Derrick Jones Jr.’s bounce and stroke are showing up in training camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
Trail Blazers fans have been treated to video highlights of training camp practice this week.
With high-flying dunks from Derrick Jones Jr. to CJ McCollum’s smooth midrange game to Carmelo Anthony’s three-point fade away and everything in between.
In the video above Harry Giles’ face says it all after Jones Jr. cleans up the glass with a ferocious putback dunk.
The awe is there when witnessing Jones Jr.’s athleticism, just as Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts pointed out Wednesday.
He is such a dynamic athlete… I’ve been around some great athletes, I don’t know if I’ve been around somebody who has his bounce. It’s pretty impressive.
Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts
This offseason, Portland signed the free agent forward to a two-year, $19 million deal.
At 6’6” and 210 pounds, Jones Jr. averaged 8.5 points on 52.7 percent shooting from the field to go along with 3.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.98 steals in 23.3 minutes of action while playing in 59 games for the Miami Heat during the 2019-20 season.
Those DJJ jams in practice have been a big topic of conversation this week.
We’ve got one of the best dunkers in the world. He caused some oops, he caused some lobs. That’s always fun to be a part of.
Coach Stotts is also appreciative of how Jones Jr. continued to learn and grow last season while with the Heat.
He comes from a really good program. Being in Miami, I have a lot of respect for what Miami has done over the years, the way they teach their players, their system. So I think that’s helped him, obviously at both ends.
For his career, Jones holds averages of 6.7 points and 3.5 rebounds.
And not to mention, he’s the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest champ.
“He’s got natural athletic ability and along with that, I think he’s had some good teaching along the way,” Stotts added.
Jones Jr.’s three-point shot is something he himself said he is continuing to work on.
During his five years in the league, Jones Jr. has attempted 1.5 threes per contest while making just 28.2 percent.
But don’t let those numbers fool you into thinking he can’t become a dependable three-point shooter in the Trail Blazers’ system.
“I think he has a good stroke,” Stotts said. “Obviously, he hasn’t shown it yet in his career. But, I think he has a good release and I think it’s something that he’s going to get much better at.”
I’m encouraged especially when you look at the way Moe Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu ended up being important three-point shooters for us. I think he has that in him, and it’s just a matter of getting reps and gaining confidence because I think his stroke and mechanics are pretty good.
Trail Blazers fans will be elated to watch Jones Jr. go up and throw it down; and rise up and knock it down, there’s no doubt about that.