3. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had seriously been missed
For the first time since last season, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson stepped on the floor for the Brooklyn Nets when he entered the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night with 5:33 left in the first quarter.
He had a rough go of it early, as his shooting touch just wasn’t there.
He missed both of his shot attempts in the first half, but had a couple of rebounds in nine minutes and played very well at the other end as his return gave Brooklyn back its most versatile defender.
That was something that was noticeably absent against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday, the Nets’ first game without injured Treveon Graham, who had filled in as Brooklyn’s pesky, switchy defensive ace.
RHJ heated up in the third quarter, scoring on three straight possessions during the Nets’ big burst and finished the night with eight points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes, going 3-for-10 overall and missing both of his 3-point attempts.
The shooting touch will return — it will just take some time to get back into the flow of NBA game speed. But what he adds to this team with his defense, rebounding and his ability to get the ball off the glass and then bring it up to get the offense going will be big moving forward.
This is a big season for Hollis-Jefferson. While most of the attention was on D’Angelo Russell not getting an extension of his rookie deal before the Oct. 16 deadline, RHJ did not get an extension, either, and will be entering restricted free agency next summer.