A Look at Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's Growth

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has been a tantalizing prospect since his first days in Brooklyn. His elite athleticism and absurd wingspan, combined with decent defensive instincts for a young player, allowed him to quickly find a role in his rookie season. After an injury knocked out most of his rookie campaign, however, Rondae struggled to find a way to contribute on the offensive end during his sophomore season. His speed advantage on the wing was not enough to overcome his shaky jump shot.

However, Rondae found success offensively down the stretch of last season after moving to power forward. His 6'7" frame may have been a bit small for a big man, but he was able to make up for that relative lack of height with his 7'2" wingspan. His poor jump shot became less of a concern in the frontcourt, and his speed and ability to drive to the rim became more of an asset.

Hollis-Jefferson has built on that success this season, as he is having the best year of his young career. With similarly sized DeMarre Carroll as the other starting forward, Hollis-Jefferson can alternate between the forward spots to take advantage of his opponents. Despite Brooklyn's disappointing run of injury luck, Rondae's breakout season has been a bright spot in Brooklyn.

Time to Shine

During his first two seasons in the league, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson averaged 7.9 points per game on 43.8 percent shooting in 22.2 minutes per game. This season, Rondae is averaging 10.2 field goal attempts per game after fewer than seven attempts per game in each of his first two seasons. His minutes have also increased, as he is second on the team in minutes per game at 28.1 per contest. In most cases, a player becomes less efficient on offense with more minutes and more shot attempts. However, Rondae is shooting 48.5 percent from the floor this season and is averaging 14.6 points per game to go with 5.9 rebounds and almost two assists per contest.

The biggest reason behind RHJ's improved offensive play is his vastly improved feel near the basket. During his first two seasons in the league, Rondae would charge wildly at the rim and throw up a prayer of a shot, hoping to either draw a foul or luck into a circus shot. This season, Rondae has been driving to the rim just as much, but his control is far better than in the past. Instead of wildly charging towards the basket, Rondae has displayed enough patience and feel to wait for the right angle and the decisiveness to strike as soon as that angle becomes available: