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Heat F James Jones delivers big against Celtics

Posted on: May 1, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: May 1, 2011 8:22 pm
 
Miami Heat forward James Jones came up huge in Game 1 against the Boston Celtics. Posted by Ben Golliver. james-jones-happy

It's not often that a player who averages 5.9 points per game off the bench finds his way into the headlines following his team's biggest game of the season. But that's life on Sunday for Miami Heat forward James Jones.

The Heat defeated the Boston Celtics 99-90 to take Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series. It was a major win from a momentum and confidence-building standpoint, as the Heat struggled mightily during the regular season against the Celtics. Afterwards, the post-game praise from two of the game's greats went to Jones' performance off the bench.

"J.J. probably had the best game of anybody," Heat forward LeBron James told the Associated Press on a night when Dwyane Wade scored 38 points. 

"James Jones' 25 points off the bench was key for the Miami Heat, as was their execution of the drive-and-kick offense," NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson added on Twitter.

Like his Heat team as a whole, Jones struggled against the Celtics during the regular season, scoring just 15 points combined in Miami's four games against Boston, shooting 4-for-12 from the field. In characteristic fashion, all 12 of Jones' attempts during the regular season were three-pointers, as his role as the weakside corner three-point specialist is clearly defined. His job is to make defenses pay for over-committing on James and Wade. Knock down the shots when they're open. but no freelancing, under any circumstances.

On Sunday, Jones played that part to a T, shooting 5-7 from deep on his way to 25 points, and exceeding the number of field goals made and points he registered in all four regular season games against the Celtics combined. Jones' 25 points were not only a season-high, they were also the most points the journeyman forward has scored since he hit 25 for the Phoenix Suns more than four years ago, on Jan. 7, 2007. The AFP notes that Jones' 25 points was a franchise record for points scored off the bench during a playoff game.

Jones also single-handedly outscored Boston's bench, 25-23. That was particularly huge, given that most analysts agree that Boston is the significantly deeper team in this series.

His Game 1 shot chart is beautiful and it comes with no surprises. All seven of James' attempts came from deep, meaning Jones has now taken 19 three-pointers and zero two-pointers against the Celtics in five games this season. This chart simply reinforces the idea that there is something to be said for singular brilliance. it doesn't take an all-around game to be a game-changer in the playoffs.

Take a look.

james-jones
Comments

Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: May 1, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Heat F James Jones delivers big against Celtics

James Jones has not been a factor for the Heat in any of their previous encounters with the Celtics.  But, there can be no question he had a huge contibution in the Heat's success in game one of this series with the Celtics.  That kind of thing can happen, coming completely out of the blue.  I say congratulations go out to him on a game well played.  The author of this article spells out his performance well.  But, is this kind of performance by Jones likely to be duplicated in this series with Boston?  It's much more likely that it doesn't happen, even if Boston makes no adjustments (and I doubt they will).  Things like this just happen, and responding to it would be a mistake.  Boston needs to focus on their gameplan devoting the bulk of their resources to the known threats of this Miami team (spelled LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh), not  on a one time phenomenon.  But, what a game Jones had.  I'll bet he remembers that one for the rest of his life.


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