Brooklyn Nets: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson needs more minutes

(Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matteo Marchi/Getty Images) /

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson needs an opportunity to show what he really is for the Brooklyn Nets in the long-term with his rookie contract coming to an end.

The beginning of the season was a whirlwind for Brooklyn Nets forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. An adductor injury in his left hip and the birth of his son delayed Hollis-Jefferson’s start to the season.

An early bench role as he worked his way back into basketball shape meant fewer minutes and opportunities for the fourth-year man out of Arizona.

Since then, Hollis-Jefferson hasn’t gotten many opportunities to play a consistent amount of minutes, currently logging 21.1 minutes per game for the season.

The reasons for the low amount of minutes this season, after playing 28.3 minutes per game last season, included the additions of Jared Dudley and Ed Davis.

Dudley is a better shooter than Hollis-Jefferson, which allowed more spacing on the floor, something that coach Kenny Atkinson has been keen on, while Davis is a better rebounder, an area in which the Nets struggle in (27th in the NBA in defensive rebounds per game).

The emergence of Caris LeVert also meant more guards, like Joe Harris and Allen Crabbe, having to fill roles as forwards, knocking Hollis-Jefferson’s minutes down at times.

After the unfortunate injury to LeVert, derailing his season for at least a couple of months, Atkinson should be looking towards Hollis-Jefferson to contribute more often.

In the past two games, Hollis-Jefferson averaged 25 minutes, 14 points and 7.5 rebounds per game and shot 47.8 percent from the field.

He has always been a good defender, posting a positive Defensive Box Plus/Minus in each of his first four seasons, while averaging close to one block and one steal per game in each of those seasons.

Back-to-back games of consistent output show that Hollis-Jefferson is beginning to take advantage of his increased role, even after having to leave the Miami game for a brief moment with an ankle injury, leaving his status for Friday’s game against Wizards in question.

Hollis-Jefferson is set to become a restricted free agent this offseason and it would be beneficial to both parties if the Nets were able to see what they have in him.

Has he maxed out his potential as s solid role player, or is he bubbling to become a player that can give you 18 points and nine rebounds while shooting efficiently from the field and possibly from 3?

Right now, Hollis-Jefferson is shooting 1-for-12 from 3, and has never shot over 29 percent from 3 for a full season. It doesn’t look like he’s ever going to be able to shoot the 3 at a 40-plus percent clip, but it’d be nice to see that number improved if Hollis-Jefferson wants more minutes.

Giving the Nets even more reason to play Hollis-Jefferson more minutes is the fact that we know what Dudley and Davis are. As previously stated, we don’t know exactly what Hollis-Jefferson is or can be.

If he’s going to be one of the guys the Nets want to invest in long term, the Nets have to find out what exactly he is capable of.

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Only playing him 21 minutes per game is not going to do that. RHJ can help his case by shooting better from the free throw line and from 3, but it’s on the coaching staff to give him an increased amount of playing time for him to do so.