Second year forward Terrence Jones was an unsung hero in Monday night’s win. Jones played a career high 32 minutes against the Toronto Raptors, and finished with 7 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks; but it was his versatility on defense that helped shut down Rudy Gay, who shot a horrendous 11 for 37 from the field.
Coach Kevin McHale hinted that some additional reserves would play because of the injuries and illnesses going around the Rockets locker room, but nobody could have predicted Jones playing the number of minutes that he did, as he had only logged 16 minutes for the entire season so far.
McHale surprisingly started Jones in the 2nd half in place of Omer Asik, a sign that perhaps he may go away from starting both Asik and Dwight Howard together. In Tuesday’s practice, he spoke about his decision to play Jones:
“That big lineup — I am 50/50 on that. Jones played some big minutes so I thought we should leave him in there. Terrence works hard. … For him to not play (regularly in the team’s first seven games) and then to play 32 minutes, I was proud of him.”
Jones had battled through a tough off-season in which he was arrested for allegedly stomping on a homeless man in his hometown of Portland, Oregon after a huge Summer League showing in July. Jones was named to the Orlando Pro Am Summer League First-Team after averaging 15.8 points and 7 rebounds.
Now, with the Omri Casspi struggling, the time could be now for Jones to step up and become a part of the rotation.