2015-2016 DFS Breakout Ballers: Terrence Jones
This is the second installment of a 10 part series spotlighting players that will make a significant leap in the 2015-2016 NBA season. Check out the first feature on Reggie Jackson. Each player featured in this series are prime prospects to target in season long formats, as well as early season DFS lineups before their prices rise. Let’s get into it!
Why We Believe
Over the past three seasons, Terrence Jones has battled though injuries and competition for playing time within the Houston Rockets starting line-up in order to make a name for himself within the NBA. During the 2014-15 campaign, he posted career highs averages in blocks, offensive rebounds, and three-point percentage per game. Jones’ ability to run both sides of the floor in transition and create space on the floor in half –court sets makes him a dangerous asset for Kevin McHale’s team. Jones began the season by sitting out the first 49 games due to a nerve injury that made him unable to move his left leg. Despite his absence and the integration of Josh Smith, Jones was able to start 24 games and become a critical two-way player for the Rockets.
Terrence Jones has proven he can play and hold his own when he is on the court. He has displayed youthful athleticism and a willingness to play defense within Houston’s frontcourt. He is able to find a way to impact the game despite entering a reduced role off the bench during the Western Conference Finals and Semi-Finals. His activity along the glass provides second chance points and physicality that has depleted with the absence of Donatas Motiejunas and an injured Dwight Howard. Jones is under contract for the 15-16, unlike Smith who could test the market if the Unrestricted Free Agent and Houston fail to reach an agreement in the off-season.
What the Numbers Tell Us
Jones has statistically proven that he can be an efficient finisher within the paint. 60% of his points during this past regular season came within 8ft. of the hoop. The Rockets also averaged more points and shot attempts within the paint with Josh Smith off of the floor. Additionally, Terrence Jones has demonstrated the ability to operate within pick and roll situations with either as the ball handler with Dwight Howard or by establishing space for Harden. As the roll man, in those situations, Jones is third in points per possession at 1.43 and improved his efficiency from the field by shooting 70%. The need for an effective finisher within the post area is critical for the success of the Houston Rockets. The absence of Dwight Howard for stretches of games during the regular season has left gaps in the frontcourt that must be filled, and Jones is more than capable.
The Houston Rockets must continue to improve defensively if they are to remain a dominant force within the Western Conference. So far within the Western Conference Playoffs they are 2nd worst in their opponents points per game at 110.5, and the worst adjusted field goal percentage1 amongst any team to make it out of the first round at 51.5% At the conclusion of the season, Jones finished 11th overall in blocks per game finishing better than teammate Dwight Howard, and All-Stars such as Marc Gasol and DeMarcus Cousins. Jones’ tenacity on the defensive side of the floor extends to the offensive end with his ability to create possessions and second chance points for the Rockets with his rebounding. With the demeanor that Jones plays with throughout the game it is hard to doubt his potential. Especially after posting 8 total double doubles and one more than his counterpart Montiejunas had in more than double as many games.
It can be pick your poison when coming to a decision of how to handle Jones especially with the potential increase in his role. However, Jones must find a way onto the floor to bolster his claim as an emerging Power Forward within the Western Conference. Barring any potential setbacks the quantity of his playing time should be more similar to his 13-14 season, where he started 71 games and averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds per game.
1 The average field goal percentage of an opposing team, factoring in 3pt. and Free throw percentages.
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