By Drew Packham, NBA.com
LAS VEGAS –– Dallas guard Dominique Jones is doing all he can to make his way into the team’s rotation.
Sunday’s performance wasn’t a bad opening statement.
Jones, the 25th pick of the 2010 Draft, scored 32 points with eight rebounds in the Mavs’ 88-77 win over Denver. Jones has struggled to find playing time in Dallas (7.9 minutes per game in two seasons), bouncing back and forth with the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.
“This year, I’m kind of looking in the mirror and saying I have to get back to the old me,” Jones said. “They’re either gonna like my game or hate it. To each his own. I’m gonna come out here and play my game the way I want to play and do the things I wanna do and show my game how I’ve played my whole life.”
With two seasons under his belt and career averages of 2.5 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists, Jones sees Las Vegas a chance to show the team what he can do.
“Every year is a big year,” Jones said, “but … I think this year I have a chance to show what I can do. I’m just trying to come out and get a good rhythm.”
Coach Rick Carlisle says he’s looking to see more than just scoring from his third-year guard, who will now be competing with newly acquired point guard Darren Collison and returner Roddy Beaubois. The Mavs also drafted Jared Cunningham and picked up shooting guard Dahntay Jones in the trade with Indiana.
“In a Summer League situation, I have no doubt he can score a lot of points,” Carlisle said, “I’m looking for him to be a distributor and be an all-around guy, get a few more rebounds, a few more assists.”
Carlisle says he wants to see Jones become more of a floor leader and improve his mid-range jumper. Jones was 12-for-25 in Sunday’s win, going 1-for-3 on 3-pointers, but handed out just two assists.
“We really believe in his ability to play both guard positions,” Carlisle said. “And he’s playing mostly point guard with this team, which is good. He’s going into his third year so he’s seen alot of it. He’s had enough minutes to know what it’s all about.”
Still, Jones wouldn’t mind earning a few more minutes.