Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 10:00 am  |  54 responses

Rajon Rondo Gaining Confidence in Jump Shot?

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

One of the enduring images of the 2010 NBA Finals is that of Kobe Bryant giving Rajon Rondo plenty of space to shoot his clunky jump shot.

It bordered on the ridiculous, as one of the L’s best players was left alone on an island, being dared to fire away.

Someone on the Mavs‘ coaching staff must’ve been paying attention last June, as Dallas basically did the same thing to Rajon last night in the game’s dying moments. The result: brick. Celtics defeat.

Afterward, Rondo’s team spun the miss as a positive, a sign that the young point guard is now willing to take huge shots, even when the chances of conversion aren’t in his favor.

From the Boston Globe:

“He’s wide open,’’ forward Paul Pierce said. “He was open two or three seconds before he even took it. We were begging him to shoot it. Hey, we’ll take that, a wide open look. Rondo, he’s showed he can make those shots, especially under pressure situations. I take it. I told him after the game, I’ll take that shot.’’

There is still stubbornness in Rondo, a refusal to acknowledge his jumper is a weakness. That teams are blatantly inviting him to shoot is a sign of disrespect for his perimeter game. Teammate Jermaine O’Neal said recently that once Rondo develops a jumper, much like what has been said about Derrick Rose and about Jason Kidd 10 years ago, his game will be impeccable.

Rondo would like to think it’s impeccable now. The white elephant in his mental living room is that darn jumper. It’s improving, but it’s not yet there. It’s there in practice. It has been there during stretches this season, but until he knocks it down with consistency, he will be left alone.“The options were all taken away and I was open and I took the shot,’’ he said. “I was open, so I am going to take it if they give it to me. I got a lot of confidence in it. I thought it was good. I got my feet set, got a good look.’’

Celtics fans can take comfort in the fact that Rondo says he’s confident in taking the outside jumper, though last night, it might not have appeared that way.

Until Rajon proves that he can make the outside shot — especially with games on the line — defenses will continue to smartly leave him alone out there.

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  • J.C.

    The downside of go-go-gadget arms and hands like baseball mitts.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Didn’t he miss a wide open three last night for the win?

  • http://www.twitter.com/chris_griff_3 Chris_Griff_3

    I won’t take that shot. I cringe whenever I see Rajon Rondo or Glen Davis shoot.

  • vtrobot

    good game last night. dirk is so tough. the mavs have a lot of talent and good energy on that team. chandler looked a lot better than i’ve seen in a while. keep shooting those now RR and hopefully they’ll be smoother by season’s end. or at least in another season or two.

  • slamfan4life

    Rondos only weakness is his shooting, its been his weakness for his whole career


  • reflex

    The timing of this article is after he just bricked a WIIIIIDE J is something else.

  • letsmotor

    @Eboy: did you read the article?

    @Chris: actually, Big Baby hit three big top of the key jumpers against the Thunder the other night to end their hopes of getting back in the game. why cringe?

  • http://blog.mysanantonio.com/spursnation/ Anthony

    even the picture that being used for this post looks funny. Looks like he’s on the dancefloor with a basketball in one hand.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    letsmotor, ask the other guys who referenced it too.

  • TrailBlazing&SportingLisbon

    he might have confidence in it, it doesnt mean its not broken, cause it is b r o k e n…..if he had a good jumper he could compete with CP3 to the best PG status

  • JRog

    Chris, even a fatty like Glen is a way better shooter than Mr. Construction. This is why Rondo will NEVER be in the same legaue as Paul/Williams because you wouldn’t dare give those guys the kind of space rondo gets.

  • vtrobot

    I cringe when I see RR shoot, not when see Baby shoot. RR’s mind f*cks up his in-game jumper and I don’t think him denying it is helping it either. Loosen up, Rajon.

  • Zeiramsy

    In reality Rondo not being that much of a jump shooter isn´t that big of a problem. Him being a FW%-shooter like he was a center is a problem.

    Rondo being a 80FW% player would be way more dangerous for the like than him getting a J.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Hack A Shaq and Hack A Rondo at the same time?

  • letsmotor

    i agree with Zeiramsy, it’s not a huge issue, at least not while he’s playing with the big three. can we also point out the fact that he’s shooting 47% from the field this season, while other jumper-less point guards are doing considerably worse (Rose is at 43%, and Kidd is at 35%, and has never gone higher than 42 or so)? free throw shooting is a different thing, that needs to improve, but if he’s shooting that well from the field, i can live without a great jump shot. @Eboy: yeah, you’re right, sorry for picking on you. you sound like the kid who gets caught talking in class and then says “you didn’t yell at the other kids talking!”

