Herb Jones Isn’t Just An Option on Offense, He’s a Weapon

NEW ORLEANS – For the duration of his brief NBA career, Herb Jones has been a mainstay among the NBA’s defensive elite. He’s piloted New Orleans’ sixth-ranked defense over the last two seasons. But in year three, Jones’ offense is at the forefront. He’s averaging an efficient 11.5 points per game on 64.7% true shooting (89th %tile) all while shooting a blistering 43.6% from three on a solid 3.6 attempts per night.

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Herb Jones Is Posting Career-Best Shooting Numbers Across the Board

A 10 percent jump between seasons is massive, especially when paired with a leap in volume and shot difficulty. The confidence is palpable. Jones pulls off the catch without hesitation and over contesting defenders. He relishes the space created by Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum. The Pelicans can incorporate him in shooting actions knowing defenses will respect his jumper.

With increased shooting gravity, defenses treat Jones like the shooter he is. Their harder closeouts give Herb Jones room to attack off of the catch, flashing his further improved handle and decision-making skill. And Jones is shooting a career-high at the rim — 66% — making the most of his lanes when he attacks the cup.

Close-out attacking from Jones makes the most of New Orleans’ creators. His craft as a handler and stride length let him navigate tight spaces and he’s even comfortable finishing with his right hand. Caleb Martin closes out to hard to Jones, allowing him space to attack the middle of the floor.

The next step for Jones’ offense, ascending him further towards stardom, would be expanding a basic pull-up jumper. He’s shot just 12 pull-up jumpers this season (admittedly higher volume than last season) but he’s flashed some transition runners lately that could be the foundation for something more.

Herb Jones’ evolution on the offensive end is pushing him and his team’s ceilings to new heights. The heart and soul of the Pelicans’ defense is far from an offensive liability, commanding defensive attention and capitalizing off of the offensive stars’ gravity. He fits in any lineup, not just because of his defensive versatility but his offensive skills as well. Jones’ ascension to becoming one of the league’s best three and D wings will be key in the Pelicans’ hunt for a title. 

Analysis by Ben Pfeifer

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