Terrence Jones has already made the most of his latest D-League call up and without a defined starting option at the power forward position, the Houston Rockets need to give Jones a real look before the playoffs begin.
Jones showed the type of contributions he’s capable of in two recent games, scoring 14 and 13 points respectively against Sacramento and Denver and earning game time with superb energy levels. He hit the glass hard in those two outings (combined 18 rebounds) and showed an outside touch the Rockets love to utilize from the power forward position.
The inconsistency issue that plagued him at college is obviously still a factor as a rookie in the NBA. In a 14 minute stint against Portland wedged between the Sacramento and Denver games, Jones failed to exert any type of impact and tallied just a single rebound.
In a recent interview with OregonLive, Jones discussed the NBA transition and his recently improved play.
“The whole NBA game has been different to college and it’s fun,” Jones said of playing in the pros.
Jones said extra playing time, in both the D-League and the NBA, and the subsequent fitness that has come with extra minutes has helped him improve. Jones also acknowledged coach Kevin McHale’s approach to playing the ‘hot’ hand when it comes to finding minutes for Houston’s power forward committee, meaning the 21-year-old rookie is well aware of what he needs to know to get on the court.
Jones averaged 19 points and nine rebounds in his time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers this season, a far cry from the four points and two rebounds he averaged during limited minutes earlier in the Rockets’ season. With just five games remaining in the regular season, the time is running out for the rookie to establish himself before the second season comes around.
Robert White covers the Houston Rockets for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.