Let's start with Jamaal Tinsley.
The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that Uncle Amaal is back. Who should be more worried: us, the Jazz faithful, John Lucas III, or (God forbid) Trey Burke? There's almost too many perspectives to look at but I'm going to address a few. Please feel free to address anything I may have missed.
Why Jazz Nation Should Be Worried
We finally have a defensive-minded team. Granted, I haven't seen a pre-season Jazz game all year (damn east coast), but from what I've read here on SLC Dunk plus a few other places and what I've heard from David Locke, we're playing pretty solid defense when the actual rotation guys are on the court. Tinsley cannot guard a paralyzed wheelchair occupant with flat tires. It's that simple.
When you add his shooting touch to a squad that's already having problems scoring the ball, this is bad news bears.
Why John Lucas III Should Be Worried
He's John Lucas III. He doesn't orchestrate offense for others and the offense he orchestrates for himself is inefficient and would make JR Smith blush. There's a huge chance that he loses his already-temporary starter position to a guy who can't shoot but can run an offense (somewhere Gordon Hayward is thinking "Thank God"). If, actually when, he loses that spot, does he lose his rotational spot altogether, especially when Burks can run the point and the impending return of Brandon Rush?
Why Trey Burke Should Be Worried
Are there now two vets on a Tyrone-Corbin-run squad at the position? Oh s%*@.
I actually don't see this one happening. But would anybody be really surprised to see...nevermind.
How This Actually Helps the Jazz
Gordon Hayward needed this. When Burke went down with injury, it hurt him more than anyone else (except for obviously Trey). The ball is going to be in his hands out of pure offensive necessity. We know this. Opposing coaches know it. This will allow him to play off the ball a little bit more because Tinsley can run an offense and get guys involved despite his shooting liabilities.
And now we have better options when it comes to the mentoring of Trey Burke. No longer is his tutelage going to be exclusively, "Did you see the shot Lucas just took? Good. Remember never to do that." Now, the coaching staff can add, "Do you see that shot that Tins just bricked? Please make that shot when you check in."
There's a lot of ways I think Uncle Amaal can help teach Trey, particularly with getting teammates involved, seeing the floor, and his knowledge of opposing guards.
The Big 180
Imagine if last year's squad could play defense. Picture it. Big Al forcing PGs back to half-court, Paul Millsap not leaving Ryan Anderson wide open for the last play of a game for a short-corner three, Mo Williams taking off the ice skates, maybe letting Favors play basketball on game day...That squad wins 50-plus games.
Now imagine if this team could actually score.
If this Jazz squad gets punched in the mouth early by opposing offenses, we're going to get blown out. It will soften the defense which will make it even tougher to score. The truth we all have to live by is that unless a couple guys (looking at you, Alec) break out this year offensively, we're going to get murdered.
Defenses are going to be honing in on Gordo and Derrick, maybe even Enes, which none of them are used to. Part of the reason why Hayward was so good last year was because he wasn't the focal point for teams to get stops. They focused on getting the ball out of AJ's hand (good luck with that) and pushing Millsap away from the basket.
Most of the points that Kanter and Favors scored last year were against non-starting front lines, which is great; we know they're better than the average NBA player, but we're still figuring out if they can grow into above-average NBA starters--I think they can.
It's interesting that we've gone from an uninteresting team who couldn't defend anybody to a team that defends very well but can't drop the ball in the water hovering in a chopper over the Atlantic--which obviously can change (I'm looking at you, Alec Burks).