  • http://slamonline.com Jeremy Bauman

    It is a huge issue. If Rondo can get his jumper down–a 15-18 foot jump shot–how can you guard him? If he ever gets a shooting coach that fixes his crooked form (Very possible to do) he can make this adjustment and become a good mid-range shooter.

  • hoodsnake

    Funny there is no Doc Rivers comments in the article. I wonder what he said (O_o)

  • Dubli

    at slamfan4life

    Thats not an excuse. Look at MJ.

  • Fat Lever

    Difference between Rose and Rondo is Rose actually has a good shooting motion. Rondo is all over the place. That’s great he has the confidence to take those shots. Keep bricking them, it makes it easier for opponents.

  • james

    whoever said glen davis cant shoot is an idiot. guy is shit hot from the top of the key this year. must be about 70% from there.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    He can put work into that J all he wants when the stands are empty but he still needs to shoot it with some consistency during games or he’ll never really develop confidence in it.

  • riggs

    since when has people started thinking of rondo as a SG? dudes a PG leading everybody in the league in assists and breaking records, last i checked thats an effin point guard.

  • http://safjdklf.com Jukai

    Riggs: Uh, what’s yer point? Yer saying point guards can’t shoot….?

  • JTaylor21

    Why do people still think that Rose can not shoot, do you guys even watch the games. Dude was one of the best shooters from mid-range last year and consistently knocks it down this year also. People need to stop watching SC and start watching the actual games!

  • Fat Lever

    JTaylor, I was watching the Bulls-Nugs game last night, Rose had a nice step back mid range jumper. As of right now, no way Rondo can make that shot.

  • vtrobot

    riggs is saying that shooting shouldn’t be a true PGs top priority and a PG’s FT% shouldn’t be that much of a concern if you’re executing your other PG duties (assists, steals) in record-breaking fashion. yeah, he gets burned sometimes when he’s left alone and has to put up those uncomfortable clunkers. still he rebounds MUCH better than the average PG and that block on jkidd was nice last night. not #1 PG in the L, but the best PG for the C’s and seems impact games even more this year.

  • Cizzo

    What’s so weird is if we can reffer back to all-star weekend when Rondo and Durrant was playing horse? Rodo impresively hit shot after shot in the competition with a nice looking cosistant stroke…. So the ability to make shots is there, but he has to want to be a threatt from the arc……..

  • hoodsnake

    Ok riggs should the defense just sag off the PG and defend the other four guys? If they are closely defended who is he gonna pass to?

  • JTaylor21

    I think that teams are making a BIG mistake by constatly giving rondo so much space due to his lack of a jumper because it makes his court vision even more deadlier and gives him ample time and space to make the perfect pass. Just guard him like other pgs and you will have a better chance at beating the celts.

  • The Philosopher

    Look at the picture of Rondo on this thread.
    It is as if he has patterned his shooting form after Earvin.
    One can argue that he patterns his game after Earvin.
    Anyways, the only way he gets better with that current form on his shot, with his elbows grossly misplaced, is repetition. Over, and over, again.
    I’m not saying anything we do not already know.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    I have confidence I can jump to the moon, but it aint gonna happen. Rondos been working on his shot, im sure some coaches too, it has not improved. Brick brick brick…. Jtaylor, its funny u say all that cuz dallas won last night doing exactly the opposite. Just like lal.

  • Trevor

    Big Baby is actually a very very good midrange jump shooter.

  • Jer Boi

    Rondo can only shoot when playing Horse and in practice. A little bit of choking. He has to get better at shooting at least mid range jumpers consistently and his free throw shooting or else as good of a pure point guard he is, he’s still gonna be a liability in the half court offensively. It’s one reason I love facing the Celtics online in 2k11 cuz i could just roam with whatever point guard I’m using.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    It’s never the best when your starting PG is the clearcut, worst shooter on your entire basketball team. (besides Shaq, of course. He never counts)

  • JTaylor21

    Tarzan, of course they beat them but he still had like 15 assists and the celts were a Allen 3 away from winning the game. Do you think that the Mavs could beat the celts if they met in the playoffs? NO and FYI the celts almost beat the lakers last year and rondo is a way better PG this season. Also speaking of bad jumpshooters; Dr. J for all he accomplished on the court was probably the WORST shooter out of all the great perimeter players.

