The missing link to Rondo’s game since coming into the league has been maintaining any kind of range from away from the basket. This includes both jumpers, as well as free throws that seem so simple yet can give players fits. To begin the year we didn’t know what to expect. He came out of the gates and shot 3-12 from the stripe after missing 9 straight. Couple that with the fact that he didn’t even dare shoot a jumper because almost every time he did he would back rim it. When shooting free throws in a practice gym, you should be able to make atleast one out of three, and he could not do that during open practice. It wasn’t like he wasn’t trying, though. People said he was in the gym hours before the game simply shooting free throws to try and get them down.
After making his first free throw in ages against Golden State, it was like the pressure of shooting free throws was finally off his back. Since then he has improved on this aspect of his game greatly. In the last 6 games in which he has attempted free throws, he has gone 15-21 for 71.4%. Laugh now, but his career free throw percentage is 62.7%. What do we ask for? Anything in the 70’s. The thing is, if he is going to be a driver to the basket, he is going to get fouled, after which, he needs to go to the line and make the opponents pay for fouling him.
Infact, I would hazard a guess that his improved confidence in going to the line, has allowed him to get to the rim more often. There has been 9 games this season where he did not go to the line at all. In the last couple of weeks, he has made atleast one trip to the free throw stripe for 4 out of 4 and 5 of the last 6 games. I would have to say that is not a coincidence.
As for his jump shooting game, what a releif. He is making a high percentage of jumpers to the point that I dont think it is a poor posession if it ends up with him shooting a 15-20 foot jumpshot. If he is open, bombs away. Throughout the regular season is his time to work on that. He can prepare it now, for the postseason when it can become a lethal weapon where other point guards can’t sag off him. Not only visually, but statistically as well has Rajon Rondo been showing his confidence on his jumper.
Jump shooting totals:
@ Bulls 3-5
@ Wizards 4-10
Vs. Bucks 1-1
@ Spurs 2-4
@ Bobcats 1-1
Total 11-21 or 52.4%
Understand that these are not field goal percentages, but jump shooting percentages taken off shot charts. I could learn to live with those numbers from a player who is not supposed to be shooting the ball, but simply driving. I say go for it, let him shoot. Perk worked on his game with the absence of KG last year, now all we need is Rondo to expand on his ways of scoring to have an extremely dynamic offense that is already mixed in with our skilled defense.