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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
First-rounder Jones focused on jumper

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS – Dominique Jones is known as a scorer, not necessarily a shooter.

But the Mavs believe he can develop into a knockdown shooter, much like Donnie Nelson witnessed Michael Finley do throughout the course of his career. That process started this week, with Rick Carlisle personally working with Jones on his jumper after summer league practices.

“With him working with me, I really see the difference,” said Jones, the shooting guard from South Florida the Mavs selected after purchasing the 25th overall pick. “I have a long way to go with it, but he is really grabbing me and taking me under his wing. He’s like, ‘We’re going to get you to make open shots.’ I’m open minded with that, because I know that’s something I need to do.”

Jones doesn’t believe his form needs to be tweaked. Carlisle has stressed concentrating on the timing between his knees and arms.

“Just really getting in a rhythm, just shooting everything the same way every time,” Jones said.

Big project: Moussa Seck barely played a minute for the Mavs’ summer league team last year, but he was invited back.

Why? He’s 7-foot-4.

Seck, a 23-year-old native of Senegal, is the ultimate project. He’s only been playing basketball for a few years, but his potential as a shot-blocker makes him worth the Mavs’ minimal investment.

“From last year to this year, tremendous amount of improvement,” said Mavs assistant Monte Mathis, the head coach of the summer league team. “Still has a long way to go.”

Mathis said Seck has made significant progress understanding basketball concepts. He catches and rebounds the ball much better. And he has a surprisingly soft shooting touch.
Seck, whose English is developing at a similar pace to his game, said he didn’t play basketball last season because of a shoulder injury. He understands that he’s still probably a few years away from being a legitimate NBA prospect.

But he’s an excellent candidate for the Texas Legends, Donnie Nelson’s new D-League team in Frisco, especially since folks might pay to see a the Metroplex’s tallest man play.

Look out for Lin: Rodrigue Beaubois isn’t the only point guard on the summer roster the Mavs believe has an NBA future.

They’re also high on Harvard’s Jeremy Lin.

“YouTube him against UConn,” Mathis said, referring to Lin’s 30-point performance against potential future first-round pick Kemba Walker.

The 6-foot-3 Lin, whose jumper needs improvement, has impressed the Mavs with his savvy and ability to finish and penetrate.

The Mavs’ roster is loaded at point guard with Beaubois and J.J. Barea backing up Jason Kidd. But remember Lin if Barea, an undrafted success story with a team-friendly contract, gets traded this offseason.

New additions: The Mavs added two players to the Summer League roster on Tuesday. Josh Mayo, a 6-foot guard out of Illinois-Chicago, and 6-11 center Darryl Watkins, a one-year pro who played at Syracuse bring the squad to 13 players.