Share “Thunder's Perry Jones III still finding...”

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.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: November 13, 2012
Advertisement

photo - Oklahoma City's Perry Jones III (3) moves towards the basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.  Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Oklahoma City won 108-88. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Perry Jones III (3) moves towards the basket during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Toronto Raptors at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012. Oklahoma City won 108-88. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Perry Jones III sought out Scott Brooks just before taking the court for pregame warm-ups on Monday night at Detroit.

The rookie forward wanted to ask his coach for his counsel.

“I wanted to ask him how come in the preseason my rhythm came to me like it did but now it's hard for me to find it out here,” Jones said.

But before Jones could ask, Brooks knew the issue and already was prepared to address it.

“I didn't even have to say nothing,” Jones said. “He already knew what I was going to ask. He told me before I even had a chance to ask him.”

Jones, the 28th overall pick out of Baylor, has appeared in exactly half of the Thunder's first eight games. He's never sure when his next opportunity will be.

That's partly why, after an encouraging preseason, Jones has gotten off to a slow start in the games that matter. He's averaging just 0.5 points, 1.5 rebounds and 0.5 assists. He's made only one of seven shots, a 14.3 percent clip, and turned it over three times.

“In defense of him, it's nearly impossible to play consistently when you don't have consistent minutes,” Brooks said of Jones, who has averaged just 8.3 minutes. “And I told him that. Just go out there and play hard, play with energy and have some fun out there because your minutes are going to be inconsistent.”

A lack of production, however, might be the least of Jones' concerns at this point. Like most rookies, he's looked unsure of himself, at times appearing out of the loop on the court if not downright disengaged. There have been moments in which Jones has displayed his versatility and naiveté on the same sequence.

In one game, he successfully brought up the ball on a fast break but then strangely played a panicky game of hot potato with it immediately upon crossing halfcourt, looking for anybody to pass off to. In another game, Jones used his imposing 6-foot-10 inch frame to make himself a big target on the left block but then looked unsure of himself on the catch and missed an awkward layup attempt after appearing to get away with a traveling violation.

Jones admitted that the inconsistency has been a tough adjustment and conceded that he's not as comfortable now as he was in the preseason, when he averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 21.3 minutes.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
+ show more


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).

Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    Carmelo Anthony likely will miss Friday's game against Thunder
  2. 2
    Marcus Smart could play this weekend for Boston Celtics
  3. 3
    Creed's Scott Stapp Reveals He's Homeless in Jarring New Video
  4. 4
    Injury could mean Xavier Henry gets cut from Lakers
  5. 5
    Couple suing famous Little League team over bad throw
+ show more