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Over the course of the Miami Heat's training camp, Hot Hot Hoops will give player profiles for all Heat players. Now up is the hometown sharpshooter, James Jones.
Who is he?
James Jones is the Heat's veteran sharpshooter who is the backup to the team's backup veteran sharpshooters, Shane Battier, Mike Miller, and now Ray Allen. He is a sentimental pick for a bench role because of his hometown ties as a former University of Miami and Miramar High star, but when given a chance, he is still a dead-eye shooter from beyond the arc.
What will his role be?
Jones played a very significant role during the first stage of the Heat's star-studded era. When Mike Miller went down with the first of many injuries in a Heat uniform in 2010, Jones emerged as the Heat's primary 3-point specialist and drilled enough shots from downtown to be invited to the league's 3-point shooting contest, which he won. His minutes and role dipped when Miller returned, however, despite Jones' consistent performance.
But it was a warranted demotion.
Jones is simply a situational player and a specialist in this league. The Heat will play more versatile options, like Shane Battier and Miller, as role players over Jones because they are better rebounders and defenders than Jones with comparable career shooting splits.
Jones played just 13 minutes per game in 51 games last season, and that won't improve with the addition of Allen to the team, who will suck up just about any available minutes Jones could have snatched.
Jones will continue to stay in shape and be ready if he is needed, while being an understanding teammate, but there is no way to see consistent time for him on the floor if this team stay's healthy.
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
Jones' one and only strength is his ability to shoot. He can flat out dial it in from long distance.
Jones is a career 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc and has netted 597 triples in his nine year NBA career.
His weaknesses are pretty much everything else on the floor. Jones is limited athletically, as evidenced by this hilarious attempt at a dunk, and he isn't capable of creating shots for his teammates. He is also a player that needs to be hidden on defense because his limited lateral quickness is a liability.
Now, given his ability as a shooter and the importance of that skill, the Heat are capable of hiding him on defense and finding use for him, but the depth on the team is overwhelming at this point.
There won't be anything bold about James Jones. Ever.