Derrick Jones Jr. Proves Worth In Dallas Mavericks’ Win

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The Dallas Mavericks knew they were getting a savvy experienced defender who is also a significant lob threat when they defeated the Miami Heat to sign Derrick Jones Jr. in free agency over the summer. They most likely were unaware that in just his third game with the team, he would put up 20 points.

As Kyrie Irving was out due to a foot sprain on Monday, the Mavs defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 125-110 on the road. Jones took on the role of Luka Doncic’s co-star for the game.

He shot 7–10 from the field and 4-6 from beyond the arc to finish the game with 22 points and four rebounds. Only three times in his career had Jones been able to score twenty points.

“For me personally, I have put in a lot of work behind the scenes,” Jones said after the game. “For this far in my career, I haven’t got the recognition that I think I deserve, and I feel like this year is just going to be the year. I’m going to shoot the ball whenever I get open shots, drive whenever I get the open lane, and play simple basketball.”

Many wondered if head coach Jason Kidd had made the proper choice in starting Jones ahead of fourth-year wing Josh Green after the team did not produce much offensively through the first two games. Jones demonstrated to us on Monday just what the Mavericks believe this season will hold for him.

When asked what he wants in a starter in Jones, Kidd responded, “He made all the threes.” “We want him to be who he is. He’s skilled. He’s played for a very long period in the league. He’s only 26 years old. He’s become better at defense, which is something he enjoys doing.

“I don’t think he came into league as a shooter, but he’s worked on his three, and you can see that tonight. There’s going to be nights when he makes them, and there’s going to be nights when he doesn’t, but it’s about his competition or his competitiveness on the defensive end that we’re watching.

We know with Luka [Doncic] and Kyrie [Irving],everyone’s going to get open shots, and it’s just a matter of being consistent. We all trust that Derrick [Jones Jr.] is going to do that, and he did that tonight.”

Even though Jones only has three games under his belt, he has already shown that he is well worth the veteran’s minimum contract that Dallas offered him in the summer. The Mavs are off to their first 3-0 start since the 2004–05 campaign. If Jones can keep contributing in the same manner as he did on Monday, the team will accomplish a number of other firsts that it hasn’t seen in a long time.