In 19 games as a reserve, often playing with other bench players, Wolves point guard Tyus Jones was a combined minus-18 — meaning opponents outscored the Wolves by 18 points over the course of those 19 games while Jones was playing. That's not terrible, especially for a reserve, but look at this: In three games subbing in the starting lineup and logging heavy minutes while Jeff Teague has been injured, Jones is a combined plus-45. The Wolves are 2-1 in those games.
It's reasonable that a player would perform better surrounded by better players, and it seems particularly true of Jones, who is averaging 12 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals in those starts. His all-around game and ability to run the offense are parts of a skill set that make him better as a starter than a bench player.
That's not to say he should start over Teague, but these past few games sure have been interesting.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.