Basketball, Neat: Patty Mills And The Spurs Baptize ‘Wolves Rookie Tyus Jones

and 12.30.15 2 years ago
Sam Mitchell, Tyus Jones

USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to “Basketball, Neat.” This is an intermittent column throughout the 2015-16 NBA season where DIME will discuss some basketball play or trend without extraneous information.

If you’re a fan of single-malt Scotch, you should be familiar with ordering a drink, neat. That’s what this is, but with basketball. So, there will be none of the usual contextual or superficial noise you might hear on Twitter or even in our pieces at DIME. This isn’t some referendum on basketball coverage or anything quite so lofty; it’s just a tiny place to talk exclusively about hoops. We’d like to nerd out about basketball for a little bit before we go back to the overarching culture of basketball and the NBA we normally cover. We hope you like it, but it’s primarily just a selfish way to publish what we’re already talking about with each other.

Jack: If Tyus Jones exhibited the physical profile or cognitive understanding of a strong defender during his one season at Duke University, he might have been a lottery pick. The 19-year-old boasts the innate offensive feel of a seasoned league veteran, and made clutch play after clutch play while leading the Blue Devils to a national championship.

Those attributes loom especially large in today’s NBA, where point guards aren’t just tasked with seamlessly directing traffic against increasingly intricate defenses on every trip down the floor, but providing impactful offensive subtleties to combat them. Jones will be able to do that in time, and showed enough shooting chops at Duke to suggest he’ll become a plus three-point shooter, too.

The problem for the Minnesota Timberwolves youngster thus far in his brief career is that a point guard’s modern burdens are just as heavy on offense as they are the other end of the floor.

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