Miami Heat: Derrick Jones Jr. is proof that Josh Jackson could max out here

Josh Jackson #20 of the Phoenix Suns dunks against the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Josh Jackson #20 of the Phoenix Suns dunks against the Miami Heat (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Miami Heat
Derrick Jones Jr. #5 of the Miami Heat dunks the ball (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Analyzing The Case

A couple of the main things that jump off the page in an identical fashion are the keywords “athleticism”, “explosive”, and “versatile”. They were both projected to be plus defenders in the NBA, although Jones Jr. has shown to be more versatile with his willingness and ability to bang bodies with power forwards on occasion.

You can also see the similarities in their abilities and deployment defensive. They are both “disruptive”, both lauded for their abilities to get in the passing lanes, and both highly praised for their abilities to contest and/or block shots.

Where you see “blue-collar” in Josh Jackson’s description or profile, you see the same thing in Jones Jr.’s, just with more verbiage. When the profile says things like “crafty and solid finisher around the rim”, “Good offensive rebounder and slasher to the basket”, or “Good one-on-one perimeter defender”, it’s saying that he shows the ability to “do the dirty work”, in other words.

If you also look at their individual game and playing style based on the eye test, they are eerily similar. They both need to work on their jump shots, while I trust Jones Jr.’s spot-up jumper more at this point, as he’s shown a penchant to knock it down when open.

They both excel by slashing and driving to the rim, where Jackson is better on the way with the handle, navigating angles, and finding his lanes, whereas Jones Jr. is the flat out better finisher once he gets to the cup. They are practically the same guy, with one having less buzz and draft capital attached to his name.

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When you look at what the Miami Heat have been able to do with Jones Jr., you have to imagine that they could have done that or better with a player as highly regarded as Jackson was upon entering the league. This is why I believe that Airplane Mode is proof that Josh Jackson could have been maxed out in Miami from day one.