Tinsley, Jazz Confident Entering Season: Last season, the Utah Jazz managed to finish six games over .500 and sneak into the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Jazz exceeded everyone’s expectations, competing in the West despite featuring seven players under the age of 25 years old including key pieces such as Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, and Enes Kanter.
Now, entering this season, the Jazz have added several veterans in an attempt to bolster the roster and build off of last year’s success. Utah traded for Mo Williams and Marvin Williams, signed Randy Foye and retained Jamaal Tinsley. They want to win now while they continue to develop their young talent.
Tinsley, who’s entering his second season with the Jazz and tenth year in the league, loves the moves that Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey made over the summer.
“I like these guys,” Tinsley said of Utah’s new additions. “They all understand what it takes to win. They are all threats on the wing. These guys are veterans so they know what’s expected of them in games and in practice, and they’re vocal on the court and off the court.”
Usually when a team brings in new starters, there’s a transition period. However, the Jazz haven’t had any issues integrating their new point guard and small forward. Both players are excited for the fresh start in Utah and are satisfied with their role. Mo Williams is thrilled to be a starting point guard again after coming off of the bench with the Los Angeles Clippers last season. Marvin Williams welcomed the change of scenery since he had hit a plateau with the Atlanta Hawks and didn’t get many touches playing alongside Joe Johnson, Josh Smith and Al Horford. They have meshed with their new teammates quickly and everybody understands their role entering the season.
“We have gelled already,” Tinsley said. “Everyone came into the gym ready to sacrifice and perform. We’re all looking to contribute in any way possible. We’re all excited for the upcoming season.”
Tinsley has emerged as one of Utah’s leaders. Just two years ago, Tinsley was out of the league, but now he’s become a strong presence in the locker room and an excellent glue guy for the Jazz. Even though he’s the oldest player on the active roster at 34 years old, he’s arguably the hardest worker on the team.
Tinsley came into training camp with just three percent body fat and weighing in at 186 pounds, nine fewer than last season. Tinsley has a grueling workout plan that many of his teammates have implemented. Over the offseason, the veteran point guard was running eight miles each day. During the season, he runs four miles before each game and then four more miles afterwards.
“I love getting extra work in,” Tinsley said. “It’s contagious because guys look at you and want to get better. They see how it can affect their performance on the court.”
Last year, Utah snuck into the playoffs because they played together and worked hard. With the same young core returning and several key veterans added to the mix, Tinsley believes the Jazz are headed in the right direction and poised to take the next step.
“I like who we’re becoming,” Tinsley said. “Guys come in every day ready to work. We’re ready to go.”
Read more at http://www.hoopsworld.com/nba-pm-is-jodie-meeks-lakers-x-factor-2/#JJj3GgDoBirM73cJ.99
EMPTYING THE NOGGIN
• Solid performance for the Utah Jazz. They have won 4 in a row and 8 of 10. These team has looked completely different since the first of two clippers games. Since then they are 8-5 overall and have played well every night but the back end of the back to back in Denver.
• This is since Jamaal Tinsley took over as point guard and for whatever reason since that happened the offense has been sharper, the Jazz are getting plays out of the offense they didn’t use to get. They are moving the ball better, the floor spacing is better. This maybe because of Jamaal or it could be because the team all knew they had to do a little more then they were doing before. Whatever it is this team is playing much better team basketball.
Utah Jazz veteran point guard Jamaal Tinsley could reach a significant career milestone Wednesday night at Portland.
Tinsley, who’s in his ninth NBA season, needs two assists against the Trail Blazers to reach 3,000.
“It’s good,” Tinsley said before Tuesday morning’s practice. “I didn’t notice that. But over my career, that’s what I’ve done a lot — getting assists. So it’s good to accomplish that. Hopefully. I can keep it going.”
Tinsley’s milestone is more impressive because he’s played only 110 NBA games since the end of the 2006-07 season.
He did not play last year and was signed by the Jazz as a free agent in the offseason.
“Sometimes it’s all about how you respond to adversity and he’s done an incredible job for us,” said Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor.
“He’s one of the harder working guys on our team. He kept himself in incredible shape waiting his turn and, when the opportunity presented itself, he delivered.”
Tinsley, 34, averages 3.8 points and 3.2 assists in 13.2 minutes this season.
He had been Utah’s No. 3 point guard behind Devin Harris and Earl Watson. But he became Harris’ primary backup after Watson suffered a season-ending knee injury.