Dominique Jones: 'I can't be a rookie'

Rookie shooting guard Dominique Jones seems to be doing everything well except what he did best in the Big East.

Jones is having a heck of a time trying to finish at the basket. He’s shooting 30 percent (10-of-33) from the floor this preseason, with many of his misses coming from point-blank range after bulling his way to the bucket.

“If you looked at me my whole career, when have I ever missed layups?” Jones said after Monday’s 2-of-9 shooting night. “We’re talking about layups. We aren’t talking about my jump shot or 3s. We’re talking about layups. I’m missing layups. If I keep going in there, something good is going to happen.”

Jones acknowledges that part of the problem is that he’s making the tough transition to the NBA. The Mavs need him to keep attacking the basket, but he’ll also have to adapt his game to deal with the 7-footers paid to make finishing around the rim difficult.

"It's a totally different game [from college],” coach Rick Carlisle said. “That's part of the adjustment. You got big guys who close faster. He's working hard on his midrange game as teams are playing him soft because he's such a good penetrator. He's going to have to learn to knock down those shots.

"But he's a willing student. He studies film, and he wants to get better. Our job is to get him better quickly. That's what we're going to do."

Jones, who has started a couple of preseason games, isn’t planning to be patient.

“I can’t be a rookie this year,” Jones said. “I’ve never been a freshman, and I can’t play like a rookie, can’t look like one.”