Improving jumpshot is next phase for Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr.

Shandel Richardson

Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. has captivated audiences with his leaping ability for most of his playing career.

Now, he's ready to take the next step.

After winning the slam dunk contest during NBA All-Star Weekend, he wants to elevate his game to another level. That includes being labeled as more than just an athlete and becoming a scoring threat from the perimeter.

"If I have to choose one thing [to work on], it would be my jumper," Jones said. "I have the ball-handling to do what I want. I have the athleticism to do what I want. Once I get that shot - I got it - but when it gets consistent, that's a wrap."

Jones has gradually improved as a shooter over the years. This season, he has made only 28 percent from the 3-point line despite opponents giving him open looks. Jones has spent plenty time working with team shooting coach Rob Fodor. He said he plans to increase his commitment the second half of the season.

Silencing doubters in nothing new for Jones. In 2016, he went undrafted out of UNLV but was signed by the Phoenix Suns for training camp. After one season of playing mostly in the G League, he signed a two-contract with the Heat in December of 2017 and later earned a guaranteed deal. He has since developed into a rotational player because of his defense and ability to rebound. If Jones can develop a consistent outside, it could lead to an even bigger role.


Comments (1)
Harvey Fialkov
Harvey Fialkov

Gordon had the best dunk ever! Chance threw ball off side of backboard and Gordon caught it one handed and finished with a gorgeous windmill job!