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Rajon Shoots Like a Center

Must-read link from the holiday weekend: Hoopdata’s graph-infused look at which types of shots players at particular positions are most likely to shoot. The site—which is becoming a must-visit for hoops geeks—breaks shots down into five categories: 1) at the rim; 2) shots between the rim and 10 feet; 3) shots from 10 feet to 15 feet out; 4) long-distance twos; and 5) three-pointers.

The results aren’t shocking, but there are a ton of interesting tidbits there. Good read the post.

The site then examines some outliers—guys whose shot selection is way off from the “normal” shot distribution at their position. And guess what? Rajon Rondo is such an outlier. In fact, his shot distance distribution almost exactly matches that of a typical center. Rondo: The  Shaq of Point Guards.

Here’s Hoopdata’s blurb:

So much for all those jump shots Rajon Rondo took in the offseason. Rondo is still the same point guard looking to attack the rim rather than settle for the open jump shot. If anything, his jumper has gotten worse as his field goal percentage on 16 – 23 foot shots has plummeted from 40 percent last year to 23 percent. He still has plenty of time to work things out things out but one has to wonder if Rondo will ever develop the outside game. He certainly doesn’t need it to be successful. Just ask Tony Parker.

Celtics fans watch Rondo’s jumper with the intensity of teenagers watching snowy porn, so finding out that Rajon’s shot chart is Shaq-like isn’t surprising. I’d take issue with Hoopdata on one thing: Tony Parker was indeed a successful player back when his jump shot was below average, but he jumped to another level when he became a dependable outside shooter. And his doing so allowed him to assume a larger role in the Spurs offense right at the time that Duncan needed someone to take some of that responsibility.

The C’s Big Three could use something similar.

  • Joel W

    I’ve thought Rondo’s real issue is that his hands are too big to be a good shooter. Those same big hands that let him do those amazing fake behind the back passes, prevent him from shooting well.

    Shaq, Dwight Howard, et al have the big hand issue. Has anybody else had this thought before?

  • Jason

    I’ve thought about it, yeah, but even if his hands are big for a 6’1″ guy, they can’t be bigger than KG, Dirk, Sheed, Turk, Rashard and many other big men who can shoot, right? He can palm a ball, but so could MJ and so can a lot of other good shooters. I don’t think it’s a good enough excuse

    There’s innate shooting skill, mechanics and repetition. Someone like House or Ray has all 3. Rondo apparently has none. The two big examples that always stick in my head when thinking about developing Rondo’s jumper is Tiger Woods and BBD. Tiger made a decision to rebuild his swing mid-career. It was two years before his new swing was reliable and he dominated again. How long could we reasonably expect Rondo’s supposedly new and improved mechanics to become muscle memory and repeatable? And BBD took multiple Js a game last year for months before they finally became reliable. Rondo’s taking just one a game. I don’t want him to be recklessly jacking it up all the time, but how is it going to get game-ready reliable at that rate? When it’s blow-out time, Rondo needs to play, not sit, and be allowed some freedom to go take a few Js in a row in the flow of the offense.

  • MJ had pretty big hands, no?

  • Mitch

    leave Rondo alone, he is the engine of the celtics, who cares how he shoots so long as he can pass, steal, make plays, and put buts in the seats…your little report didn’t mention all the good things he does, you are just a wanabee basketball expert. 13-4 no complaints

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  • I think that Rondo is great with his inside shot. I think he is a great PG, but as far as is out side shot’s He needs to work a little more on that and not just throw up anything. Find his as you as his sweet spot on the floor and run withit. It works for Allen and Wallace maybe it can work for Rondo if he work at it of course.
    All in all Rajon Rondo is still one of my most favorite players in the NBA, he proved that his first year in.

  • I LOVE the CELTICS!!!!
    Even though I am from the ATL. the Celtics are my favorite team.

  • Rajon Rondo is basicly still a rookie and you are comparing him to like player’s like MJ, Dirk, KG, Ray, and the Sheed. Yes, he is supose to be of a certain calaber, but, he has to work at it just like all of the great one’s that came before him. NOT AN OVERNIGHT SUCCESS.