As several of us Pacers fans watched and blogged during last night's win against the Nets, we were wondering why Dahntay Jones has been so in-and-out of coach Jim O'Brien's rotation this season. He plays good defense, usually plays hard and when he's on his A game, he can become a catalyst for a win.
But he's never been fully utilized by O'Brien. Jones hadn't played in four of the previous seven games prior to Saturday. After averaging nearly 35 minutes per game in November and December, Jones has rarely played more than 25 minutes in games during March and April. So what's the deal? Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star had the scoop this morning.
For all of Jones' positive qualities, there is one part of his game that is severely lacking -- 3-point shooting. And it's lacking enough that O'Brien feels it makes him nearly obsolete on the court. Jones, who scored 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting in 31 minutes last night, is only 4-of-32 from beyond-the-arc this season. O'Brien told Wells that he'd much rather have a shooter spacing the court than what Jones brings to the table, which is slashing and cutting to the basket.
"Let me answer it this way: I like to space the court," O'Brien told Wells. "I think if we were to get a point guard that can really space the court, shoot the 3, I think you can get away with having a wing that doesn't space the court. He is a good player; he's good to have on our basketball team. I think we've had a lot of success recently because we've become a real tough team to guard when we space the court."
As Wells said, it looks as though Jones better spend his offseason working on his outside game. Jones said after last night that he's going to continue doing what he's good at, which is driving to the basket and making plays. But that's not good enough for O'Brien. Jones' up-and-down relationship with his coach will continue until he can drop a few daggers once in a blue moon.
More links after the jump.
- Box Score
- NBA.com Recap
- AP Story
PACERS: Murphy scores 25, Granger 22 as Pacers heat up to beat Nets, 115-102
Bruno's Inside the Game has all of the numbers, notes, quotes and highlights from the win.
Staying on a roll against the NBA's worst team
Mike Wells focuses on the Pacers' 3-point shooting as making a difference late in the season and during Saturday's win.
Quick Recap: Indiana Pacers 115, New Jersey Nets 102
Nets Are Scorching gives an offering from the opposition's perspective.
Not much playing time for D. Jones
Mike Wells blogs about Dahntay Jones and what he has to do this offseason to get increased playing time in coach Jim O'Brien's system next year.
NBA Draft: Who Should the Pacers Get? I Think DeMarcus Cousins
Always Miller Time takes a look into the future as the draft talk already begins for the lottery-bound Pacers.
Ron Tillery: Tinsley hopes to play at least 2 more years
Jamaal Tinsley's one-year deal with the Grizzlies is almost up, but the point guard hopes that it doesn't mean that he's finished in the NBA.
The Three Bright Youngsters Of The Indiana Pacers
Bleacher Report checks in on some hope that resides on the bench for the Indiana franchise.
Renaldo Major and the Dakota Wizards Brought the Defense Last Night in the D-League
After nearly becoming a Pacers (which is still cloudy as to what transpired to keep him from becoming one) D-Leaguer Marcus Williams had 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists last night. However, he also turned the ball over eight times and committed five personal fouls.