James Jones has come up big in the small minutes he’s been given by the Miami Heat in the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs, but the fact that he’s seen the court in the postseason at all would come as a surprise to anyone who watched the manner in which James was held over on the roster while the Big Three era was being assembled. At at time when nearly the entire Heat roster was purged in order to create salary cap room for the re-signing of Dwayne Wade and the addition of LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Jones was re-added to the team at a veteran minimum salary only because he requested to stay, not because the team had any expectation of needing him or using him.
And yet in the three seasons that have transpired, the hometown hero and former University of Miami star has found his niche within the Miami Heat rotation. He’s called on as a sharpshooter as needed, sometimes platooning with the likes of Shane Battier or Rashard Lewis, and sometimes falling out of the rotation entirely – but always finding his way back into it. Sometimes Jones has been called on when least expected, such as when coach Erik Spoelstra inserted him early in game one of the Heat’s first round playoff series to create a spark, which he promptly did.
How many more minutes James Jones receives in the remainder of the playoffs is anyone’s guess. And with his current three year contract expiring at the end of the postseason, the thirty-three year old could opt to re-sign, or retire, or move on to a team which will afford him greater playing time. But for now he has an opportunity to land his third consecutive NBA Finals championship ring, whenever the Heat decide to call upon his services next.