  • Stillballin

    Rando.. Shoot the ball on your way up…

  • M5

    Maybe Rando should ask Kobe for his shooting program. Just look what it for Ariza and Shannon Brown.

  • M5


  • ClydeSays

    It’s one thing for you and your coaches to have confidence in your shot. If you’re playing with 3-4 high percentage shooters, you get them the ball. That is why Rondo is the assist leader this season. I’d hope he keeps his shots around 10 a game. When Rondo takes alot of shot or is the high scorer, the C’s usually lose.

    As for that Mavs gave, the Celts let Dallas shoot 50% from the field and the refs gave the Mavs about 14 more FT’s. Hard to win like that…

  • JC

    When you’re on a team with Sugar Ray and The Truth you don’t need a jumper. You need to pass the ball, and that is what he does best. His j will get better over time.

  • paul

    He’s gotta keep working on it and keep shooting it.

  • TR

    Anyone notice that it looks more like Rondo´s trying to put a spell on the ball than actually shooting it in that pic? It´s been consistently amazing to me over the 18 years I´ve been watching the nba that so many players have such atrocious form on their jumpers. Here´s what you do: Watch Ray Allen, copy, practice.

  • The Philosopher 2.0

    Cut off ur finger tips

    It worked for me

  • B-BallMaestro

    It’s funny. Both this post and it’s comments are way off. We all know Rajon missed that shot last night. But that wasn’t the reason the Celtics lost. Pierce, Allen and Garnett missed easy shots in the closing seconds as well. Boston also blew their defensive assignments. That’s what the Boston press was up in arms about; not Rondo’s shot.

    As far as Rondo, he’s been hitting his jumper so far this year (and in this game as well earlier); so it’s a good thing that he took that shot, even if he missed. It’s part of his evolution. Rondo has hit big shots/game winners for the Celtics before (as that article noted). But those were usually desperation heaves when he had no choice.

    Rondo actually had time to think about this and all his team mates were covered; so he took it.

    Check the stats. He’s been hitting his jumpers this year, so far. So let’s not criticize or make fun of the guy, when he had the courage to take the shot. If he didn’t take it; you guys would criticize him for that.

    It’s all part of the process.

  • RedRum

    First he has to learn NOT to palm the ball. This is one main reason his shot sucks. look at the photo… appalling…

  • JalepinoSausage

    ‘Shoot the ball on your way up.’ comment made me laught almost as much as when i saw the headline for this article. Rondo plays with Jesus for cryin’ out loud !!! Yes = Apalling . It would be funny if LeBron started a brick making company before thursdays game to rub it in.

  • Zeiramsy

    It´s funny though how most people don´t get what this is all about. It is not bashing Rondo, man I love the dude. He is at worst, repeat at worst, the third best pg right now. His passing, defense and rebounding is off charts. Still he as two glaring holes and it would best serve the Celts and him if he fixed those.

    Now as to which hole is bigger and/or more important I still stand by my first comment, dude needs to seriously work on his FT% (sry I used the German FW earlier). His bad freethrow percentage makes him a liability in the late game (you want your best ball handlers to be your best freethrow guys all the time) and hinders his effectiveness at the rim.

    I agree Rondo doesn´t have to be a Nash-like-dead-eye shooter because he is pretty good ar rim. But if he get´s fouled every time and doesn´t convert the freebies that´s just bad.

    So Rondo get together with Mark Price, Calvin Murphy or Rick Barry!

  • JalepinoSausage

    RONDO … try PASSing it into the hoop.

  • Jagster

    Nice post Jalepino!

    Well Said!

  • Jagster

    Sorry. I actually meant zeiramsy; not Jalepino. Lol He made sense!

  • flipnoyce

    He’ll get that jumper fix before he retire. We all can’t expect you to do everything. Play at your pace and not everybody else’s. Stick to what you know and work hard for the things you wish to achieve. You’ll get that jumper down just ask Ray Ray to help you!!!

  • JalepinoSausage

    sorry . i don’t like the fact im like K.G. gotta live with what u got . amen

  • JalepinoSausage

    i wasnt saying this is bashing rondo . nobody cares that everyone else is. i’m just joking with them. do you think rondo whos an all star & has been in consecutive finals cares. hes got great shooters on the squad + hel be dissed until he gets a game winner himself to prove us wrong. & ten hel be hailed as a hero by all ANALists with no heart like U.

  • Juice69

    Once Rondo gets that fifteen footer….the two best PGs will be him and Dwill..then Drose..