April 25, 2024

Tre Jones was glad to get one other journey to Minnesota added to the schedule, even when it was a bit final minute.

When the Spurs and Timberwolves each did not advance out of group stage within the In-Season Match, San Antonio was given an added sport at Goal Heart as certainly one of its fill-in contests, which means the Apple Valley level guard was granted one other probability to play at dwelling.

“All of the household is on the town for probably the most half. It’s at all times good to get again to Minnesota, particularly across the holidays,” Jones mentioned Wednesday. “We don’t actually get a chilly winter down there. So to have the ability to get some climate like this round Christmas, it’s at all times enjoyable.”

Jones returns to Minnesota taking part in in a distinct position than the one he occupied a 12 months in the past. Jones began 65 of the 68 video games by which he performed final season. Now he’s coming off the bench as a part of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s grand experiment to throw level guards to the wayside. The coach tabbed second-year wing Jeremy Sochan to convey the ball up the ground for the beginning unit.

The outcomes haven’t been good. The Spurs — who entered Wednesday’s sport in Minnesota on a 14-game shedding streak — have been outscored by 14.5 factors per 100 possessions in Sochan’s minutes this season.

In the meantime, Jones sports activities the staff’s finest internet score amongst rotation gamers (at minus-2.9). He’s averaging 5.1 assists whereas taking part in simply south of 24 minutes per sport.

Jones famous he tries to set a sure tone each time he enters the competition.

“Persevering with attempting to do what I’ve at all times executed — setting the desk for my teammates, attempting to get everybody into place. Proceed to push the tempo for us,” Jones mentioned. “Simply attempt to be a pacesetter for us on the court docket, be an extension of coach on the court docket, as effectively, clearly. He’s large on management and every thing, so simply strive to try this for him and our staff. Making an attempt to only have us play the correct means always, however that’s actually the primary factor.”

So far, Jones has related effectively with Spurs star rookie heart Victor Wembanyama. When the 2 share the ground — and so they have for a complete of 200 minutes this season — San Antonio outscores opponents by 7.9 factors per 100 possessions. That’s the one two-man mixture by which Wembanyama owns a optimistic internet score. Jones mentioned the 19-year-old heart’s understanding of the sport permits the 2 to mesh on the ground.

“He thinks the sport at a really excessive stage. He’s very simple to play with in that side. Clearly, he’s 7-4 and lengthy and may attain in all places, he can get to each ball. However his understanding of the sport is simply very excessive,” Jones mentioned. “It’s simple to be on the identical web page with him, whether or not it’s a choose and roll or he’s sealing on the low block or no matter it’s. Simply being on the identical web page with him, regardless that we haven’t performed collectively loads, is the primary factor.”

Jones mentioned coming off the bench requires “a little bit adjustment” with reference to his mindset. However his strategy to the sport hasn’t wavered.

“Clearly realizing that if I proceed to play effectively, I’ll proceed to get minutes and simply attempt to set my staff up for a victory on the finish of the sport is the primary aim at all times,” Jones mentioned. “So proceed to only give attention to ensuring that I’m prepared when my title known as, proceed to verify I’m as ready as doable once I go on the market after which once I go on the market, simply proceed to do what I’ve at all times executed, observe my instincts and every thing.”

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