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We Need to Hold Off on Evaluating Rajon Rondo’s Shooting. It Isn’t Very Good Right Now.

March 16th, 2014 at 6:10 AM
By Sean Melia

If the words "Rajon Rondo shooting" are typed into the Google News search here are the top headlines:

Rajon Rondo's jumpshot improving with practice, coaching – NESN.com

Rondo Refining his Shot – Boston Globe

Rajon Rondo is a much better three point shooter - SLAM Online

Celtics at 7: Examining Rondo's Improved Shot - CBS Local

Rajon Rondo's three point improvements "a prerequisite to things working more fluidly" says Boston Celtics Coach Brad Stevens – MassLive.com

'rajon rondo, kyle singler, will bynum' photo (c) 2013, Marissa Gawel - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

All these articles were published between March 4-6. On March 1 Rondo shot 3-6 against the Indiana Pacers from behind the arc. People were rushing to their laptops to pronounce Rondo's assention into a three-point shooting threat. 

Since that Pacers game (five games total) Rondo has gone 5-22 from behind the arc. That a 22% clip. That's not very good. While Rondo's sample size does not allow him to be on the official NBA stats for three pointing yet, he would be around 85th in the league right now. He would be surrounded by players like Jordan Crawford, Gordon Hayward, and Ben McLemore.

If we want to look at Rondo's field goal percentage, that is also not very impressive. It's actually lower than it has ever been. Last year, in 38 games, Rondo was shooting 48% from the field. After 20 games this season it's at 38%. In the NBA that puts him with Trey Burke, Michael Carter-Williams, J.R. Smith, and Jameer Nelson. He would be ranked 125th in field goal percentage. 

In his last 5 games Rondo has taken 73 shots. He has made 25 of them. That just below a 33% clip. 

Here is a link to Rondo's shot chart from this season (note: click on different sections to see all his shots from that area on the floor).

It's silly to talk about Rondo's shooting with the caveat that he's never been an exceptional shooter. He's never been a threat. He's always been surrounded by players that forced teams to leave him more open than his teammates because they were a threat to shoot the ball. Rondo's strength comes in his ability to set up those shooters in posiitons that they can make shots. That's what he will always be great at. Right now, he is being forced to take a lot of shots and carry some of the scoring load. That does not seem to be the type of player Rondo will ever be over the course of an entire season or playoff run. 

Two weeks after articles came out praising Rondo's shooting improvement it seems like his shooting is actually getting worse. We wrote it here in early Marc: he is shooting more three-pointers than ever. He is shooting less free throws than ever too. Is he nervous about his knee? Possibly. 

It seems like people were chomping at the bit to praise Rondo's jumper and it's "improvement." It was the big thing everyone was curious about during his rehab. People wondered if his injury would force him to improve his shot.

While time has not healed Rondo completely yet, it seems as if we need to be sure we slow down on the praise we give to Rondo's jump shot. It's been inconsistent and unreliable. Let's give it some more time before we give Rondo credit for improving his shooting. Right now, the stats do not bare out a massive improvement. 

 

Tags: Basketball, Boston, Boston Celtic, Boston Celtics, Gordon Hayward, NBA, Rajon Rondo, rondo, Trey Burke

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