Following a disappointing loss on the front end of a back-to-back, the Timberwolves were able to get a bounce back win Wednesday night. With Jeff Teague out, Tyus Jones once again drew the start at PG. He finished with a season high 16 points (6-9 FG) vs. the Pelicans. The Apple Valley product also chipped in 6 Ast, 4 Reb, and 4 Stl in Minnesota’s 120-102 victory.
Jones spoke to the media after the game:
Tyus Jones filled up the box score in New Orleans!
— FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) November 30, 2017
You were probably tuned into Gophers Basketball during this one. So, before getting into the Teague/Jones situation, let’s quickly touch on what else was noteworthy from last night:
- Anthony Davis was ejected in the first half. This was the first ejection of The Brow’s career.
- Andrew Wiggins finished with his own season high (28 PTS. 10-18 FG).
- Jimmy Butler was a +16 and scored 19 points (8-12 FG).
- Jrue Holiday lead the Pelicans (27 PTS. 10-20 FG). Demarcus Cousins only had 17 points.
Anthony Davis just got ejected for chasing down the ref. ? pic.twitter.com/vKIPtTBwRQ
— Pelicans Nation (@_PelicansNation) November 30, 2017
Alright. Back to Business. The Minnesota Timberwolves are already more than 1/4th through the regular season. For a team that has started 13-9, their fan base still has its fair share of questions. One question, in particular, seems to be popping up again and again.
Should Tyus Jones start over Jeff Teague?
With Ricky Rubio leaving and the Wolves signing Teague this off-season, it seemed that our PG situation was set. Unfortunately, Teague is yet to live up to expectations. On the other hand, Tyus has been overachieving all season-long.
The Minnesota Timberwolves WILL make the playoffs this year. It’ll mark the first time accomplishing that feat since 2004. This isn’t the New York Giants, benching Eli Manning, dumpster fire of a situation. We’re here to win basketball games. NOW.
With that being said, who cares how much Teague gets paid? Who cares about Jones having more years ahead of him? Wolves fans shouldn’t give a shit. It’s tunnel vision on 2017-2018. Removing the MN bias and everything else, let’s focus on the ON THE COURT numbers.
2017-2018 (Per 36 Min.)
PTS 14.9 7.6
AST 8.0 6.1
REB 3.3 4.0
FG% 41.8 39.7
STL 1.9 2.1
TO 3.5 1.3
On the surface, Teague has better numbers. However, the advanced stats tell a different story.
Players are given “offensive ratings” and “defensive ratings.” No, this isn’t 2K (that’s the newest NBA video game for our older readers). These ratings represent how many points are either produced or allowed on average by each player (in real life… stick with me…).
“Win Shares” is another telling advanced stat. They represent the number of wins contributed by a player.
The numbers don’t lie! I think Tyus Jones should start for the Timberwolves.
That is regardless of Teague’s health. At least give it a shot. The MN native’s numbers would only climb playing alongside the starters. Plus, there is just something about him and KAT on the pick and roll that is special. This sequence from earlier in the year is basketball poetry:
Four straight times the Timberwolves ran a spread pnr with Tyus Jones and Karl-Anthony Towns and four straight times they scored. Here’s all four. pic.twitter.com/Qq873m3EXi
— Brian Sampson (@BrianSampsonNBA) November 16, 2017
Those were four straight possessions, folks. Back to back, to back, to back.
Teague, the ex-Pacer, could help bolster our weak second unit. He is more of a natural scorer than Jones anyway. The Big Three alone command PLENTY of shots. That’s plenty of mouths to feed. Last I checked, basketball is played with ONLY one ball. The former All-Star would get more shots per minute playing alongside the reserves.
PS: The possibility of trading one of them is a whole different subject. A subject that makes my ears perk up. I love gambling. Trades are a gamble. However, if we do negotiate something, it’s presumed Aaron Brooks would get more minutes. I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. He has been far from electric thus far.
Photo by Zhong Zhi/Getty Images