Doc Rivers wants Rajon Rondo to improve his jump shot.
In other news, O.J. Simpson wants to get out of jail, Spencer Pratt wants his own TV show, and Kobe Bryant wants another NBA championship.
It’s no great revelation that Rondo’s jumper is the Achilles heel in his otherwise All-NBA caliber game, and in today’s media/fan climate — where everybody is an expert on everything and anybody will find a reason to criticize anything — it’s the one criticism he can’t get away from. Never mind that Rondo does just about everything else you’d want from a point guard (pass, protect the ball, run the offense, create havoc on defense) better than all but a few PG’s in the League, that broken jumper allows room for some critics to claim Rondo is not among the NBA’s elite despite all the evidence to the contrary.
“We want him to shoot the right shots,” Rivers told the Boston Herald as Rondo trains for USA Basketball. “The three-point shot, I could care less. I could care less if he takes another three the rest of his career as far as I’m concerned. But we have to get him to make the elbow jump shot.”
According to 82games.com, Rondo made only 37 percent of his jumpers this season, and the Herald said he made 33 percent of his shots taken between 16-23 feet from the basket. He’s also a 63 percent free-throw shooter for his career, and his numbers dip to 59 percent at the line in the playoffs.
“I think when he becomes a better free throw shooter it’ll make him a better driver,” Rivers said. “I think, unfortunately it happened in the Finals, when he started missing free throws he stopped driving. That’s what all guys do.”
Every star on the verge of superstardom and every young superstar in the NBA has at least one hole in his game. Perhaps none is as talked-about as Rondo’s jumper, but the list is significant:
- Joe Johnson‘s ability to take over a game.
- Derrick Rose‘s three-point shot.
- LeBron James‘ low-post game.
- Monta Ellis‘ range.
- Danny Granger‘s shot selection.
- Brandon Jennings‘ consistency and defense.
- Al Jefferson‘s defense.
- Amar’e Stoudemire‘s rebounding and defense.
- Dwight Howard‘s offensive repertoire.
- Tyreke Evans‘ passing.
- Kevin Durant‘s strength.
You would think that each of these players does so many things right, people wouldn’t harp on the few things they do wrong. But that’s not how it works these days, especially when you don’t have a championship ring or 11 to cover up your shortcomings. We want our athletes to be flawless, even though there has never been and will never be a flawless athlete in any sport.
Still, which of the above attributes, if properly fixed, could bring that NBA player attached to it the closest to a flawless game?