Terrence Jones looks to, maybe, have found himself over the Rockets' current, three-game win streak. He has started to show a little bit of the Jones that people have waited for.
Jones has been able to showcase the skill that Rocket fans and potentially interested NBA GMs have been waiting for. Jones has run the floor very well of late, taking guys off the dribble and finishing strong at the rim. He has always been able to get to the rim, but finishing was always something that has been a little bit of a work in progress. Jones of late is now a finisher and has brought much more of his inner-beast to the court.
"I just went out there to be aggressive," Jones said after the win on Monday, "I got easy baskets for my teammates (when) they found me in the lane, just trying to make easy plays to stay out there."
The question now the Rockets brass must ask themselves: has Jones started to turn a corner, and is this the Jones they well see game in and game out? Orm is this the same Jones that is just feeling it and will cool off?
Right now Jones' value has to be sky-high, there could be a team out there that thinks Jones could maybe flourish with a starting role. Just recently we had a story about a trade that seems to be out there, in which Jones would likely be the centerpiece (despite his impending restricted free agency).
"Finding your time is a challenge sometimes," Jones said of trying to stay aggressive more often.
An NBA team might see that and say, "If only he had a starting role on our team, he could be a consistent double-double guy."
"Coming in off the bench is just a little different and I'm just trying to maintain staying warm over there," Jones said, "Coming in with (a) little sweat is tough sometimes."
It's clear Jones will do and has done whatever he needs to do in order to contribute to a winning team. But maybe a team sees that Jones can start for them more than the Rockets need him on the bench.
In the win over the Hornets, Jones did more than just contribute, he provided some things not many other bigs can do. He had a few coast-to-coast drives and scored a fair amount of his points off the dribble. On defense, he was ferocious, showing off his springs and was that extra rim protector that really helped the Rockets lock down the paint.
So the question is: are you buying into T-Rex Jones? I think everyone all knows Jones has the "potential" to be really spacial. Some evaluators and people around the league have even compared him to a Josh Smith-type of player if he was able to put it all together, and while people have mixed feelings about Smith now. The Smith of his prime was pretty damn good, and you would hate to trade that away.
Off the bench this year, Jones is averaging 20.7 minutes a game, 9.3 points, 5 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. He's also shooting over 40 percent from deep. That's completely unsustainable, but still.
The Rockets are in no rush to deal Jones, but if current trends continue and Jones go back to being inconsistent, the less interested teams will be.
Sidenote: As much as I love playing armchair GM these are the tough choices that separate the armchairs from the professionals. It is easy to say just trade Jones, but if he becomes the player wanted when they drafted him, it's a choice that will come back to haunt you.
Working on a T-Jones piece just curios what you guys/gals think. Vote please.— Dr. Joshua Reese (@MrJoshua) December 22, 2015
From the votes, it doesn't seem like many other people know what to do about Jones.