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During Second Stint in Dallas, Dominique Jones Impressing the Mavericks

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As we noted here, the Dallas Mavericks were optimistic with the big picture outlook when it came to Dominique JonesJust over a week ago, Rick Carlisle and the rest of the Mavericks had live and in-person look at the rookie guard out of South Florida as he returned to the Mavericks due to the knee injury to Caron Butler.  Jones had spent the past several weeks in Frisco with the Mavericks D-League Affiliate, the Texas Legends.  The rookie averaged 18.7 points, 5.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 10 games for the Legends.

In his first game back with the Mavericks, Jones totaled nine points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in 21 minutes during the 104-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The shooting percentage, 20 percent, was not great but that shouldn't be used against the rookie as the rest of stat-sheet shows that the rookie was able to be a positive influence on the team.  "I like his toughness," Carlisle said.  "I like his ability to make plays with the ball, he's a good defender, he's a good rebounder.  He has given us good energy at both ends of the floor, and so we'll need all those things from him going forward."

"I just like his approach," Carlisle said.  "He worked hard down (in Frisco), and Nancy Lieberman did a great job using him both at the two-guard position and he got a chance to play extended minutes at point (guard), which is good, because I think that's a position he can play down the line."  One of the intangibles that really stands out to the people in the organization is Jones' court vision.  "DoJo" has said that he can use his ability to get into the lane as an advantage by sucking the defense in and finding an open teammate. Multiple members in the Mavericks organization have raved about the way Jones can see the floor and his ability to pass the ball.  He is viewed as a player that is very unselfish and he has an incredible sense of court awareness.

The injuries have mounted for the Mavericks and that led to the rookie coming back up to the Mavericks.  With a new live body, one who has a ton of energy and willing to compete hard on a day-to-day basis is a valuable addition to any team.  Tyson Chandler said that the inclusion of Jones was, "a breath of fresh air."  In addition, Mark Cuban believes that the rookie can bring a lot to the table.  "I think (Jones) has shown us a lot of good things.  He's shown he can penetrate, he's shown he can pass and create shots for other people, it has been good," said Cuban.  While commenting on Jones' potential, Cuban said, "I like him more as a (point guard), right now.  I think as his shooting improves, he will be more of a (shooting guard).  If he can improve his shooting, add a post-up game, he will be unstoppable."  That outlook only presents one side of the court.  Even with the potential on offense, the Mavericks see Jones as an all-around player with his added defensive intangibles.

"I'll play anything. Coming from the D-League, seeing how it is down there, you kind of take this league for granted," Jones said. "From now on I'm just playing hard. I don't care who I'm just playing against, how big, how short, whatever. I'm just going to do whatever I need to do and hope that what I do is better than what they do."

Jones is a long way from where he ultimately wants to be as a player, but the Mavericks believe that he can reach his potential.  One thing is for sure, Tyson Chandler is definitely a fan of the rookie.  The center commended the rookie on his flexibility as Jones played a game for the Legends in Frisco and then flew overnight to join the Mavericks in their game against the Cavaliers.  "That is definitely difficult but when you're hungry, you're hungry," Chandler concluded.  "He's a young fella that's hungry and he wants to succeed and get his opportunity in this league and he showed it."