Jones comes off bench, pushing at 4

Jones comes off bench, pushing at 4
October 6, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Terrence Jones came off the bench in the Rockets’ first preseason game but the second-year forward might end up making a case to start.

In 23 minutes, he scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting and gathered five rebounds. Donatas Motiejunas, who started, scored four points and got six rebounds in 24 minutes against the Pelicans on Saturday night.

“I’m really not worried about starting,” Jones said. “I’m just worried about finishing and helping win games and I just think that comes with playing good basketball and good defense and just trying to do whatever it takes to win.”

Jones was a first-round pick in 2012. Motiejunas was a first-round pick in 2011. While Motiejunas started the game, Jones got some work with the starters at the four as well.

“Both struggled at times defensively at what we’re trying to do,” head coach Kevin McHale said. “They’re gonna have to play with those other guys, setting screens, helping them get open and not look so much to chase the ball around but play a little bit differently.”

The Rockets want to see how viable it is to have Dwight Howard and Omer Asik on the floor at the same time but Asik missed the first preseason game. In that scenario, Howard would play the four. But even if that experiment does work, it’s unlikely Howard and Asik would be able to be on the floor together for extended periods of time, which leaves the power forward spot up for grabs.

“I think that coach is trying all different type of things to see what works best,” Jones said. “It’s still early so I know they’re going to be trying a lot of different things and that’s what I’m trying to prepare myself for.”

As a team, Jones said the main thing is still chemistry, learning how to play with a bunch of new faces. Individually, he said there’s plenty he needs to continue to work on. But he’s already made an impression on the Rockets’ big free agent pickup. At media day last week, Howard mentioned Jones first when asked about players who have impressed him.

“It means a lot,” Jones said. “Coming from a guy that’s such a big presence down low and such a big asset to this team. It means a lot and I just want to keep working hard so he keeps saying good things about me.”