ basketball fan. If you are judging one position by jump shots, and not even FGs made, then you clearly are retarded and have not seen his creative ability for assists or even FGs in the paint. And give Rondo some credit for Ray’s success considering he assisted him MANY times.

          I bet you like LBJ, huh?

          • Number33

            LBJ is a disgusting individual whose talents are overated and most likely fueled by a cocktail of steroids. He alone is reason enough to give up on the entire sport. Someone like him doesnt deserve to be watched or celebrated. Glad we got that out of the way, you turd nugget.

            In looking at the FG% of PG’s last year I am surprised to see Rondo in the top of the middle. However I am more surprised by the shitty shooting of some other elite PG’s. Maybe thats why you think its ok when a PG cant knock down shots, his job is to create. Thats what people see in todays game. Well his job is to also knock down shots when the team needs it. But we are watching Rondo, Williams, Rose and others throwing up bricks.

            Which leads me to his FT shooting. All players are required from when they are children, to work on FT’s. Its importance is stressed more and more as you move up the levels of basketball. PG’s to my knowledge have never been released of their obligation to help their team on the FT line. Rondo was dead last in the league by a HUGE margin at PG. I dont even know how bad he was overall. So when your job, your entire existence is based around practicing and playing basketball, how can you suck so bad at shooting FT’s? So does he try really hard and still suck at it? Or does he not work at it and thats why he sucks at it?

          • Chris

            This. Yes, Rondo lacks a reliable jump shot. So does Josh Smith. But both can put points on the board. It’s just easier for Rondo to set up his teammates for 30 points than to go all Westbrook and take 20 shots to score the 30 himself. Basketball is a team game.

        • Reggie35RIP

          Not that there’s any doubt that Rondo practices shooting – most likely A LOT – but here you go.

          http://youtu.be/5p8DcZJ_G3Q?t=1m30s

          Rondo’s no fool. He obviously knows there are holes in his game. He’s driven, so you can bet he practices shooting in the off-season like a demon.

  • Drew

    The majority of other point guards in the league don’t have the hands to make those pass fakes. Rondo has a huge advantage. It’s beautiful.

  • Drew

    Okay you need to chill. You look like a complete fool. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Andrew nailed it on the head. Give up Number 33. Go read a book.