Terrence Jones Turns a Rockets Weakness Into a Strength
For the season, Jones is averaging 11 points and nearly 8 rebounds per game and 1 block per game. Since January 1, he is averaging just under 17 points, 11 rebounds and nearly 2 blocks. His field goal percentage has improved as well from 51 to 53 percent.
This includes a 36-point outburst against Milwaukee on Sunday and 25 against New Orleans (and his old Kentucky teammate) last week. Since Christmas he's scored in double figures in all but three of the Rockets 13 games with three games over 20 and one over 30. Perhaps his most complete game was in Washington where he put up 19 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks, shooting 50 percent from the field and not missing a free throw (still an issue for the youngster).
Jones has not only become a legit starter at power forward, he has all but solved a problem position for the team and given them options when it comes to trading Asik. Before the emergence of Jones, the Rockets almost certainly were forced to go after a forward in a trade. But, now, they could look for defensive help on the perimeter or try to acquire some shooting, especially considering how bad the Rockets have been from the three point line -- one of their greatest strengths the last couple of years.
Of course, the toughest task for any young player is not just playing well but sustaining it over time. Jones will need to work hard at keeping his energy level up and adjusting as the league begins to figure him out. But, even if he can provide solid play at the position, it certainly alleviates what was a significant weakness for the Rockets and perhaps even turns it into a strength.