Is DoJo Ready For Mavs Call-Up?

Question: What is the best way to get over a 3-game losing streak? Answer: Win twice in a row over the defending D-League champions. ... That's the Legends' news on the court, and now this UPDATE: Off-the-court word is that Dominique Jones is being called up to the Mavs to fill a void left by Caron Butler's injury.

First, to the team:

Winning? That's exactly what the Legends did this week to get over their recent skid. Whatever spell the Dakota Wizards put on the boys a couple weeks ago has clearly worn off as the Legends rang up a couple of wins over their in-state rivals the Rio Grande Valley Vipers by scores of 101-86 and 112-108 in an overtime thriller. While the wins aren't surprising, the way in which they occurred was as the Legends became reacquainted with old friend Mr. Defense. He was a welcome guest and the 86 points allowed by the Legends in Game 1 was a sight for sore eyes.

Now to DoJo -- who is reportedly Cleveland-bound for tonight's game because of the If you are an Caron knee injury -- and the rest of the Legends ...

While the "DoJo-PG Project" continues, we focus on his progress as well all of the players' successes in this week's Down On The Farm Report … from Dominique Jones to the rest … On to the (DoJo-focused) Legends' player evaluations! As always, these stats are weekly averages.

Dominique Jones, G, 15

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

46

27.0

42%

91%

3-9

5.5

6.0

1.0

0.5

12

There were some interesting developments this week in the continued experiment of Dominique Jones playing the point guard position. Here are a few things we noticed over the past 2 games:

  • While DoJo still handled the ball for the majority of the game, he also played off the ball more than he did last week. Specifically, he played off-guard more down the stretch during the fourth quarter and in overtime during the second game against RGV, while Justin Dentmon handled point guard duties. This was probably because of the simple fact that DoJo is more effective at shooting guard than he is at point guard right now, and believe it or not, there was a game to be won. Coach Lieberman was likely just playing to her team's strengths in order to win, but it was interesting to see that when it was "winning time," it was Dentmon bringing the ball up the court and not Jones.

  • Even more so than last week, Dominique looked comfortable with the ball in the open-court rather than in the half-court. By no means is he ineffective in the slower game, it's just that he is down-right dominant at times when the game speeds up. If there is any crease or opening down the lane, Dominique WILL take it to the basket. Additionally, when he gets to the basket and hangs in the air at the rim, you can really tell how special he can be at finishing with contact. He still has his occasional problem consistently finishing when he gets there, but he truly has special potential (there's that word again).

  • You'll notice that his assist numbers are up this week. That is good news in itself, but it was also good to see progress in the type of assists he was getting. Three-point shooting was down across the board for the Legends, so Dominique's assists weren't coming just from him driving and dishing to the corner three. He was driving and making more passes leading to lay-ups and easy buckets. We were very impressed with the passes he completed in traffic just out of reach of the defense. Specifically, his chemistry with Joe Alexander and Rece Hampton around the basket seems to increase with every game.

  • Dominique's entry passes in the half-court set looked much better than last week and he looked more confident delivering them. Joe Alexander was consistently bodying up at the low post this week and DoJo's ability to deliver a quality entry pass with Joe in position helped contribute to the big week Joe had.

  • One thing we noticed that we can't shake is the continued fall of his assist to turnover ratio that sat at 1:1 for this week. The turnover average was up again this week as well, which was mainly due to the 9-turnover egg he laid in the first game against RGV. My feeling is that the 9-turnover game is more fluke than it is pattern, but until we see a week where his ratio improves it, it is a concern.

Overall, this week was a positive progression in Dominique's ability to run a team. His field goal percentage, while still not elite at 42%, shot up 12 points from last week. He is relaxed on his shots from midrange and from three-point range. His ability get to the basket at will was never in Question. Also, his range of assists is increasing. There are a few red flags to monitor, as his assist to turnover ratio continues to fall. He also had a few offensive fouls at key moments and the ball was taken out of his hands at times down the stretch, but his confidence in his game is sky high. That's about all you can ask for from your rookie who is only four games into the "Point Guard Project."

