Mavericks starter turning his shoulder on Celtics worked wonders for career

Dallas Mavericks, Derrick Jones Jr.
Dallas Mavericks, Derrick Jones Jr. / Tim Heitman/GettyImages

As unprecedented as it seems, the Dallas Mavericks are heading to the NBA Finals to battle the Boston Celtics, as Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic have spearheaded a roster full of dynamic role players en route to giving Dallas their first chance at an NBA title since 2011. There are a plethora of narratives heading into this matchup versus the Celtics for Dallas, as familiar foes on both sides are meeting on the NBA's biggest stage, yet the Mavericks remain focused on the task at hand despite all the outside noise.

The Mavericks have proven to have one of the top defenses in the league throughout this postseason, as it has been Dallas' backbone to help them stay connected in various contests throughout these playoffs.

One of the more essential parts of Dallas' defense has been Derrick Jones Jr., as the 27-year-old wing has been an excellent point-of-attack defender all playoffs long, as his verticality, length, and positioning are all elite defensive characteristics.

Derrick Jones Jr. turning his shoulder on Celtics in favor of Mavs was elite decision

After signing for just the veteran's minimum last offseason, Jones Jr. is set to receive a big payday on the market as an unrestricted free agent this coming free agency, whether it's from the Mavericks or someone else. Luckily enough for the Mavericks though, Jones Jr. said he wants to stay in Dallas, and all other signs are pointing towards that as well.

Ironically enough, Jones Jr. was weighing his options between Dallas and Boston last offseason, but Jones Jr. obviously elected to come to Dallas and bet on himself to become a starter. Jones Jr. has showcased his offensive versatility for the Mavericks in these playoffs after being granted the permanent starting role in early March, as he's been playing the best basketball of his career at the perfect time for the Mavericks.

This goes to show why Jones Jr. clearly made the right decision by signing with the Mavericks over the Celtics last offseason, as Jones Jr. likely wouldn't have been able to showcase his improved versatility in a starting role on both sides of the ball if he was on a Celtics team that has a tight rotation with proven dynamic veterans.

Because of putting in the work day in and day out since he's been in Dallas, Jones Jr. will have the opportunity to prove himself as one of the top defenders in the league in his matchups against the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in these Finals, as Jones Jr. is poised to fully get the respect he feels like he deserves.

Jones Jr. has been a steady 3-point shooter and driver for the Mavericks in these playoffs as well, so he will need to continue to be confident in his offensive game as well if the Mavericks want to take down the Celtics in the NBA Finals.

For more on Derrick Jones Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks throughout these NBA Finals, stay tuned as we will have you covered.