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Miami Heat Player Countdown: 5. Eddie Jones

Chapter 64 of the offseason-long countdown sees HHH honor guard/forward Eddie Jones.

Eddie Jones, a 6'6" guard and forward from Pompano Beach, FL, was born on October 20th, 1971. After attending Ely High, he played three seasons for the Temple Owls, averaging 16 points with six rebounds per game. The Los Angeles Lakers selected him in the first round of the 1994 draft, with the 10th overall pick.

Jones made the all-star team twice in his five seasons with the Lakers (314 games), scoring 15.2 points with 3.8 rebounds and three assists per game. He then played a season and a half with the Charlotte Hornets (102 games) scoring 19.2 points with 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 dimes per contest. Before the start of the 2000-01 season, the Hornets traded him with Ricky Davis, Dale Ellis, and Anthony Mason to the Heat for PJ Brown, Rodney Buford, Tim James, Jamal Mashburn, and Otis Thorpe.

In 2000-01, Jones started in 58 of his 63 appearances, playing 36.2 minutes per game. He shot 44.5% overll, and 37.8% from three-point range, scoring a team best 17.4 points with 4.6 rebounds (team fourth), 2.7 assists (team fourth), and a team best 1.7 steals per game. He finished with 10 or more points 56 times, helping the Heat to a 40-23 record. In a 103-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 22nd, he scored a season high 31 points with eight rebounds and three blocks. He put up 22 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists five days later, in a 91-79 win over the Indiana Pacers. On Groundhog's Day, he scored 24 points with 12 boards, five assists and three steals as the Heat defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 91-80. Miami earned the third seed with a 50-32 record, but lost in three games to open the playoffs to the Hornets. Jones totaled 57 points with 18 rebounds, seven assists and three steals.

2001-02 would see Jones start 81 games at shooting guard, averaging 39 minutes per contest. He scored a team leading 18.3 points with 4.7 rebounds (team fourth), 3.2 assists (team third), a team best 1.4 steals and one block per game (team second). He hit 39% of his three point attempts and 43.2% overall. He topped 10 points 75 times. On November 24th, in a 100-96 overtime loss to the Cavs, he hit five-of-eight three pointers, finishing with 27 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four blocks. He poured in a season high 37 points with five rebounds, four steals and four blocks on January 29th, as the Heat won an overtime matchup with the Denver Nuggets, 100-94. On February 28th, in a 100-86 win over the New York Knicks, he scored 32 points with five assists and three steals. The Heat went 36-46, missing the playoffs.

Miami would go 17-30 with Jones in the lineup in 2002-03. He shot 42.3% overall and 40.7% (NBA tenth) from outside in 38.1 minutes per game. He led the team with 18.5 points per game, with 4.8 rebounds (team fifth), 3.7 assists (team second), and 1.4 steals (team second). He posted double figures 39 times. On December 14th, he hit 11-of-16 shots, including four three pointers for 38 points, with six rebounds, five steals, and four assists in a loss to the Golden State Warriors, 101-92. In a 105-100 overtime loss to the Houston Rockets two nights later, he racked up 32 points with 10 rebounds, seven assists and six steals. In another overtime loss, a 126-116 decision to the Memphis Grizzles on February 28th, he scored 24 points with seven assists, six rebounds, four blocks and three steals. The Heat posted a 25-57 record, missing the playoffs by 11.3 miles.

In 2003-04, Jones started 80 games at shooting guard, playing 37 minutes and scoring a team high 17.3 points per game on 40.9% shooting. He shot 37% from three point distance, and pitched in with 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists (team fourth), and 1.1 steals (team fourth) per game. He failed to reach double figures on only 11 occasions. On January 2nd, in a 112-101 win over the Orlando Magic, he scored 33 points with eight helpers and six rebounds. A week later, he earned his only double double of the season in a 103-94 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks with 15 points and 11 assists. On January 26th, he scored 27 points with five steals in a win over the Rockets, 95-81. Miami returned to the playoffs with a 42-40 record, earning the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. After eliminating the New Orleans Hornets in seven games, they bowed out after six games vs the Pacers. Jones contributed 13.2 points with 3.6 rebounds over his 13 appearances.

Jones spent his last full season with the Heat in 2004-05, starting 80 times at small forward. He shot 42.8% from the floor with a 37.2% clip from deep. In 35.5 minutes per game, he averaged a then-career low 12.7 points (team third) with 5.1 rebounds (team fourth), 2.7 helpers (team fourth), and 1.1 steals (team fourth). He reached double figures 58 times, and helped the Heat to a 59-23 record. In a 113-106 win over the Bucks on November 17th, he scored a season high 27 points with four rebounds and three assists. On January 14th, he played 50 minutes in a two overtime, 114-112 loss to the Clippers, scoring 18 points with 11 rebounds and six assists. In a 125-115 win over the Phoenix Suns on March 25th, he hit eight-of-13 shots, including four three-pointers for 23 points, along with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. After securing the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Heat went on to sweep the New Jersey Nets and the Washington Wizards in the first two rounds of the postseason before getting dropped in seven by the Detroit Pistons. Jones started all 15 games, contributing 13.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.

Eddie Jones NBA Highlights ( Rare Highlights) (via DamnMixes)

Jones departed Miami for Memphis as part of a five team trade which also saw the departure of Qyntel Woods, Abert Miralles, Rasual Butler, and two draft picks (Edin Bavcic and Nikola Pekovic). The Heat neted Antoine Walker, Andre Emmett, James Posey, Jason Williams, and Roberto Duenas in the transaction. Jones played 104 regular season games for Memphis over two seasons before getting waived by the Grizzlies on January 30th, 2007. Miami resigned him two days later through the rest of the season. In 35 games for the Heat (27 starts), he averaged 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 29.5 minutes per contest. He shot 44.6% from the field and 37.8% from outside. On March 5th, in an 88-81 win over the Hawks, he played 40 minutes and scored 21 points (partially on four-of-seven three point shooting) with three assists, three boards, and three steals (a triple-triple!!!) Two days later, in Miami's next matchup (a 103-70 laugher over the Chicago Bulls), he tapped back into that old magic to the tune of a six-for-eight performance from beyond the arc, finishing with 23 points and six helpers. Miami went 44-38 overall, and 23-12 with Jones on the floor. Their finish left them with the fourth seed, where they lost in four straight to the Bulls. Jones was a non-factor in 66 minutes, totaling 10 points with six rebounds and five assists.

Jones played one more NBA season, appearing in 47 games for the Dallas Mavericks in 2007-08. I'd imagine his biggest regret as an NBA player was the fact that he was with the Heat through their buildup, left just in time to miss their NBA title run, then came back afterward. On Miami's all-time leaderboard, he ranks sixth with 6,194 points, 10th with 1,738 rebounds, seventh with 1,152 assists, and seventh with 515 steals.

All-Time HEATline: Six seasons, 387 games, 36.4 minutes, 16.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.6 blocks, 16.5 PER, 46.0 win shares.