Kevin C. Cox
Dahntay Jones is relishing in his opportunity for an increased role with the Atlanta Hawks.
The February trade that brought Dahntay Jones to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Anthony Morrow was little more than a footnote that was lost in the Josh Smith rumorpalooza. However, Jones is starting to see an increased role with the Hawks and could eventually play a big part once the team reaches the postseason.
Jones is very appreciative of his time with the Dallas Mavericks but welcomed the trade to Atlanta and is pleased with the results so far.
"They have a great group of guys, they play hard, they play together, they're very focused, they have fun with the game, so I have no complaints," Jones said of the Hawks. "And they're playing for something.
"And the sky's the limit for this team, so it's a great situation to be in."
Jones brings another player capable of defending the wing and the small forward position which has been a need of the team for most of the season. DeShawn Stevenson has filled the role on most nights but has not been playing in back-to-back games because of lingering knee issues. Jones gives Larry Drew another option on nights that Stevenson is not available.
"I have a role and I have a certain set of skills that these guys need and kind of appreciate," Jones said. "The thing in Dallas, the parts were constantly moving and they were trying to find the roles on the run.
"But here, they knew what they needed and they're trying to fit me into that equation and I'm just trying to do my best job of complementing the guys that are on the floor and trying to help them out. That's been the hardest process so far - playing with guys that you have no prior knowledge of and you don't have a flow with, but I'm going to try to learn the plays and play with these and try to help them out as much as possible."
Jones showed against the Nets on Sunday that perhaps he could be more than a back up defender option. In that game he hit 6-7 shots and finished with 13 points while fitting nicely into the Hawks transition game. It will be interesting to see how Drew tailors his rotation as the post season approaches and whether or not Jones can work his way into a bigger role.