Tre Jones is proving he’s a starting-caliber point guard

When you look across the league, there’s a herd of great guards, and more and more are coming into the league every year. Those at the top have the ability to completely change the game and are the reason their teams compete and win titles, a la Steph Curry and Luka Dončić. Below that level are those who play great second fiddle, the kind of player who can take over a game if necessary, but who shouldn’t be the number 1 choice night after night, a la Jaylen Brown and 2016 Kyrie. irving. . Then there are the guards who bring a lot to the table, they have some flaws, but overall, their team is better when they’re on the court, and that’s where we get to Tre Jones.

If you’re a basketball fan who just looks at how many points, rebounds, and assists a player has at the end of the game, you might not agree with what I’m about to say, but this season, Jones has shown he’s good enough to start. on almost any team in the NBA. Obviously, the situation would dictate his position on a team, as I doubt he’s starting Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland in Cleveland. Overall though, coaches would love the chance to have Jones in their starting lineup.

At first glance, his 13.2 points and 6.4 assists per game seem pedestrian. While his assist numbers put him at 16the in the league, they surprise no one. And his 1.4 steals per game may rank as 17th.the in the league, but you probably won’t shake like you would if Marcus Smart were guarding your team’s ball handler. That’s the beauty of a player like Jones: he’s modest. All he does is step on the court and play the role of him. When asked to do more, he does. When asked to give in to others, he does too.

A few games ago, in a close match against the utah jazz, the Jazz had rallied from a 20-point deficit, but Jones made back-to-back buckets to seal a Spurs victory. Two nights ago, when Devin Vassell was out and Keldon Johnson left the game at halftime, he scored 25 points to lead the team to another win over the Los Angeles Lakers. detroit pistons.

For me, it’s a play like the following that stands out the most. Jones takes every opportunity he gets to push the ball down the court, even if he ends up having to slow down to run the half-court offense. In this play, there was no slowdown.

When Jakob Poeltl is grabbing the rebound, Jones is right next to him next to the block. As he faces Jakob, he can see that two The New York Knicks, Julius Randle and Miles McBride, are in no condition to return to defense. That lets you know that he has a 4-on-3 chance, as long as he pushes the ball down the court. His natural point guard instincts come into play here. He dribbles towards Immanuel Quickley, who does the right thing to try to stop the ball, sending one of the three defenders away. With Doug McDermott running down the right side, Jones sees Jericho Sims, who would ideally drop back to protect the paint, stay outside to avoid a three-point transition. That leaves a 2-on-1 against Evan Fournier on the left side. With Johnson running to the three-point line, Jones hesitates for a second, giving Stanley Johnson a chance to cut to the basket. Jones calmly hits him, and Stanley puts him in two.

This is not an isolated play by Jones. We’ve seen him pick up the pace and throw it to Jeremy Sochan multiple times this season. This is just one of the latest examples of how well he sees the court, understands pace and space, and has the ability to launch a precise pass at the right time.

If the Spurs end up putting Scoot Henderson in the nba draftTre’s days as the team’s starting point guard may be limited, if not over, but until they get a generational talent in the role, I think the Spurs have their point guard of the future that will enhance the skills of everyone around them.

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