Upon further review, Rajon Rondo is already a good shooter

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The narrative of his lack of shooting ability is vastly overstated.

The common refrain when evaluating Rajon Rondo's game is "...if only he could shoot better."  Early in his career that was definitely a legit concern.  He wasn't just bad at outside shooting, he avoided it.  One some levels, that's actually the smart decision.  But at some point it created spacing problems as teams knew how to play off him.

But in the last few years, Rondo has improved his midrange jumper to the point where he's really very reliable with it.  Don't believe me?  Please go to the following link and read the whole article from Kirk Goldsberry (who always does wonderful stuff) at Grantland.  Here's a small blurb.

CourtVision: Everything You Think You Know About Rondo’s Shooting Is Wrong "

Rondo was actually one of the best elbow shooters in the league last season. Out of 141 NBA players who attempted at least 100 shots from the elbows, Rondo ranked fourth in field goal percentage in that zone – trailing only Jason Smith, Steve Nash, and Jose Calderon. Those are pretty good numbers for a guy who can’t shoot. Per Synergy Sports, he also earned a "very good" rating for shots off the dribble, and an "excellent" rating for long 2-point jumpers.

The one caveat that Goldsberry points out is that teams are still sagging off of him, which tends to leave him wide open for those shots.  It stands to reason that when they start honoring his ability to make the shot by playing up on him more often, he'll make fewer of those shots.  However, as they hedge out to cover Rondo, more space will be created behind them for cutters and rollers (off the pick and roll).  Nobody is better at finding the open man than Rondo, so this can only be a good thing.

Also, it needs to be pointed out that Rondo has been shooting a lot of jumpers during his rehab stint.  He had mixed results in his first game back but the sample size was way too small to make any rush to judgement on.

Last year he was still not making a lot of 3 pointers (also not taking many) and I'm not sure if he's added that during rehab or if he never will.  But I don't think he has to have that in order to be effective.  He's proven that he can hit the midrange shot enough to make it a weapon.  That's enough for me.  Everything else is gravy.

So let's all do our part to stop this "Rondo can't shoot" business.

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