The Celtics coaching staff has talked about the improvement in Rajon Rondo’s range, and now the point guard is starting to put the results of those solitary hours in the gym on display.
For the second straight game, Rondo set a career high for 3-point conversions with four during last night’s 104-92 loss to San Antonio, following up a three-trey performance in Monday’s loss to Dallas.
“I’m taking more (treys) a game,” he said of the 2.9 threes he is attempting this season, including an average of 5.5 attempts in his last two games. “In the past I would take one or two, but I’m taking five or six a game, and I’m in a little bit of a rhythm. I’m working pretty hard with coach Ron Adams and so far it’s paying off. It’s something I want to do. Coaches are encouraging me to shoot it, but I want to.”
Rajon Rondo is 11-29 from 3 in his 10 games this season. That’s a solid 38% and (while it’s a small sample) nearly 13% higher than his career average.
We all know that the development of an outside shot for Rondo becomes a game changer. Defenders then have to play up on him and over the top on the pick and roll which will allow him to use his quickness to penetrate and a) get to the rim or b) find open teammates.
One thing Rondo isn’t doing is getting to the free throw line. He’s taken 6 free throws in 10 games.
Is he worried about the knee and shying away from contact on drives to the rim? Hard to say.
Of Rondo’s 99 shots this season, 43 (43% for the mathematically challenged) have come within 5 – 10 feet of the basket.
Of Rondo’s 465 shots last year, 235 came near the rim . That’s 51% of his shots.
In 2011-12, 59% of his shots came near the rim.
Notice a pattern?
I think it’s remarkable Rondo is/was able to get to the rim so frequently with defenders lagging off.
Now that he’s armed with an improved jump shot and confidence, it will be interesting to watch his game evolve.
On Page 2, Avery Bradley has re-sprained his ankle.
Bradley missed five games last month due to an initial sprain on Jan. 21 in Miami. He returned on Feb. 2, but the team believes Bradley suffered a second sprain three days later in Philadelphia. He sat out one game last week before attempting to return on Sunday against the Dallas Mavericks, but Bradley looked off and the team removed him from the game in the second half.
Bradley underwent another MRI on the ankle that revealed the new sprain. After meeting with team doctors, the Celtics decided to shut him down through the All-Star break, but coach Brad Stevens said it’s unclear if he’ll be ready when the team resumes play next Wednesday.
“We did another look at it, he’s out tonight, and then possibly will be out after that,” Stevens said before Wednesday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. “Hopefully it’s going to be something that’s not long term, or doesn’t look like it will be. It looks like it’s just the same as the first one, so not a long-term thing.”
Freakin’ kid can’t catch a break.
This is good news for the tankers. A minor injury without any long term ramifications that will keep one of the team’s best players off the court.
But I was really enjoying the development of Bradley’s game and was excited to watch him play alongside Rajon Rondo for an extended period of time.
And I’m tired of injured Avery Bradley.
The rest of the links:
ESPN Boston – Olynyk’s production on the rise | Illness ends Sully’s streak | Rapid Reaction: Spurs 104 Celtics 92 | Herald – Celtics hit break at loss | Duncan’s yearly reminder of lottery lost | CSNNE – Ageless Duncan leads Spurs over Boston | Wallace: Team has to get healthy over break | Sullinger shooting with 4 fingers | Sullinger: Kelly for MVP of Rising stars | WEEI – Mannix: Rondo will be on team through offseason | Globe- Celtics can’t keep up with Spurs in 4th |