Joe Alexander, F, 23

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

48

28.0

67%

78%

2-3

12.0

4.0

1.0

0.5

7

The fact that Joe shot 20 for 30 this week sort of speaks for itself, but we'll continue speaking anyway. Not only does Joe still consistently get to the line (14 for 18 this week) and grab rebounds, his offensive arsenal continues to grow and become more consistent. His mid-range jumpshot is absolutely devastating. More than that, his fall away jumpshot is no longer something that needs to be simply accounted for by opposing teams, it is something that needs to be game-planned against. If there was a Dirk Nowitzki Shooting School (and there should be), it seriously looks like Joe has taken a few beginner courses as demonstrated by the consistency he brings to the table with his fall away shot. It really is that pretty.

Sean Williams, F/C, 18

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

45

16.0

75%

80%

0-0

15.5

0.5

0.5

3.5

9

We just tried to brag about Joe's shooting percentage, yet here comes Sean with an even better line of 75%. Sean also continues to be a force on defense with his rebounding and block numbers. The best thing going for Sean right now though is the improvement in his defensive positioning to complement his blocks. He provides great individual defense and anticipation, which was apparent in the three charges he took in the second RGV game. If Sean continues mixing fundamentals in with his defensive flair, then he will raise his already high ceiling. No one brings more energy to the team with their play than Sean.

Justin Dentmon, G, 32

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

44

19.5

50%

82%

2-7

3.5

6.0

2.5

0.0

6

Justin may be the most flexible player on the court. His ball-handling and scoring abilities make it tough to ever sit him, which is obvious since he plays basically the whole game. His ability to cut to the basket is his calling card, but his defensive anticipation in the form of steals is the best on the team. He can also provide hounding defense, which was especially evident in his one-on-one match ups with Jerel McNeal this past week. He was the gnat at McNeal's barbeque. Still though, his ability to cut and get to the line when the offense is stalling remains Justin's most valuable asset.

Matt Rogers, F/C, 24

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

8

1.0

0%

100%

0-0

0.5

0.5

0.5

0.5

1

There wasn't much for Matt to do this week as there were 5-6 guys who played heavy, heavy minutes. Word around on the street though is that Matt got in touch with the whole organization Christmas Day to wish the staff Happy Holidays. Not enough can be said of Matt and his high character that he shows every day.

Booker Woodfox, G, 11

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

17

6.5

23%

100%

1-8

1.0

0.0

0.5

0.0

1

When Booker isn't hitting his threes, his effectiveness can take a hit. The good news is that Booker used his one made three pointer this week to close the book (pun definitely intended) on the Vipers in Frisco on Monday. After a dish from DoJo, Booker calmly sunk the dagger that put the Legends up six in the final seconds of overtime. Not a bad way to make some noise in limited minutes this week.

Rece Hampton, F, 41

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

18

6.0

83%

N/A

2-3

3.0

0.5

0.5

0.0

2

It was back to a role off the bench for Hardhat Hampton this week as Coach Lieberman decided to go with a smaller starting lineup. Rece made sure to come out firing though by hitting 2 of his 3 three-point attempts. He was also the recipient of some nicely timed open court passes from DoJo.

Kelvin Lewis, G, 22

MPG

PPG

FG%

FT%

3FG

RPG

APG

SPG

BPG

Tot TO

21

2.5

10%

60%

0-5

2.0

0.0

0.5

0.0

2

One man's loss of a spot in the starting lineup is another man's gain, as Kelvin started both games this week. The change may take Kelvin a little time to get used to though as he saw his shooting percentage take a massive dip. He also had a few uncharacteristic fouls and turnovers that we're really not used to seeing in his game. We have little concern for Kelvin though as we're sure he will get back to his normal productive self.

This week's MVP: It wasn't a terribly tough call for the "committee" to declare Joe Alexander this week's MVP. His 28/12/4 weekly line helped his cause, but the obvious progression of his offensive arsenal is what put him over the top. Congrats Joe, we know how coveted this award is to you! Have a safe and happy New Year everyone. Go Legends and Go Mavs!

Texas Legends Quote of the Week:

"He's their Dirk." – Alex Del Barrio, Rio Grande Valley Vipers play-by-play man while describing Joe Alexander's offensive game. (That's a pretty solid endorsement around these parts.)

Smile

Upcoming Texas Legends Games (Home Games in Bold):

Saturday, Jan 1 vs. Tulsa 66ers – 7:00 pm CT (Featuring Former Baylor star Tweety Carter)

Sunday, Jan 2 vs. New Mexico Thunderbirds – 5:00 pm CT

Friday, Jan 7 vs. Springfield Armor – 7:00 pm CT


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