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A Big Opportunity For Jones
On Wednesday against the Nuggets, Wolves starting poing guard Jeff Teague suffered a Grade 1 MCL sprain in his left knee.
The player expected to take most of Teague’s minutes is third-year player Tyus Jones, who isn’t new for filling in for Teague.
Jones started three games for Teague from Nov. 26 to Nov. 29 when Teague had an Achilles injury. Jones averaged 12.3 points, 6.7 assists, four rebounds and four steals in 40 minutes per game.
The Wolves were 2-1 during that stretch.
Direct comparisons are dangerous, and the two players are two very different point guards.
Jones has put together a solid season thus far, shooting career highs of 46.9 percent from the field, 40 percent from the 3-point line and 84.4 percent from the free-throw line. Jones ranks second in the NBA in assist/turnover ratio at 4.52, two spots above Chris Paul and four ahead of Rajon Rondo.
He’s not the quickest defender or most athletic, but he makes up for it with his basketball IQ, simply being in the right place at the right time, hence his 2.5 steals per 36 minutes, a mark that is tied for 10th in the NBA.
In 35 minutes against the Bucks on Thursday night, Jones finished with another five steals.
Jones seems up for the challenge of filling in for Teague, for what will be longer than just three games.
“As always, whatever the team needs me to do, I’ll be ready to do so,” Jones said. “I’m hoping Jeff’s alright, I never want to see anyone go down with an injury. It’s this next one up and I’m ready to step in and help this team either way.”
The next test for the Wolves and Jones will be on Sunday at 4 p.m. against Darren Collison at the Pacers in Indiana.
In his previous game against the Pacers this season, Jones played 17 minutes and 38 seconds. That number will certainly be higher this time around.