Has Rondo's shooting improved?

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One of the most unexpected moments of All-Star Weekend came during Saturday’s HORSE contest. Rajon Rondo, a 59% free throw shooter with an infamously iffy jumper, was definitely a surprise choice to compete in a shooting contest. Even more surprising than Rondo’s inclusion was how well he did. Rondo held his own with dead-eye shooter Kevin Durant throughout the contest, matching him three for three at the end of the contest. 

That display has led some fans to ask the question that will always accompany Rondo’s greatness: has Rondo’s jumper improved? WEEI’s Paul Flannery is the one asking the question today, and he finds that while Rondo’s outside shot isn’t much better than it was last year, he has improved in some key areas. 

Rondo has actually gotten worse on threes and long twos, but has made huge strides on mid-range shots. Rondo has converted shots from the <10 foot range and 10-15 foot range at a much better rate than last year. This has helped Rondo raise his overall FG% to a career-high 53%. 

Rondo isn’t a long-range bomber yet. He’ll always be more dangerous going to the basket than taking a deep jumper, and he seems to recognize that. By utilizing midrange shots, Rondo is building his shooting game around his ability to drive, which is becoming a lost art in the NBA. Rondo is becoming a more complete player, even if his future games won’t look much like his performance in HORSE. 

Al Horford shows he still has hops dunking on Solomon Hill (VIDEO)

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That’s just nasty.

Atlanta’s Al Horford gets the ball out high, but within his range, so when he pump fakes Indiana’s Lavoy Allen goes flying by. That opens up the lane and Horford attacks it, Solomon Hill tries to cut him off, but Horford just finishes threw him.

Pacers and Hawks played an entertaining, close game Friday night.

Dwyane Wade shows he still has hops with dunk on Hornets (VIDEO)

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Dwyane Wade still has some springs.

In what may be his best dunk in recent memory, he shoulders Michael Kidd-Gilchrist to create space in transition, then gets up and throws it down before Nicolas Batum can get there for the block.

Not sure even Wade saw that one coming.

Reigning dunk champ LaVine: ‘I’ve got tricks up my sleeve’

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine is heading back to All-Star weekend to defend his slam dunk title. And he says he has “a few tricks up my sleeve” after dominating the event last year.

LaVine will compete against Detroit center Andre Drummond, Denver swingman Will Barton and Orlando forward Aaron Gordon in Toronto next weekend.

LaVine was one of the breakout stars of All-Star weekend last year with his electric performance in the dunk contest. He says he debated about coming back and made his decision after strong encouragement from his fans.

If LaVine wins, he will become the fourth player in the 31-year history of the event to repeat as champion. Michael Jordan, Jason Richardson and Nate Robinson are the others.

Report: Blake Griffin has second procedure on hand, timeline remains unchanged

Blake Griffin
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Blake Griffin will still return to the Clippers some time in March (barring any setbacks).

That said, he had a second procedure this week to repair the boxer’s fracture in his right hand, reports Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Clippers forward Blake Griffin underwent a second procedure this week on his broke right hand, sources told ESPN. The procedure was a part of the original surgery last week, so sources said the 4-6 week timeframe for his return remains unchanged.

This might help explain why Griffin’s hand looked so swollen and scarred this week. But to be clear, this was a planned second procedure, not a setback.

Griffin suffered the fracture punching a Clippers’ equipment manager while everyone was out to dinner in Toronto recently, while Griffin was still sidelined with a quadricep injury. The Clippers have moved on, but it is likely the league will tack on a couple of game suspension for Griffin upon his return to health.

And no, the Clippers are not looking to trade Griffin in spite of this. So stop asking.