Phoenix Suns Practice Report: Dwayne Jones To The Rescue!

This is where a picture of Dwayne Jones would go...if there was one in the AP or Getty libraries that we have access to. (Photo by No One)

Well, not exactly...In fact, don't expect too much from the newest Sun, Dwayne Jones.

Steve Kerr called him an "insurance policy" who may or may not see limited minutes. Coach Gentry talked about having another big to bang in the playoffs in case of additional foul trouble or injury .

But don't tell Dwayne that - he's got a pretty high opinion of himself.

When asked why the Suns picked him over a couple of other D-league centers who were called up this week he said, "Because I'm the best one. I mean honestly, I've been told all year that I was the best big guy down there. Unfortunately, it took this long but I'm glad for this opportunity to be part of a playoff team. I think that's saying something where you didn't get picked up by a last place team for the last ten days, you got picked up by a playoff team and they think you can help. This is a championship-level team and I just want to fit in anyway I can."

What's great is that he managed to perfectly walk the line between cocky and confident. On screen, that comes across as arrogant, but in person he carried it off well and that fits with what Alvin Gentry gave as the Suns' reason for picking him:

"Very nice kid. I think chemistry-wise he fits in. That's important to us as to who we bring in. There's some other people that we talked about that we just didn't feel would fit in chemistry-wise. Really nice kid."

On the court, Dwayne might be a Lou Amundson activity rebounder type. His 17 points and 16 rebounds while averaging 40 minutes per game for the Austin Toro's certainly sounds impressive and he does seem like a sharp kid.

What I don't see is much size despite being listed at 6'11", 250lbs.

Standing next to Earl Clark who is listed at 6'10" in shoes from his pre-draft measurements, Jones was a tad shorter. He didn't strike me as having a huge wing span and he certainly is not a wide body. He might - might - be the same size as Jarron Collins. Not exactly a Robin Lopez mountain of a man if you know what I mean.

So basically, don't get your hopes up. Dwayne is here to give a bit of extra depth. The contract that he signed just moments before talking to us gives the Suns a team option for next season which doesn't have to be picked up until next season. That means he can be included in trades this summer as filler in a trade if need be or he was easily be waived.

Always keep your options open if you can.

Maybe Jones will surprise me, but I am not holding my breath (which is a good thing because I would probably pass out after a few minutes).

Congrats to Grant Hill for Being A Great Sport:

SUNS GRANT HILL AMONG DIVISIONAL WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR 2009-10 NBA SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD


NEW YORK, April 5, 2010 - Already the only two-time winner of the NBA Sportsmanship Award, Suns forward Grant Hill could win a third Joe Dumars Trophy this season after it was announced today that Hill is among the 2009-10 divisional winners. Atlanta's Al Horford, Boston's Ray Allen, Cleveland's Antawn Jamison, Denver's Chauncey Billups and Houston's Luis Scola were also selected by a five-member panel of former players as divisional winners for the 2009-10 NBA Sportsmanship Award.

The NBA Sportsmanship Award, designed to honor a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court, is voted on by NBA players. The NBA will announce the winner after the regular season.

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Other Practice Notes (in paraphrase form for brevity and rapidity)

Amare Stoudemire

Andrew Bogut Injury - One of those freak accidents. Painful to watch. Exchanged long voice mails. Praying for him. Didn't know how serious when it happened. Not pushing the issues about rescinding flagrant. Wish Andrew best with his recovery.Only right that crowd boo'd. Didn't bother me at all. Media makes a big deal.

Rest of Season - Next games are going to be tough, playoff type games. Continue to bring effort and play hard full 48 minutes. Close to playoff like games. Fans intense. Got to rest and make sure you're healthy but also go hard for last 5 games.

Dyane Jones - Didn't go too much today. Haven't seen him play yet.

Robin Lopez - Tough without Robin. Big guy, helps on the boards.

Steve Kerr

Dwayne Jones - Insurance policy for us. Best rebounder in the D-league. NBA experience. Great kid. Great reports on character. Our kind of guy. Need more manpower with Robin's injury. Maybe give us a few minutes here or there. Never bring a guy in unless he can help. In playoff can be one possession where a guy can help. More likely spot duty. He many never get in. Needed insurance of big strong re-bounder in block

Robin Lopez - Even if he does come back, what kind of condition will he be in. Major set-back. Everyone else going through the same thing. Denver, San Antonio. Much more concerned about future than present.

Amare's Flagrant Foul - Exchanged texts with Stu Jackson. Didn't seem flagrant. It's under review

Fake Twitter - I don't read any of that stuff. Had couple of guys in college went to bar and pretended to be me (Kerr). Said it didn't work for me (Kerr) so definitely not going to work for you

Coach Gentry

WC Coach of the Month - Can I enjoy it for a day?

Stretch Run - We are in the playoffs right now. We could play any of the other playoff teams. No way to know how it will end up. If we win all our games we will end in 2nd. If we struggle we will be in 8th. All good teams left on our schedule. Much rather be in this situation than last year where we were playing out the stretch.

Real physical games with playoff type games. Have to understand that going in and adjust to officiating. All teams are going to play each other over this stretch. Can't prepare for the playoffs but there's no way to know who we will play.

We don't have a choice about resting guys before the playoffs. Just have to lace 'em up and go.

Robin Lopez - One of those deals, we won't know for another week. He says he feels pretty good. Have to wait and see. Not like he's a guy averaging 20/10 but he feels like that guy for us. Lot of things he bring that aren't on stat sheet. We miss his sheer size. Have to compensate for injuries. Other teams dealing with it too. Hope that guys can step up.

Dwayne Jones - He's a big kid. Heck of a rebounder. Lead the NBDL in rebounding. Nice kid. Good fit chemistry-wise. Designated screener for Delonte West and Jameer Nelson. Same role here. Good size. Someone to help bang on bigs when playoff starts. He's here in case there's an injury. Our rotations are set. Foul trouble if it happens.

Health - Steve took it easy. J-Rich shot a bit. Light practice today. Those guys struggling with little injuries so we left them out.

Gentry 040510

Dwayne Jones

  • Got the call on Friday. Got to Phoenix last night. Just signed contract right before interview
  • They were honest with me. Chance I could play. Chance I might not play at all
  • Asked to rebound, run, defend. My staple
  • Hard to go back to D-league after playing in the NBA
  • Grateful to Austin Toro's and Coach Snyder for their help. Better prepared now than last time in NBA. Working on game for year and half in Austin. Mostly offensive stuff. Focused defensively
  • This is an opportunity in front of NBA coaches
  • Just need to get the Suns terminology down. Basketball is basketball
  • Familiar with Spurs system from being in their affiliate and being in their summer camp. Spent some time guarding Duncan in camp
  • Audio: Dwayne Jones 040510

Other Links:

Opening Day with AZ Snakepit - For Arizona Diamondbacks Fans!!!!

NBA.com : Suns Dance Bracket 2010
GO VOTE for our girls!

via Suns Dynasty

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