Thunder's Perry Jones III still finding his way
Rookie out of Baylor has played inconsistently in inconsistent playing time. Coach Scott Brooks' advice: Just go out there and play hard.
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Thunder vs. Grizzlies
When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena
TV: FSOK (Cox 37, HD Ch. 722); ESPN (Cox 29, HD Ch. 720)
Radio: WWLS-FM 98.1, WWLS-AM 640
Three things to know
* The Thunder and Grizzlies are both on league-best five-game winning streaks. Memphis has won by an average margin of 12.6 points. Oklahoma City has won by an average margin of 10.8 points during its streak.
* The Thunder went 3-1 against the Grizzlies last season to move to 9-6 against Memphis in the Oklahoma City era.
* The Grizzlies rank in the top 10 in average points (100.7), rebounds (44.5), assists (22.8) and points allowed (91.7).
“It's probably one of the most difficult things that can be in this league. It's the highest level, and if you don't have a rhythm you're not going to produce.”
For a player like Jones, however, the correct counter is not necessarily as simple as being more aggressive. Jones fancies himself on fitting in, not forcing the issue, and should he begin trying to press, it could disrupt everything he naturally does well.
“When you've only got a few minutes, you don't want to be so aggressive that you don't play within your own limits,” Brooks said. “And he's a flow type of player. He likes to play in the flow. He's a team player. He's not a guy that's going to try to get seven shots in 10 trips down the court.”
For now, Jones said the plan is to take the advice of his coach.
“The best thing I can do is control my effort,” Jones said. “If I play with a lot of effort, the rest will come eventually. That's how I see it. Just control my effort and play with a lot of energy, especially on the defensive end, and things on the offensive end will come later.”
Brooks knows it's only a matter of time. But he also insists Jones hasn't been bad in the interim.
“He's done a great job. We love what he does,” Brooks said “I just told him to go out there and play hard. I'm not worried about him making shots. Sure, I would like to have him making shots and I'm sure he would like to make shots. But it's really about his energy. And I can't complain about his energy. Every time we throw him in there he's given us good energy.”