Brooklyn Nets Season Review: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Hollis-Jefferson’s showed significant progress on the offensive side of the court in his third year
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson has an unconventional style of play when he’s on the court, but he was arguably the Nets’ most effective all-around player in the 2017-18 season.
The longest-tenured Net made plenty of strides in his third campaign in Brooklyn and it was his progress on the offensive end that was most noteworthy. National media outlets have labelled Hollis-Jefferson’s style of play on offense as herky jerky as he has a unique shot and often drives into the lane fearlessly, yet it was quietly useful for the former University of Arizona Wildcat.
The 23-year-old saw his scoring average go up by an impressive 5.2 points per game – going from 8.7 ppg in the 2016-17 campaign to 13.9 ppg last season. Considering Hollis-Jefferson came into the NBA with defense as his calling card, the improvement shown on the other side of the court proves his increasing comfort level at the four spot.
“The way the game’s going, I feel like, now, that’s definitely my natural fit,” Hollis-Jefferson said in his final media session of the season.
In his first full season as a power forward, Hollis-Jefferson’s versatility made him a handful for opposing defenses at times. His athleticism and ability to create offense for himself or his teammates showcases why he can be an ideal fit at the position in the modern NBA. He often had nights that would make fantasy players gush.
Take Brooklyn’s April 5 win against Milwaukee for example. The forward had an incredible stat line of 14 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. Hollis-Jefferson had 12 double-doubles last season, he had 10 total in his first years in the league. It isn’t surprising that the Nets struggled mightily in the 14 games he missed.
"The way the game’s going, I feel like, now, that’s definitely my natural fit."Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Hollis-Jefferson offers tremendous value as a player who can influence the game on both sides. He can take the next step in his development as he gets more comfortable in guarding fours and more efficient on the offensive end. The forward is solid at playing perimeter defense and an impressive rebounder considering the size advantage he gives up each night. The challenge will be finding ways to use his athleticism and speed to excel in using positioning to contain bigger opponents.
“For the most part it was tough because most of the fours have been in the league for a while. They pretty much all have 15 plus pounds on me,” he explained before adding. “I think it’s about how hard you compete at the end of the day and coming out being ready to match that physicality, to match that energy.
“You’ve got guys like Paul Millsap who plays more than me, he’s strong, skilled, a veteran, you’ve got to know how to compete. Be ready, know his motor, know his game, know his tendencies, which I’ve done. I felt like I’ve done a really good job.”
Offensively, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson aims to improve his downtown shooting, as he converted 24.1 percent of his attempts on three-pointers last season.
“Shooting less mid-range and adding three’s,” Hollis-Jefferson said. “I would say just adding that to my game, I feel like would be better for our team and for myself…You want to do what’s best at the end of the day to make your team better. Coaches want it, staff wants it, teammates want it, so I’m all for it.”
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