To be perfectly fair, there really wouldn’t be a "Positivity Week" if I didn’t get a chance to run down our roster. I had a lot of medical appointments during the pre-season rundown of our team and was unable to participate then. Which sucks. So all in all, doing this is going to make up for it to a certain point.
On December 10th, 2011 I know I went pretty crazy. That was the day where all the rumors of Tinsley joining the team came true. I really didn’t think he would be a good fit here; however, he’s not been a distraction and hasn’t caused any problems. And those are good qualities every team needs from a veteran bench guy.
After the jump – Three reasons why I love Jamaal Tinsley
#1: His Flash
I think it wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that we’ve never had a better dribbler on the team. Sure, most of his razzle dazzle has been replaced with solid "old man game" right now, but at his peak not even Deron Williams could come close to the type of moves Tinsley has. Really, just take a look for yourselves:
Deron had a better cross over and isolated a lot more in order to set up his jumper. Tinsley’s years of being a street ball player have translated to the NBA to find ways to use his handle while still penetrating into the lane. His crazy dribbles and passes would have been a joy to watch on the same squad as Andrei Kirilenko, who was no stranger to putting the ball between guys legs and making crazy passes either.
On this team he’s still doing crazy things from time to time.
If your third string point guard is doing things like this . . . you should be pretty solid at point guard.
#2: Not Making a Stink About Minutes
This was my primary concern with taking him over Ronnie Price. Price knew his role and was accustomed to coming off the bench, or not even getting into games. Tinsley was a guy who had some trouble with the law and with some team rules – and was a former starter. His talent could have made his ego cause trouble, but I underestimated his age and maturity in this situation. He wasn’t in the league last year and I thought that he may try to make a niche for himself here. I had reason to fear because I lived through that whole Mark Jackson fiasco years ago. I was hoping that the Jazz were not recreating the same problems again; and thankfully they did not. Credit goes to Jamaal.
#3: He obviously still has something in the tank
The Jazz motto for bench guys has always been "be ready." I’d rather that the motto was "you’ll get steady playing time," but I don’t run the team. Jamaal Tinsley was ready on February 2nd when both Devin Harris and Earl Watson where both out due to injuries. On that night he played 34 minutes and dished out a season high 13 assists. He also added 9 points, 6 boards, 2 steals, made a three, and showed up bigtime. Oh, and the "season high 13 assists" . . . I don’t just mean that’s a season high in assists for him. That’s a season high for the entire Jazz team this year. No one else even close. He can be playing a lot more, and he could have a larger role for this team. When he has played he has played well. He still has something left in the tank. And I love that.