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Why it's not bad that Tinsley's assists were down against Minnesota

Published January 2, 2013 11:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Judging Jamaal Tinsley on Wednesday using the statistic by which he is most often judge would have been a red herring. Assists? The Jazz's starting point guard for the foreseeable future had only three of them in the 106-84 win over the Timberwolves. By that metric, Tinsley was not the best point guard on the floor. That was Earl Watson, who recorded 9 assists. However, the veteran posted one of his best games of the season.

But why?

He finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 turnover. The Jazz shot 49.4 percent from the field and won in a romp when they'd made a habit out of losing in them.

However, Tinsley said he adjusted his style of play after posting games with 5 and 4 turnovers in back-to-back losses to the Clippers. What it came down to was Tinsley not making he final pass in transition. How does that work? Tyrone Corbin said after the game that Tinsley did a good job of outletting the ball to the wings to get the ball up the floor.

The Jazz outscored the T-Wolves 25 to 8 in transition.

"As long as our wings get out to run he look up ahead, get them the ball and give them opportunities to use their speed and try to attack early," Corbin said.

When it wasn't there, the Jazz were able to pull it out and have more time than usual in their half-court sets.

"For me," Tinsley said. "It's just not trying to make the home run pass. My turnovers the last couple of games, I've been having high turnovers and that's not like me. Just trying to make the pass that leads to another pass, without getting the assist pass. Not being selfish. Just with my court vision, I always think I can get the ball there, but now that we in the situation that we in, I want to make sure that we get a good shot down there every time and we value the ball more."

The Jazz will be without point guard Mo Williams for at least six weeks, so if there are things Tinsley can do to be more effective, the Jazz would be grateful.

"Mo's not here," Tinsley said. "Usually in the second unit when me and Earl are switching, playing game to game, that group likes to run more. As a point guard you just got to know your personnel and who you're playing with, and the first group is different."

— Bill Oram