From one James to another, LeBron is publicly pleading for more minutes to his teammate James Jones.
As reported by the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman, LeBron thinks that sharpshooter Jones needs to be on the floor more:
“We have to find some minutes for him. I don’t see why he shouldn’t play. He’s huge for us when he’s in the lineup. He’s big time.”
Jones’ abilities were a major factor in Miami’s sweep over the Charlotte Bobcats but finding playing time has been harder against the Brooklyn Nets. In Game 1, a 107-86 Heat victory, Jones only played 2 scoreless minutes; he didn’t play at all in Game 2, also a Miami win.
But with Miami down by 18 late in the fourth quarter of Game 3, Jones was inserted and played the rest of the game, scoring 9 points on 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. Here’s LeBron’s explanation for what Jones brings to Miami’s offense:
“It’s the space that he provides, and his ability to shoot the ball. You can’t do both when he’s out on the floor: You can’t help on my drive and try to contest the threes on him. You have to keep an eye on him.”
Ray Allen has gotten the bulk of the playing time off the bench, with reserve forward Rashard Lewis getting some minutes to provide the spacing that is essential to Miami’s offensive success. While Allen has been largely effective, Lewis hasn’t provided the same kind of spark.
But is Jones’ production simply “fool’s gold,” especially with the Nets mostly in control in Game 3? Or will he be able to make a difference as he did against the Bobcats?
Watch tomorrow’s Game 4 (scheduled to start at 8 P.M. on TNT) to see if Miami coach Erik Spoelstra adjusts the lineup to match the requests of his superstar.