Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a vital piece to the Nets’ roster. His play this season is to be respected. Parts of his game have seen improvement, while other aspects need work. No matter how you spin it, he is a player on the rise.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a fascinating NBA player. He doesn’t fit the mold of the new-age NBA in terms of shooting the three-ball. RHJ has a knack for getting to the rim; He also loves the mid-range shot. To put it simply: Hollis-Jefferson playstyle is a nod to the throwback era of the NBA. However, even with limited shooting skill, it doesn’t stop him from getting where he wants to be on the court.
2017-18 the Break Through Season:
The 2017-2018 season is turning out to be transitional one for the former Arizona Wildcat.
To put it in perspective: per basketball reference, RHJ’s rookie season saw him play 61 percent as a shooting guard. Fast forward two seasons later, and you’ll find Hollis-Jefferson’s minutes are all dedicated to the forward spot. As alluded to earlier, he is an intriguing player. He is posting career-highs in every free throw category, points per game, minutes, rebounds, and field goal percentage.
At the halfway point of the season RHJ is finding his footing in the league. He is starting to realize his current limitations on the perimeter. Instead of forcing the issue RHJ is focusing on polishing his midrange game. The proof is in the statistics; Hollis-Jefferson is posting a career-high in baskets made from 16+ feet. Once again, a hat tip to players of decades past.
Looking at the box scores alone, it’s evident that Hollis-Jefferson is an improved scorer. This season, in seven out of 40 games he scored 20 or more points. He achieved a career-high 25 points (10-16 shooting) versus the New York Knicks without recording a single three-point basket.
Posterizing a Unicorn:
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s performance against the Knicks on December 14 is a showcase for many bright spots in his game. He took Kristaps Porzingis to the rim on multiple possessions.
RHJ’s physical build makes for matchup nightmares when lined up against opposing power forwards. Standing at 6’7 and a lean 220 pounds, Hollis-Jefferson is not a pushover by any means. RHJ’s ability to finish at the rim correlates with his vastly improved midrange shooting.
The Midrange Master?
Per cleaningtheglass, his short midrange (outside of 4 feet but inside of 14 feet) is up 13 percent from last season, shooting 42 percent. It’s a positive sign to see the upgrade, but if you take a deeper look, it’s his shooting percentage from long midrange (shots outside of 14 feet inside the three-point arc) seeing the bigger enhancement.
RHJ was shooting a pedestrian 34 percent in the midrange area last season, to an impressive 51 percent in 40 games this season.
Area for Growth – Perimeter Shooting:
This point of emphasis transitions us to his next need of improvement: three-point shooting.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s career three-point numbers are nowhere near respectable. This isn’t dooming him by any means. The growth in RHJ’s midrange game and free throw numbers are a sign of encouragement. He is only 22 years old, thus giving him ample amount of time to find the three ball.