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Training Camp Report | Steps For Tyus Jones And Getting Ready For The Season
One of the more underrated players, at least nationally, on the Timberwolves roster is point guard Tyus Jones.
In his third season, Jones averaged 5.1 points, 2.8 assists and 1.6 rebounds per game, all career highs. He also shot 45.7 percent from the field and 87.7 percent from the free-throw line. Both of those were career highs as well.
“Every year he’s gotten better,” Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said I think he’s becoming a veteran now. The experience, I think the playoffs really helped him. Just experiencing that. . . The thing is, when you look at what he’s done, every year, he’s gotten a little bit better.”
While Jeff Teague is the team’s starting point guard, Jones had success last season filling in for Teague as a spot starter.
In 11 games as a starter, Jones had an average plus/minus of +18.4 while averaging 9.4 points and 4.9 assists while shooting 45.9 percent from the field. Since his days at Apple Valley, Jones has been a player who always gets other players involved and make his teammates better.
“That position is the position that unites and inspires, and you have to understand the strengths and weaknesses of everyone on the team and how you fit into that,” Thibodeau said. “I think he does a really good job with that.”
With more and more two-point guard lineups in the NBA, don’t be surprised to see more minutes for Jones. He’s stronger than he’s ever been and while his defense has its limitations, he’s a player who puts the work in.
“It’s something that he has to continue to work on, but he’s a diligent worker,” Thibodeau said. “He’s becoming a really good pro.”
Getting Ready For The Season
After beating the Warriors to open preseason, the Timberwolves haven’t looked great in their last three games, falling to the Clippers and Bucks (twice).
“I think we’re still finding out identity, which is not uncommon when it comes to preseason,” forward Anthony Tolliver said. “That’s what preseason is for. I know that some of these guys, a lot of guys were here last year . . . Still learning each other. We took another step today.”
Teague is believer that how the team plays in preseason dictates how they'll play when the season starts.
“I do," Teague said. "I think if you play well going into the season, you’ll play well at the beginning the season. Tha’ts the biggest thing for us, play well, and right now we’re not.”
The Wolves will be back at practice on Thursday.