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Rajon Rondo’s 3 FTs versus Phoenix (Nov 17, 2014)

Posted by Steve Bzomowski on November 18, 2014

After a Knicks playoff game years ago, I was talking on the phone with Tom Thibodeau who was then an assistant with the Knicks. I said to him, Chris Dudley (who we both coached against when we were at Harvard and Dudley was an All-Ivy center at Yale) who is among the all-time worst FT shooter in NBA history, looks like he is on the deck of a ship lost at sea in rough waters, his balance iss so incredibly bad when he shoots a free throw. (How bad was he? Read this account of one trip to the line.) I said to Thibs: “Can’t someone just get him to stand still? To get his feet under him and leave them there? Does he have vertigo? I get dizzy watching him. It would have to be worth 10-20% at least”. Thibodeau said, “he’s got his own guy [meaning his own private shooting coach] and he won’t listen to anyone”. That coach was stealing money.

I neither love nor hate Rajon Rondo and his game. His court vision when he has the ball and his sense of anticipation and timing on defense are second to none. And that’s in a league of the world’s best athletes. But, man, is he a lousy shooter. All that stuff about him working with Mark Price a few summers ago – changing his shooting form and gaining confidence – is all just a bunch of junk. Price knows what he’s doing, but Rondo ain’t listening. Last night against the Phoenix Suns, Rondo (Rondo!) got fouled shooting a 3 pointer with 2.2 secs left, Celtics down 4. (Very stupid foul). The scenario is clear: make the first 2, miss the next, get the rebound and either score to tie or hit a 3 pointer to win. Except Rondo misses the first. Badly. Then Rondo misses the 2nd. Badly. Then Rondo misses the 3rd on purpose. The funny and sad and where-is-Mark-Price-now thing is the 3rd shot, the intentional miss, came closest to going in.

Rondo needs to change his release point, at least on his free throw. Get it up and out and away from his head and shoulder. Short stroke. Super short stroke to eliminate motion. Mimic Avery Bradley’s release point.

Hey, Rajon. I’m available.

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4 Responses to “Rajon Rondo’s 3 FTs versus Phoenix (Nov 17, 2014)”

  1. John said

    Yes! Someone tell Rajon that it’s never too late to learn how to shoot properly.

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    • Yes! But it doesn’t even have to be “proper” or correct. I honestly think he could temporarily divorce his FT form from his jump shooting form (an easy thing to do) and gradually have the new FT form assimilate into his jump shot.

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  2. Coach, in both the picture of Rondo and the picture of Avery Bradley, you can see that their palms (and even the bases of their palms) are touching the ball. But you guys instructed us to leave that open, to only have the fingers and fingertips touching the ball. What’s the deal?

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    • Palm on the ball is a bad deal. Just one of a host of problems with Rondo’s shot. Bradley has nice form, much improved over the past few years, but his percentage still isn’t great. What could help? Palm off the ball. Truth be told, even great shooters who have great results do things that are not optimal, but they have other strengths, other impeccable qualities to their shots that overcome those deficiencies. For people who want to shoot better – you, me, Rondo, Avery Bradley – it would be a good idea to train ourselves to get some space, a little air in there, to maximize use, the feel, of pads of fingers (Fred Hodson’s “millions of nerve endings”) on the ball.

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