Player Capsules: DeQuan Jones
By John Denton
May 6, 2013
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic’s run of six straight seasons in the playoffs is over, ending the Eastern Conference’s longest such streak. But not all is lost for a Magic franchise with a bright future.
The Magic have a history of success that says that the franchise will soon be back in the NBA’s postseason. In the past 20 years, the Magic have made the playoffs 14 times – the fifth most times of any NBA franchise. And since the 1992-93 season, Orlando has had a .500-or-better record 16 times – also the fourth-best mark in the NBA over that time frame.
There are plenty of positives to come out of the 2012-13 season as the Magic have established a core of promising young players and they have a base of veterans expected to return next season.
Orlando also has secured the best odds at getting the top overall pick in the June 27 NBA Draft. The draft order will be determined in the May 21 NBA lottery, a process in which the Magic have a 25 percent chance of winning. The Magic have won the NBA’s top overall pick three times, and the last time they were in this situation they won the top pick and used it to select Dwight Howard in 2004.
Looking back on the 2012-13 season, we here at orlandomagic.com are going to spend the next three weeks breaking down each of the players currently on the Magic roster. We’ll look at their stats, highs and lows from the season, a favorite moment and analyze their role for the future.
So without further ado, here is today’s Magic player capsule:
NAME: DeQuan Jones
JERSEY NUMBER: 20
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 6-8, 221
POSITION: Small forward
NBA SEASONS: 1
2012-13 SEASON STATS: 63 games, 3.7 ppg., 1.7 rpg., 43.6 percent FG, 25.7 percent 3-point FG, 66.7 percent FT.
2012-13 SEASON HIGHS: 13 points (March 27 vs. Bobcats); 6 rebounds (two times – latest Jan. 5 vs. Knicks); 2 assists (three times – latest March 27 vs. Bobcats); 3 steals (April 1 vs. Rockets); 2 blocks (three times – latest April 1 vs. Rockets); 36 minutes (April 5 vs. Bulls).
BEST MOMENT: Jones helped the Magic race to a big early lead in Charlotte on March 27 when he played his finest game of the season. Getting to the rim and knocking down open jump shots, Jones made six of nine shots and scored 13 points against the Bobcats. He had one of the Magic’s best dunks of the season in transition by flushing the ball with two hands and holding onto the rim for a couple of extra seconds for emphasis.
OF NOTE: Jones made 17 starts and boosted his numbers in those outings (5.4 ppg., 2.5 rpg.). Overall, he played 12.7 minutes a game in 63 appearances. He led the team in rebounding once and scored in double figures four times. He had at least one block in 19 games and a steal in 16 games. He blocked two shots three times and swiped two steals twice.
FUTURE ROLE WITH THE MAGIC: Jones, an undrafted rookie, played his way onto the roster with 22-point and 16-point performances in the preseason. He was a reliable reserve in head coach Jacque Vaughn’s rotation, playing hard and running the floor on a nightly basis. He has the size and athleticism to be an elite defender and he should progress as he better learns NBA defenses. Jones is arguably the best athlete on the Magic with his rare combination of size, speed and athleticism. But he clearly must become a better basketball player. Everything – from his jump shot, to his ball-handling to his awareness defensively – must improve if he is going to stick in the NBA beyond this past season. He’s expected to be a fixture around the Magic’s headquarters this offseason as he works to become a better perimeter shooter and playmaker off the bounce. If Jones can greatly improve his skills and combine them with his rare athleticism, he could be a versatile and strong reserve for the Magic next season. There will be newcomers to the Magic via the draft and free agency, and it will be up to Jones to improve in order to secure his roster spot next season.
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