The trickledown effect of Jeff Teague’s ankle keeping him out of the Timberwolves lineup Monday began with Derrick Rose getting the start at point guard and Tyus Jones getting the ball back in his hands more often with the second unit.
Often playing off the ball with the second unit this season, Jones has had an up-and-down experience.
But Monday? Jones was one of four Wolves players with a double-double. He scored 10 points on 5-for-7 shooting and had 10 assists in 23 minutes. Jones, part of the Wolves’ potent bench play Monday, was a plus-30.
And it felt right.
“Big changeup for me,” Jones said. “Get in a rhythm quicker. Felt more like myself out there, being able to make plays. Not just for myself, but for others.”
Jones had four of his assists and four points in the second quarter. He had five assists and four points in the fourth quarter as the Wolves locked down the win. He was coming off screens and getting points and assists off penetration.
“It just felt like my natural position rather than off the ball,” he said.
When Rose and Jones are on the court together, Jones assists on 16.9 percent of the team’s made baskets. When Jones is on the floor without Rose, that number jumps to 36.8 percent, an indication that Jones, with the ball in his hands, is doing more playmaking.
“When Derrick is out there, it’s another dynamic playmaker, another scorer,” Jones said. “When he’s not out there, I try to create more offense for others, make sure we get quality looks each and every time down the floor.”
It’s almost certain Rose will go back to the second unit when Teague is healthy. But it won’t happen Wednesday against Detroit; coach Tom Thibodeau said Teague did little but some shooting Tuesday and wouldn’t play Wednesday.
• Some questioned Thibodeau’s decision Monday to play Robert Covington big minutes when he is coming off a sore knee. Covington (35 minutes) was the only player to pass the 30-minute mark Monday, But there was a reason for it, both Thibodeau and Covington said.
Thibodeau said Covington told him he wanted the extra minutes to get back into a groove. “He’s getting close,” Thibodeau said. “You can see he’s getting his rhythm back. And I think that’s important.”
• Thibodeau said guard Jerryd Bayless (knee), the third player acquired in the Jimmy Butler trade, is doing nearly everything in practice and is close to being ready for games.