Unbeknownst to most casual Miami Heat fans is the fact that resident swingman and three-point sharpshooter James Jones has been playing in the NBA for 10 years. While the baby-faced sniper appears young, he was in the same draft class as Miami Heat players LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. It's also worth noting that Jones is the secretary/treasurer of the NBA Players Association, as he graduated from the "U" with a 3.41 GPA and a degree in finance. While ever since the Big Three chapter of Miami Heat basketball commenced (most notably the signing of Ray Allen) Jones has seen limited minutes, his previous seasons conclude that he can be very productive.
A Miami native, Jones was picked 49th in the 2003 draft from the University of Miami by the Indiana Pacers and played limited minutes. Automatically Jones achieved journeyman status playing for three different teams within five years before he found a steady home in Miami. Nevertheless, in his seasons with Indiana, Phoenix, as well as Portland, Jones found himself being a top tire three point shooter, and often finished seasons with incredibly impressive percentages from beyond the arc. Despite his impressive play from long range it wasn't until the 2010-2011 season that he'd be chosen to compete in the All-Star weekend's three-point contest where he would beat out both three point shooting greats Ray Allen and Paul Pierce for the crown. Coincidentally, Jones would play 81 games that season for Miami, his highest ever.
In the coming season, Jones looks to take on former Heat favourite Mike Miller's role, and I personally believe he can accomplish this with ease. Jones has averaged stellar numbers over the course of his career (6.7 points per game, 2.1 rebounds, .405% three point average) and with additional playing time looks to improve upon those statistics. He's already proven himself, in the 2011-2012 season Jones often started in place of an injured Dwyane Wade and in doing so put up great numbers. Evidently, with the right amount playing time he can do great things. At this moment in time, Heat fans are concerned about Mike Miller's absence in the playoffs, but fail to realize Miami is one of the best three point shooting teams in the league. With Battier, Allen, and Jones at the helm, Miami is safe when faced with a deficit.
The Miami native is a strong contributor given the chance and contains intelligence on the court as well as off of it. It's sad that he's only being given his chance to shine in Mike Miller's absence, but I have no doubt that when the ball is passed to him from behind the three point line there will be no hesitation in his form.
More from Hot Hot Hoops:
- Ennis to begin pro career in Australia
- HHH Roundtable: 5 key questions regarding the Greg Oden experiment
- Miami Heat Player Countdown: #109-105
- LeBron James interviewed by Robin Roberts
- Miami Heat Player Countdown: 114-110
- NBA Commissioner for a Day: Hot Hot Hoops edition
- #LarryLovesMiami tour to take over South Florida
- Dwyane Wade - A Career Retrospective Chapter 5: The 2008 comeback following injury