Because he's 6-foot-11 with rare athleticism, Perry Jones has earned his way into Scott Brooks' rotation as a ‘utility defender'.
But to stay in it, Jones will have to continue providing the Thunder with some additional offensive punch, like he did against the Nets on Thursday with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting.
In particular, Jones must hit the corner three, like he also did against Brooklyn, drilling all of his career-high three 3-pointers from the corner.
“It's definitely an important shot,” Jones said. “It's a higher percentage than from the top of the key, that's how I feel.”
In recent seasons, with the importance of the 3-pointer growing league-wide, there has been a premium put on wing defenders who can also spread the floor by knocking down that open corner shot.
It creates space and gives superstar playmakers – like Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook – an outlet.
Jones has clearly realized that, working endlessly on that particular shot. And it's paid off. This season, he is 9-of-19 from deep, including an impressive 6-of-11 on the corner three.
Small sample size, but a good sign.
“I figured it would help the team, to be able to shoot well on the corner three,” Jones said. “Any time I come to the gym, I shoot more corner three shots than other threes.”